Your Elementary Salary Might Be Higher Than You Think
The teaching profession gets a bad rap in the U.S. when it comes to salary expectations. But, if you look at the statistics, you might be surprised at what you find, even for the salary of elementary teachers.
If you want to become an elementary school teacher, rest assured that you can make a highly competitive wage and live a comfortable life on an elementary school teacher salary.
Median Annual Elementary Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for kindergarten and elementary school teachers is $53,090. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Additional Teacher Benefits
Some areas are currently experiencing a teacher shortage—especially in the subject areas of math, science, Spanish and special education—so districts with those teaching needs offer special teacher perks such as signing bonuses, housing assistance, continuing education classes and even free at-school child care to attract and retain quality teachers.
Elementary Teachers Get Summers Off
Something to keep in mind when considering your potential elementary salary is the fact that, on average, teachers get over 12 weeks of vacation per year.
Teachers who choose to work during the summer can also significantly increase their salary. Some prefer to follow other interests, but teaching opportunities that take place in the summer include teaching summer school, tutoring and leading summer programs at community centers or learning institutions.
Make the Most Out of Your Salary
If you are considering becoming an elementary teacher, you have many education options.
Most private schools do not require state or national certification of their teachers, so you may be able to get a teaching job by simply obtaining a bachelor's degree.
However, elementary school teacher salaries increase significantly with additional education, certification and experience. National Board certified elementary teachers with a master's degree in teaching can expect much more impressive compensation packages than beginner teachers with minimal education.