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U.S. Teachers Earn Significantly Less Than Similarly-Educated Workers in Comparison to Other Countries

U.S. Teachers Earn Significantly Less Than Similarly-Educated Workers in Comparison to Other Countries

Although U.S. teachers typically earn a higher starting salary than teachers in other OECD countries, they earn significantly less than similarly-educated workers.

The information, revealed in the latest Education at a Glance report from OECD, indicates that U.S. teachers’ salaries are “between 57 percent and 61 percent of the average salaries of similarly educated workers in the United States. After Chile and the Czech Republic, this is the lowest among all OECD countries with available data for the lower secondary teachers (60 percent).”

When compared specifically to engineering, manufacturing and construction workers, the report found that U.S. citizens who studied teacher preparation and education science earned 61 percent less. The wage gap is significantly smaller between these professions and teachers on an international level; the OECD average is 23 percent.

Despite this staggering wage gap, U.S. teachers are still required to work longer hours on average when compared to their international peers.

The U.S. net teaching time, according to the report, is 981 hours compared to the OECD average of 694 hours.

On a positive note, the report found that the U.S. contains a “well-balanced” age distribution of teachers. When compared to countries where “the teaching profession is clearly [aging],” age distribution of U.S. teachers has been stable for years. The OECD report says this distribution helps boost “diversity in experience and skills and smooth transitions between generations of teachers.”

Read more about the OECD report’s findings here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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