Our teachers are getting very underpaid

Comparing teachers salary worldwide

For example comparing to teachers in Finland, American teachers are underpaid. If we wanted to raise the salaries of American school teachers to the expected level which has seen in Finland, we’d need to require at least a 10 percent raise for primary school teachers, and at least a 15 percent raise in lower secondary, and a 28 percent raise for high school teachers.

How should we compare salaries

But what do you think the is the right way to make worldwide comparisons of teacher salaries? The answer solely depends on why and how you think salaries are important.

From your perspective, you may think it’s because someone with a certain amount of qualifications should totally deserve a certain level of pay, or perhaps it may be some reasonable level of fairness or equity. To an economist, the concluded result is that it’s rather different: you want to pay enough to attract really good human beings to become teachers in the first place and for them to remain in teaching rather than them opting out for a different career.

What this means is that the right way to compare across nations is to examine at how teachers pay within the country is in comparison to alternative careers that a person may want to consider deciding a career path to become a teacher. The concluded summary is: That other countries around the world make teaching a more financially attractive career for college graduates than we do in the US.

Money isn’t a big factor

These statistics are facts. However they allow me to predict a certain response to these facts: Money is not necessarily a motivation factor for teachers, why they teach is because they love to teach and educate people. Often this statement is true.

On that note, I have however noticed that the people who state that teachers teach solely for a desire for their passion and they are quite often themselves very good at teaching. It is hard to imagine someone who teaches well who doesn’t get along and like their pupils.

However, it can be very easy to imagine, many potential teachers who would love their students just as much who had made a decision to pursue a teaching career to bring beneficiaries to the table for their family.

Money isn’t everything

Money is not necessarily the only factor that will determine someone’s career choice. Prestige and working conditions are all important factors to take in too.

Finland pays out a decent salary to teachers who are found to be a lot better than the U.S teachers. The prestige attached to being a teacher there is enormously higher.

In conclusion, my assumption is that being a teacher has both more prestige and better-working conditions in other well-developed first world countries than here in the US.