I’ve created this blog to help you understand how other careers’ pay will compare to your average teacher salary. Please note, this is just a general guide.
Your Starting Average Teacher Salary
If you have been in the workforce for more than five years, then you should not expect to take an entry-level job or a pay cut! Teachers’ salary compared to other professions is very low in the first few years of teaching.
Teacher Pay Compared To Other Professions
The EPI has found that teachers earn 19% less than similar skilled and educated professionals. Some positions may be a lateral move in pay, or not offer management responsibilities right away, but don’t expect to be the lowest man or woman on the totem pole! If you’ve invested many years into teaching and are higher up on the pay scale, it’ll take more effort, and you’ll need to be more strategic about your desired career paths. Shana landed a position as an HR trainer after 14 years in the classroom and did not take a pay cut using the methods in The Teacher Career Coach Course.
If you have less than five years in the workforce, most entry-level jobs are for 0-3 years of experience anyway, so you’ll probably be looking at more entry or junior level roles where they should be comparable, if not a little more! One amazing example is Ally, who landed a job as a curriculum writer using the materials in The Teacher Career Coach Course. She accepted a starting salary that was $30k higher than her teaching salary!
Taking A Pay Cut For Sanity: How Quickly Do You Need Out
Depending on your desperation level, you may opt for a position with a pay cut just for the peace of mind that you won’t be stuck returning to the next year. One teacher who started The Teacher Career Coach Course took a job within two weeks in a position as an office assistant for an electrical construction company. It was a pay cut, but she was desperate for anything due to concerns of how her district was addressing COVID. Pay cuts are never fun, but sometimes the pros and cons make them totally worth it. If you are taking a pay cut for your sanity it is worth it.
You won’t be stuck in a strict contract (so you can start applying to other positions throughout the entire year if you ever want to start moving on in that direction). She was ultimately so grateful to find *anything* before she was sent back to the classroom. She also explained she went from a 45-minute commute to a 7-minute commute, which made it worth it.
You’re probably not getting paid as much as you think.
Think of how many weeks you work (you can take out summers and holidays) on average per school year. How many hours do you work per week? Do you come in early, stay late for bus duty, grade papers and decorate the classroom on the weekends? Are you asked to stay late for Back to School nights, carnivals, parent-teacher conferences? How much do you work during your summers/holidays off?
Let’s say you work 39 weeks out of the year, with an average of 60 hours per week. That’s 2,340 hours you work annually. If your salary is $55,000, you’re getting paid $23 per hour. We’ll call teaching Job A. If you left for another position, let’s say Job B, would you make more hourly? If the salary is still $55,000 at Job B, but you work 8-hour shifts x 5 days a week, that equals 2,080 hours. In that case, the new wage is $26 an hour at Job B.
Here’s what struck me after I left: I could do so much with the 260 hours I regained if I took Job B. I could spend more time with my loved ones and enjoy life more. Or I could build additional income or start a passion project I’d been putting off. That leads me to the next point:
It’s easier to supplement your teacher’s salary with other opportunities when you have work-life balance.
After I left the classroom for a job as an educational consultant, I got a little stir crazy. I was used to working long hours and happy to take a pay cut for my sanity. This particular job gave me SO MUCH free time that within a few months, I already felt comfortable branching out and starting a few passion projects. I began my TPT store for primary resources, Kitten Approved Curriculum.
I currently make a few thousand dollars per month of passive income off my store, even though I am not currently working on it. I also started working on The Teacher Career Coach resources and course to support teachers looking to transition out of the classroom. I would never have had the time or energy to work on these projects if I was still in the classroom.
Next steps to a new career
One of the biggest mistakes that we see teachers make is that they try to navigate this process alone. Often, they put off “researching” until the very last minute. Which sets them up for a very stressful application season. I want to help you get some clarity in the options available to you. To know EXACTLY what you need to do (and not do) in order to get your foot in the door.
You don’t have to do this on your own.
With the help of an HR expert with over 10 years of experience and a team of former teachers, I’ve created a guide to support you in the early stages of your transition out of the classroom. Tap the button below to learn more.