[Vision2020] Idaho Teachers Among Nation's Lowest Paid
pcnisbet1 at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 12 01:01:21 PDT 2005
Did anybody look at the hard numbers or is the thread simply pure
Idaho has 20,990 teachers in K-12.
Has 250,000 students in K-12. NEA
Entry wage for Idaho teachers 1-12 is $36,650. Lower figures are because
Preschool and Kindergarten teachers earn substantially less money on entry.
Further, general education, which includes other training and librarians,
audio visual people and the rest, make the general education average entry
salary $23, 358 a year.
Idaho teachers put in 1600 hours a year according to Idaho Labor. That
gives an entry level hourly wage of $22.91 an hour for Primary and Secondary
The following professions exceed teaching entry hourly wages;
Engineering Managers $30.62
Electronics Engineers $26.67
Mining Engineers $28.51
Nuclear Engineers $36.62
(Note that most engineers do not make an hourly wage at entry equal to the
pay of a teacher)
Atmospheric and Space Scientists $25.71
Entry level doctors of all stripes with wages after internships of $29-50
Power Plant operating engineers $25.78
Air Traffic Controllers $28.89
Transportation Inspectors $22.93
Other than for Engineers, teachers entry salaries are higher than for any
of the people in Sciences or even than entry level in the legal or business
The variation is that other professionals work year round, the bulk of entry
level jobs in the professions do hot have health benefits for the first two
years or vestment in retirement plans.
So other than for nine out of several hundred professions in Idaho, Teachers
are making better hourly wages. Their principle problem is the lack of a
year round work load, though this is compensated for by better benefits
packages than other entry level professional positions. And compared to the
$7.66 an hour average entry level wage for all workers in Idaho, they are
not doing badly.
It is of interest though, that Pre-school and kindergarten teachers, adult
Education teachers and a series of others make far less than the Primary and
Secondary teachers. It is they and the support personnel which move the
average entry level wage for all education down to an average of only
$23,000 a year.
Another post suggested that teachers making low entry level wages have to
stock their classrooms with useful items as part of their professional
obligations. As a geologist, I can plainly state that companies require
professional gear to be supplied by their hires, including appropriate work
clothes, professional associations and fees, continuing education and
conference attendance, work tools like hammers, compasses and the like, etc,
The actual disparity is more interesting. Other professionals end up with
higher wages in later life. Teaching positions have a maximum wage much
lower on either a yearly or an hour basis to other professions. So teachers
see less of an increase with years of experience than other professionals.
It may be noted that in other professions, the practitioners are not tenured
and are not covered by strong Unions, are very likely to move from job to
job frequently and are also likely to be moved from area to area within a
company framework, on the companys whim. There is a pay off for this less
stable work environment for other professionals, the brass ring and chance
to become a company owner or big company manager.
One of the troubles with suggesting that most teachers would want to move to
higher teaching wages in California or elsewhere is that the cost of living
in those other locations is much higher than here in Idaho. Even here in
Moscow, the average home price is less than half that in those higher wage
areas like California. An extra grand a month is not likely to convince
somebody to move to a place where they can not afford to purchase a home.
Now I will grant that when I was a child, teachers had one of the worst
professions on record. But now that I have looked at the statistics, what I
see is a good entry level wage for a median pretty stable professional job.
>From back in the days when there were 30-35 kids in a classroom, they seem
to have dropped down to a pupil/teacher ratio in schools of 15:1.
So the question is, should we simply pass on a blanket wage increase for all
of education? Or maybe we should be looking at selective wage increases to
bring teachers in Special Education, Pre-school and Kindergarten up in
wages? For that matter, how do we offer a better brass ring for teachers
toward the ends of their careers? How about increases in teacher annual pay
by keeping the doors open and allowing more teachers to work the summers in
PS I find it interesting that the IEA and the AFT use figures that are for
teachers which are a mix of the various portions of the teaching
profession and are not Primary and Secondary teaching jobs. They do
un-include some of the other lower paid educators, which is why they come up
with a figure a couple of grand higher per year, but the rest of the recent
AP article is skewed by comparing apples to oranges.
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