Top 5 ways to increase your pay as a TEACHER Underpaid, Under pressure & Undervalued?

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Education is a powerful weapon which teachers use to change the world

A friend of mine is an elementary teacher and honestly, I hear her say these words so many times! Underpaid, under pressure and undervalued. When we feel we are underpaid, feelings of undervalue and lack of motivation usually follow. 

Feeling this way has become the norm for her and sadly this is how she feels every day. YET she loves her job. She loves TEACHING and she LOVES her students.

So, is it a case of just suck it up in the name of the greater good or is there something she can do to change her circumstances without changing her job?

If you choose a career in teaching, you clearly LOVE to teach. It’s your passion, your calling in LIFE. After all, it is one of the hardest jobs out there, looking after other people’s kids every day is not for the faint-hearted. 

It is why I feel so passionate about the subject! These guys are teaching my kids - right?

Government VS Pay

When you are paid by the state department you may feel there is little you can do to fight your corner. Budget restrictions, bureaucracy, and different state legislations all seem to conspire against you.

The reality is there will always be some limitations on how you are compensated when you go into teaching, however that does not mean you cannot maximize your earning potential.

The numbers don’t LIE

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I love a good statistic or two! There is nothing like the harsh realities of numbers to really open your eyes to the TRUTH.

As I have said, if you teach, it’s generally because you want to give something back to society in some way. Amazingly ninety-six percent of postsecondary teachers reported high job satisfaction. That's second only to the clergy for job satisfaction (Amen). Their earnings also hover around clergy level: $43,600 median pay for postsecondary teachers, and $46,600 for clergy. No point to be made here, just stating an interesting fact.

More than 80 percent of Kindergarten teachers, middle school teachers and secondary school teachers feel their job is making a difference, but can you believe all earn less than $45,000 per year?

I am not saying this is poverty level salary but the average household income in the states is $53,046, so teachers may not be earning peanuts, remember these guys are educating the leaders of the future.

Are you a good INVESTMENT?

Teachers INVEST (borrow, loan, save) a lot of dollars and time to achieve their teaching qualifications. Most of the time they know they are investing in a career that pays little. 

It’s almost like buying your KID a fancy new toy for them to only play with the cardboard box it came in! Is it wasted money or an expensive box?

Compare teaching with other jobs that pay more with a similar degree, like a database facilitator who typically earns $69,626 or a software engineer who will earn around $77,982 and you can see my POINT.

Here come the GIRLS

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When it comes to WOMEN teachers; well, yep you guessed it, we get a rough deal BUT down to our own making!

From a young age, women are taught to value giving back to the world, instead of to their own bottom line, and choose their career accordingly. This results in a female-dominated occupation that continues to pay relatively low wages. FACT.

It is one of the reasons why the teaching profession is heavily female dominated. Ninety-seven percent of kindergarten and 85 percent of elementary school teachers are women. They value giving something back to society higher than the paycheck.

Think outside the CLASSROOM

Why not use all of YOUR knowledge and education to increase your earnings? 
Not to repeat myself but you need to WAKE UP to the harsh realities of state-paid positions. There is only so much BUCK to go around.

Considering earning potentials outside the classroom is a lucrative and smart way of increasing your paycheck and here are my TOP 5 ways you can increase your pay!

1. Private tutoring
If you love to teach, this is a no-brainer. Use your school vacation and weekends to work with students one to one. You can choose the hours you wish to invest and work it around your lifestyle. Carry out some research and approach a couple of students or their parents. If you don’t ASK you don’t GET. 

2. Learn another language
Did you know a bilingual teacher can earn up to $5k per year more than an English only speaking teacher? The number of non-English speaking students is forecasted to rise over the next few years, so why not get ahead of the game, dust down that Spanish CD in the SUV and get learning - Gracias!

3. Work your way up the ladder! (And not the one in the sports hall either)
Do you dream of hearing the words “Yes Principal”? Well snag yourself a masters degree in education administration and apply for a principal position. Principals of elementary, middle and high schools could earn up to $87,760/year. 

4. Speak at Conferences and Events.
Why not share your knowledge with others and get paid for it?! If you can find your niche in an industry with a high demand for speakers you could see yourself earning between $1,000 and $4,000 per day! Public speaking is not for everyone, but if you see yourself as the next Zig Ziglar then this could be for you.

5.  MOVE
OK, so this may seem extreme, but if your situation allows then why not move to another state where you KNOW teachers are paid more? Could you see yourself living life in the Big Apple or the Sunshine state of California? Moving could be a great chance to start somewhere new. For instance, the following states have the highest paid teachers (just be aware of your day to day living costs may also change, so be smart when making the decision to move!): 

New York $76,680
New Jersey $72,790
California $72, 670
Alaska $72,120
Massachusetts $71,000

Educating the Educated

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If you need a hand with finding your way through the world of increasing your earning potential or even if you JUST want to speak to me about improving your resume for that next teaching position. 

GET in touch: [email protected]

 

Olivia Jaras