In the midst of debates on teacher pay, many teachers with a passion to change students' lives and contribute to the education of our next generation pursue teaching careers regardless of expected compensation. Their commitment is admirable. However, you might be surprised to learn that a high school teacher salary isn't as low as some would have you think.
Median Annual Middle School Teacher Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for secondary school teachers is $55,050. 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.
Teacher Benefits and Perks
A sometimes forgotten component of high school teacher salaries is the great benefits that teachers get for their hard work. Public secondary school teachers enjoy some of the most comprehensive benefits packages offered today. Good health and dental insurance as well as generous pension plans supplement the above-mentioned teacher salaries to comprise an attractive overall package.
In some areas, teacher shortages have districts vying for qualified candidates. These understaffed schools have been known to offer additional perks such as subsidized housing, continuing education credit and on-site childcare.
Hourly Salary Comparisons
Another factor to consider is the relatively short hours classroom teachers work in a typical year.
Secondary teachers work an average of over 500 hours less than typical full-time workers per year due to school breaks and vacation time, which means that you'll earn about $10 more per hour than a typical year-round worker who brings in the same paycheck.