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#1
I'm watching the show Breaking Bad, good series if you haven't heard about it. Basically it's about a high school chemistry teacher who gets lung cancer and decides to use his chemistry knowledge to make meth to make the money he and his family needs.

In one episode he states the he makes about $46,000 a year as a high school teacher. I found that pretty low for a high school teacher! I'm from Canada and I can recall from highschool some teachers say they're starting pay was about $40,000. Also my dad has been teaching for over 20 years and he makes almost double that.

So do American highschool teachers really make that little or was that just part of the show?
#2
It depends on the high school and the area of the country, but that's a pretty normal amount. Its not a very high paying job around these parts.
#3
Little? In spain they make about 30.000$ a year... which is like 22.000-24.000€
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#5
They really make that little. They honestly do it more for the love of the job than the money. Like, teachers at my school even admit that they don't make enough money to live in our school district, which is why they all have to drive from like 45 minutes away. They still live comfortably but don't make a LOT.

Side note: Dumpster truck workers make more because nobody wants that job. Random fun fact.
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#6
Damn that really sucks. They dont even get good health benefits do they? Well atleast in the show because he had to pay for his own cancer treatment.
#7
NHS ain't too bad.
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#8
The pay teachers make is usually pretty bad unless they get a higher rank then a teacher like a principal or a higher uni degree. One of the teachers at my school teaches about 4-5 classes and is my grade co-ordinator since he has a masters in teaching so he makes around 70k a year but my maths teacher teaches multiple advanced maths classes but makes less then 50k. And those figures are in AUD so its a lot less in US dollars
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#9
My sister is teaching in Albany and making around $38,000.
But where I live, they make about $45,000 at entry level.

Edit:Also, there is a gym teacher in my old school that makes over $90k a year.
That's right, and he gets paid to come in, wear sweats to school and drink coffee all day.
Last edited by me_llamo_juan at Sep 23, 2010,
#10
That sounds about right to me, it may even be lower. Teachers are taken for granted in this country. The whole education system... *shudder*
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#11
In Norway, teachers earn approx. $55k a year as starting in the later year. That's after taxes have taken it's toll.

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Last edited by sfaune92 at Sep 23, 2010,
#12
One of our Physical Ed teachers got his PHD..in what Im not sure, but he gets over 100k to tell kids to play doge ball while he sits in his office..All the other teachers hate him.
#13
They don't get paid enough, one of my teachers has a newspaper clipping up on our wall which completely shits over the sometimes held belief that teachers are babysitters, and it does the calculations and if they were babysitting that amount of children for that amount of time they should be earning so many times more. It's hard to explain. but it was pretty funny when I first saw it.
#14
They don't get paid much, and a lot of times have to pay for things in the classroom themselves, such as books and supplies. Teachers at my school sometimes have this thing where you get extra credit for bringing in copy paper and Kleenex. Teachers get supplies for free, students get extra points for very little. They also have a lot of time taken up by their work, my Bio teacher says he hardly ever gets time with his family, and from about 4 AM to midnight he's mostly working on school stuff. Obviously, not all of them have it that bad, it depends on how many subjects you teach, because that's a lesson plan for each class per day.

But a lot of the PARA's have it worse. They get paid even less than teachers (my mother is one and could qualify for government support) to deal with SPED kids all day, ranging from just ADD children to real trouble makers, and tend to be among the first to receive pay and hour cuts.
Last edited by schwinginbatman at Sep 23, 2010,
#15
American high school teachers make peanuts dude.

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#16
You guys act like that 30-45k isn't a lot of money. If you learn to live inside your means and not waste your money and useless junk and new houses/vehicles all the time, it's a decent amount of money. Try living on your own making min wage for only 20 hours a week. That aint a lot of money.
#17
Quote by sickstring11
You guys act like that 30-45k isn't a lot of money. If you learn to live inside your means and not waste your money and useless junk and new houses/vehicles all the time, it's a decent amount of money. Try living on your own making min wage for only 20 hours a week. That aint a lot of money.

Add the following to most teachers:
-Student loans
-Car payment, insurance
-House payment (not rent)
-Health insurance if their state package is garbage (likely)
-In many cases, kids

30-45k ain't much when you put things in perspective.

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#18
Quote by sickstring11
You guys act like that 30-45k isn't a lot of money. If you learn to live inside your means and not waste your money and useless junk and new houses/vehicles all the time, it's a decent amount of money. Try living on your own making min wage for only 20 hours a week. That aint a lot of money.


I thought the same thing for a second, but factor in student loans/car loans/mortgage and possibly a family, and it's not so great after all. I would live more than comfortably on it being single and low-maintenance, but for a family, eh.

edit: ^ what he said health is a big one too that I forgot, and yes, their benefits are lousy.
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#19
Quote by blu_flame34
I thought the same thing for a second, but factor in student loans/car loans/mortgage and possibly a family, and it's not so great after all. I would live more than comfortably on it being single and low-maintenance, but for a family, eh.

edit: ^ what he said health is a big one too that I forgot, and yes, their benefits are lousy.

Well, I'm a student on his 4th year in college, with car payments. And 650 a month for rent is more than most people's mortgage. So even with a house payment and a family, 45k is still a comfortable living.
#20
Quote by sickstring11
Well, I'm a student on his 4th year in college, with car payments. And 650 a month for rent is more than most people's mortgage. So even with a house payment and a family, 45k is still a comfortable living.


Are you sure? Imagine the extra food/groceries to buy- double or triple what you're paying, and of course if it's a baby it's even more expensive since baby food is the most expensive kind of food and diapers are not cheap either- your rent/mortgage would be higher because it would be a larger place- plus health, car incidentals.

I'm a single 21 year old, of course I could live on 30-45K. With a family, not so much.
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I'd rather post a chat up line with an escape route in case it starts going wrong.

"Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?"

*girl looks unimpressed*

"Because it looks like you landed on your face."
#21
Quote by blu_flame34
Are you sure? Imagine the extra food/groceries to buy- double or triple what you're paying, and of course if it's a baby it's even more expensive since baby food is the most expensive kind of food and diapers are not cheap either- your rent/mortgage would be higher because it would be a larger place- plus health, car incidentals.

I'm a single 21 year old, of course I could live on 30-45K. With a family, not so much.

Sure for a family of 5 babies or having kids in college it's not a hell of a lot of money, but if you have kids you probably have a husband/wife bringing in a second income. I manage to scrape by on less than 10k a year, by making minimal purchases and having a budget plan. And I know a single parent can support a family of 3 with all the extra payments on under 30k, my girlfriend's sister is that exact situation. Either way you look at it, 45k is a respectable amount of money.
#22
Wow they don't even supply teachers with everything they need? My dad buys whatever he needs for class and as long as he gives them the receipt, they pay him back.

Also since we're in Canada we already have health insurance. Plus my dads benefits means I get free eye checkups\glasses (even prescription sunglasses, I got prescription Raybands sunglasses for free under his benefits lol) also dental care.
#23
I heard that they get paid in 2nd graders
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#24
My teacher's never made a lot of money. One was actually kind of a friend to me and my friends back in high school, and after school we'd go chill in her room and just talk while waiting for after school stuff to get started. She told us that a teacher's salary was awful, that to live in our area, they needed a double income, even for a standard-sized middle class house. This was about 30-40 minutes outside of Washington DC in Virginia. Fairfax County to be precise.
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#28
Quote by sickstring11
Sure for a family of 5 babies or having kids in college it's not a hell of a lot of money, but if you have kids you probably have a husband/wife bringing in a second income. I manage to scrape by on less than 10k a year, by making minimal purchases and having a budget plan. And I know a single parent can support a family of 3 with all the extra payments on under 30k, my girlfriend's sister is that exact situation. Either way you look at it, 45k is a respectable amount of money.

You said your rent is $650/mo? That's $7800/year. You're meaning to tell me you eat, drive, have a phone, pay bills, replace things that break, replace clothes, and all the other intangibles, on about $185 a month? Jesus America Christ, where do you live that's so cheap and how can I move there?

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#29
Welcome to capitalism. If it doesn't earn someone money it's worthless. If you are really interested in academia move to Europe or Canada.
#30
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Also my dad has been teaching for over 20 years and he makes almost double that.


He's bullshitting you hardcore.
No normal high school teacher makes 90,000$ a year.
#31
Quote by Nilpferdkoenig
He's bullshitting you hardcore.
No normal high school teacher makes 90,000$ a year.


In some countries they do, and without having to be anything more than just a normal teacher. Pay goes up each year where I am so there's plenty of older teachers who make more than younger, more senior ones.
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#32
Quote by gatechballer
They really make that little. They honestly do it more for the love of the job than the money. Like, teachers at my school even admit that they don't make enough money to live in our school district, which is why they all have to drive from like 45 minutes away. They still live comfortably but don't make a LOT.

Side note: Dumpster truck workers make more because nobody wants that job. Random fun fact.



How could ANYONE love being a high school teacher?
#33
Quote by BurningStarlV
How could ANYONE love being a high school teacher?


This^ kinda

The vast majority of teachers aren't doing it because they love teaching, they're doing it because they have nothing else they want to/can do with their education.
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#35
it all depends on the school and the area. my dad has been teaching for ~30 years and he makes $60k a year at his school. i believe starting salary there is ~$40k. if he went and taught downstate near NYC or out on long island, he could probably make ~$80-90k a year. but then again living expenses downstate are alot higher so it would tend to even out.

as a whole, high school teachers are grossly underpaid, but they do get alot of time off as compensation. not many jobs give you two months of vacation time a year plus holidays, when youre just starting out. although they do go unpaid during the summer months so that tends to even out too.


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I'm not going to feel too sorry for them with those kinds of salaries.


no, but im going to feel sorry for the students when the high school teaching position rarely attracts the highest caliber of teacher. any 'serious' teacher is going to go in at the college level, and most other talented individuals are going to go into other fields of work entirely because the teaching salary is so low.
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Last edited by NoLaurelTree000 at Sep 23, 2010,
#36
Quote by ApeWeevil
This^ kinda

The vast majority of teachers aren't doing it because they love teaching, they're doing it because they have nothing else they want to/can do with their education.

Hence people who get degrees in education, of course?

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#37
that's straight up bullshit, starting prices are around that amount but once they get certified and have worked for 10+ years the can double their salaries. My english teacher was making a minimum of 70k a year and he had like 30k in variables. My Math teacher was head of the math department and he brought in like 120k a year
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#38
My dad was a health/physical ed. teacher for K-12. He said he made something like $78k before taxes.
Of course, this was after 30-odd years between three or four schools.

He's retired now.
Not that he didn't deserve to retire, but with budget cuts, he lost family coverage for health insurance alongside premium increases... something we kind of desperately need.
#39
Teachers in my district start at $38K, then get a $10K increase once they reach tenure in 5 years. Luckily, it's a low cost of living in Indiana. Also, they get crazy awesome health/dental/eye care benefits.
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#40
It depends on what state you're in, the school district, how long you have been teaching, your tenure with the school, when you get your Master's degree. It's decent money for 9 months of work, but it's one of the lowest paying jobs for people with Bachelor's degrees, alongside boom or bust type jobs. It really is underpaid considering it's the backbone of society. Think about it. Your accountants and lawyers and doctors who get crazy good income would be nothing without the education they got from their teachers.

I want to be a high school teacher, but I'm willing to make mediocre pay because it's something I want to do.
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