Are Today's Teachers Underpaid?

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. – Henry B. Adams

photo via The Canadian Teachers Federation website
Teachers today are part of one of the country’s largest career fields. They are, however, among some of the lowest paid professionals. Teacher Salaries can range on a variety of factors, but many of our nations schools are underfunded and overcrowded. Sadly, that makes this career choice less attractive to many of those who could potentially become highly qualified teachers.
There is hope – the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that salaries for qualified teachers in urban schools are on the rise. In addition to a large increase in education funding (especially for teachers in lower-income urban areas), some states have started programs to improve their early childhood education programs. This boost in funding is expected to increase interest in applicants for teaching jobs in impacted locations.

Although change may be coming, many agree that teachers aren’t always compensated for the long hours of work that follows them home every night. I remember one of my own teachers complaining to our class how she never seemed able to escape us, even in her sleep. A large number of teachers, even at community colleges, work part time, but don’t be fooled by the relatively few hours per week. Teachers have constant homework – grading tests, planning lessons, and other administrative coordinated tasks.
Becoming a highly qualified teacher is one way to ensure a fair paycheck and possibly even a bigger income. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “being deemed highly qualified means three things: having a bachelor’s degree, having full state certification, and proving knowledge of each subject taught.” These qualifications help to produce professional educators. A teacher eager to earn more might consider continuing their education either online or at a traditional campus school. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees granted in education has spiked steadily, which is one way to increase a teaching salary.