What Primary Teachers Make

Primary education is regarded as the most important phase in a child’s academic pursuit because that is where the foundation is laid.


According to the BLS, kindergarten teachers in the United States earned an average of $48,800 per year in 2010 (the most recent year for which statistics are available). The lowest-paid 10 percent earned $31,720, whereas the highest paid 10 percent of kindergarten teachers earned $76,490. Elementary school teachers (with the exception of special education teachers) earned an average salary of $51,660 in 2010, with the lowest 10 percent earning $34,390 and the highest ten percent earning $80,140.

So what causes all these variations in salary? Here are six factors that can affect average salaries for primary school teachers.

1. Years of experience influence teacher salaries

Primary school teachers salaries can very based on how many years of experience they have devoted to their education careers. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), in the 2007-08 school year, teachers with one year of experience earned an average salary of $38,200; teachers with five years’ experience earned $42,800; and teachers who’d taught for 15 years earned $55,000 .

2. Primary school teacher salaries can vary by specialty

Primary school special education teachers — who work with primary students with mental, physical, learning and emotional disabilities — made an average annual salary of $52,520 in 2010. This ranged from an average salary of $35,580 for the lowest 10 percent to an average salary of $83,410 for the highest-paid 10 percent.

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3. Teacher salaries depend on level of education

As is true for many other professions, teacher with advanced degrees tend to earn more money than those with undergraduate educations. The NCES reports these average annual salaries for teachers in the 2007-08 school year:

  • Teachers with a bachelor degree: $43,600
  • Teachers with a master’s degree: $54,800
  • Teachers with an education specialist degree: $54,400
  • Teachers with a doctorate degree: $59,200

4. Primary school teacher salaries can vary by U.S. city and state

Where you teach also affects teacher salaries. According to US News and World Report, five cities in the United States had the highest salaries for primary school teachers in 2010:

  • Nassau, New York, with an average salary of $86,440
  • Waterbury, Connecticut, with an average salary of $76,640
  • Kingston, New York, with an average salary of $72,460
  • Bethesda, Maryland, with an average salary of $72,260
  • San Diego, California, with an average salary of $71,480

5. Schools’ geographical region and community

In addition to the city or state a teacher works in, the region and community they serve can also affect their salary. For example, the NCES Schools and Staffing Survey reported that in the 2011-12 school year, teachers made an average of $58,500 in suburban schools and $47,100 in rural schools.

6. Teacher salaries in private vs. public primary schools

Teachers at public primary schools generally fare better economically than those teaching at private schools. According to the NCES, in 2010, the average public school teacher earned $49,620, while the average teacher at a private primary school earned an average of just $39,690.

The salaries for primary school teachers in the Philippines are not adequate.

The problem is that there are too many teachers for the number of schools and students, so the salary has to be low. The government should help by providing more schools and hiring more teachers, but they haven’t done this yet.

There are not enough schools because they cost a lot of money to build and maintain. In addition, there are not enough teachers because they have to have a degree in education as well as experience working with children before they can teach at a school. So this is another reason why there aren’t enough schools!

There is also no incentive for them to go into teaching because there isn’t any pay raise after five years of service; it’s only based on how long you’ve been teaching without getting fired or resigning from your job due to personal reasons like family emergencies or health problems (that’s what happened with me).


Yes – primary teachers are significantly underpaid for their level of education and responsibility. They have a positive impact on our future generation and that should be worth something to all of us.

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