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Is a teacher salary enough for a person?

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Charlotte’s Answer

It depends on what state and county you are working and what the cost of living is. You need to check this out as it does vary across the country. In my state, there is a base teachers wage which then may be supplemented by the county or district ( public schools). I have known teachers who commute to other counties and have their home where the cost of living is lower. Plus, there may be additional supplements based upon other tasks you may take on. That said, some locations are very poorly paid whereas others are quite decently paid especially when compared to the time worked vs time off. For instance, most teachers get 3-4 paid weeks off during the school year not including any sick leave or summers ( which are typically non-paid unless a program exists that allows you to average your paycheck to cover 12 months .)Most other professions only get 2 weeks off per year unless they have been at the same job for a significant period of time, usually well over 5 years.

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Linda’s Answer

Hi Kyle - Thanks for your great question. Without knowing you, we cannot really answer it. As suggested in other responses, research salaries and cost of living.

In my area, public school teachers make more than private school teachers. My niece is a teacher. When she got her first teaching job, the school district paid for her Masters tuition and then she automatically got a raise because she attained her Master's degree.

While the salary and cost of living are external forces, your lifestyle is the one factor you can control. I think if you live within your means, you should do well on a public school teacher's salary. And, if it is not enough, you can pick up another job during the summer to supplement.

Best wishes!

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Nisha’s Answer

Hi Kyle,

That depends on factors such as:

  • The cost of living in the state where you live and the salary being paid by districts in said state
  • The financial needs of the individual

When I was a teacher here in Texas, the salary was sufficient for me as a single person with a small apartment or a small rental home. However, I think I would have struggled financially if I were a single parent without there being any additional income being brought into the household (like some of my former co-workers). I pursued a career in a different field that pays more (IT Networking), but I miss working with students often.

Nisha recommends the following next steps:

Research teacher salaries from districts in a state where you are interested in living
Research the cost of living in the state where you are interested in living and teaching (rent, property taxes, is there a state income tax etc)

I would add that it depends on your standard of living. Are you a person who HAS to a luxury car and designer clothes? Or are you cool with Old Navy and a bike - or maybe something in-between? In my experience, a teacher salary is a great, middle income salary. And, if you work in a public school it is likely that the teachers are unionized. This helps guarantee regular salary increases and the longer you are on the job. Gretchen Kinder

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Jerin’s Answer

Dear Kyle,

Thanks for your question.

I think it depends on your spending habits. If you want to live a life without spending too much and you are good at saving your money, then the salary is good. It also ensures you have a good pension so its overall nice to be a teacher.

More than anything else being a teacher gives you an immense amount of satisfaction of being able to share your knowledge with the future generations . It is the one of those jobs that provides you with much required work life balance . There are a lot of holidays that you can enjoy which other jobs don't give you.

If you look at the overall quality of a teacher, its good. Its better than most other jobs.

Hope this helps.

Thanks and Regards,

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Christina’s Answer

Hi Kyle, I agree with the answer above. Additionally, many counties will pay significantly more if you continue studying and take other classes. In some cases this may mean getting your Master's Degree, and in others it may mean pursuing National Board certification. While it requires additional work, it could translate to many thousands more each year - which could be the difference between your salary as a teacher working for you. Check you local county's website as the pay scales should be public information, and they often list out how pay increases with additional education.

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Julie’s Answer

It depends on many factors. First of all, you get paid more based on your level of education. If you have a Master's degree, you get paid more than if you have a Bachelor's degree. Also, cost of living where you live is a factor. If you make $50,000 a year, it will go further in Florida than in NYC or San Francisco.

Julie recommends the following next steps:

Research average teacher salaries in different states/communities
Research cost of living where you would like to live/teach