Based upon yearly income, elementary school teacher is the worst paying of all college degrees. While I believe that teachers are underpaid, I am also quick to remind colleagues that teachers work about 185 days a year, whereas most professionals (and perhaps all other professionals) work 240-250 days a year.
If an elementary school teacher earning $33,000 a year (the national average) went from 185 to 250 working days in a year, he or she would probably be earning an average salary in the neighborhood of $45,000.
Still not enough considering the importance of the job and level of ongoing education required (it costs more for a teacher to become licensed in the state of Connecticut than it does an attorney), but enough to get the elementary teaching profession out of the top five worst paying of all college degrees and into the top paying jobs without a college degree.
I love teaching and cannot imagine doing anything else, but when I see these income statistics and continue to write checks for education loans that I am still paying as a result of the Master’s degree that was required in order to keep teaching, I have to wonder what the hell I was thinking.