Saturday, August 6, 2011

Average Salary: Bachelor's Degree vs. Masters in Teaching

If you work as a teacher then you know firsthand that there are certain things that really pay off. The more experience you have in the classroom the better adept you are at handling certain situations. You want to be the best that you can be at your career and you want to be able to offer a great deal to your students and the parents alike. This takes time, education, and experience and eventually it all flows together. No matter what you do to further your experience, there will come a time when you will be asked or consider furthering your education. Yes you can teach without a Masters degree but in this day and age it means you are not as competitive. Though it really varies quite significantly, there are certain things to consider as to if you want to pursue your Masters degree or not.

It Depends On Where You Teach

The single largest factor in determining how much more a teacher was paid if they pursued higher education was geographical area. In some states such as Hawaii, having a Masters degree could increase a teacher’s salary by almost $10,000 but this is most certainly not the norm. If a teacher wants to earn her living then she needs to consider the area that she teaches within. This has to do with an urban vs. rural setting and so much more. If the teacher has a large classroom, what her background is, and so much more. The biggest difference however is most definitely the geographical location that they teach in. This can show a rather large difference in pay with a Masters degree or minimal at best.

Averages Spelled Out

When you take a long hard look at what an average teacher can expect then you look at the averages as a whole. There are always better and worst case scenarios but overall, a teacher can expect to make about 5% more of her salary if she gets a Masters degree. In some areas with smaller budgets she may make about $4000 more a year and in other states it can show up as well more than 5%. It all depends on the starting salary and then how the range climbs from there. This is not a steady thing across the board because a starting salary for a teacher can range from about $25,000 to $41,000 depending on where they teach within. You will always see an increase in the salary earned, but the question of how much is based on the area you teach within.

Talk to Your School System

If you aren’t sure what to expect in terms of a salary increase when you obtain a Masters degree then just ask around. Many districts now make this a requirement and therefore have the increase posted for public knowledge. Other districts consider this a nicety and therefore will take it on an individual basis. It depends heavily on the area you teach, the number of kids in your class, the subject, the level, and the school system as a whole. Getting your Masters degree can always help but be sure that you know what to expect in terms of salary before you get started.


Mary M. Frederick blogs frequently about education and enjoys covering an array of topics regarding masters teaching degrees.