What Impacts Teacher Salaries? [Infographic]

Does a high school teacher with a Ph.D. earn more than one without? Yes. How much more? See the answer below. PayScale reveals surprising facts about teacher pay.

See the methodology for the infographic below.

What Impacts Teacher Pay?

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Total Cash Compensation (TCC): TCC combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or value of other non-cash benefits, e.g. healthcare.

Median Pay: This is the 50th percentile of total cash compensation. Half the people doing the job earn more than the median, while half earn less. Teachers were grouped into three separate categories: elementary school teachers, secondary school teachers, and university teachers (professors). Median Pay was calculated both nationally and by metropolitan statistical area (MSA). (https://www.census.gov/population/metro/).

Note: In calculating the best-paying and worst-paying metro areas, only the 100 MSAs were considered, based on population estimates given by the United States Census Bureau on July 1, 2010. Private and public school median pay was examined for secondary school teachers nationally. The difference in pay was calculated by comparing the median pay for private school teachers to the median pay for public school teachers.

Job Satisfaction and Stress Grades: Satisfaction and stress grades are based on PayScale survey results. Respondents are asked to rank their job satisfaction and stress on a scale of 1-5. For each job title in our survey, average satisfaction and stress scores are then calculated. Scores for each job are then graded "on a curve," with the median score receiving a "C" letter grade. Half of all jobs receive a better grade, while half receive a lower grade. The choices for job satisfaction are as follows: 5 corresponds to "extremely satisfied,” 4 to "fairly satisfied," 3 to "a little satisfied," 2 to "dissatisfied," and 1 to "I hate my job." The choices for job stress are as follows: 5 corresponds to "extremely stressful," 4 to "fairly stressful," 3 to "a little stressful," 2 to "not stressful," and 1 to "my job is relaxing."

Teacher Pay by Subject Taught & Education Level: The difference in pay for teachers by subject taught and degree level was calculated by holding all factors that affect pay constant, except for those single variables. The various levels of education considered for this study were bachelor's degree, master's degree and Ph.D.

Percentage of Female Teachers: This is the percentage of survey respondents who indicated that they are female, out of all respondents who chose to indicate their gender.

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