Ever met a teacher making over $138,000 a year? Maybe you should talk to educators in Luxembourg, where the starting salary of lower secondary teachers is $79,000 in equivalent US Dollars. Teachers in Luxembourg earn 30% more than any other teacher in the world, with a starting salary that exceeds nearly every other nation’s maximum teacher salary. By sharp contrast at the bottom of this chart, teachers in Estonia reach their maximum earning potential at just over $17,000 a year.
Other big players in the teaching world are Germany and Denmark, who take home near their maximum earning potential with their starting salary. Teachers in Canada, the United States, and New Zealand reach their maximum salary towards the end of their career and achieve close to their top salary after fifteen years experience. At the bottom of the scale, Mexican teachers earn only 30% of their earning potential with their starting salary.
We took the global teacher salary data and compared it to the number of teaching hours worked annually for the same countries to find out which teachers were working the most for their pay. Not surprisingly, Luxembourg teachers are paid the most for their hours worked. The other end of the scale however is more interesting, showing that teachers in Colombia, Chile, Mexico, and the United States spend more time teaching than any other country.Colombia ranks the highest for the most hours spent teaching at 1200 hours per year, surprising given the relatively low compensation of Colombian teachers. It is important to note that this is number of hours spent teaching, and does not include additional teaching duties such as prep time, extracurriculars, or additional student aid time.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) compiled the presented data in the 2015 report Education at a Glance. The 2013 salary data for teacher salaries is adjusted for cost of living using the Purchasing Power Parity Index (PPP) and converted into equivalent US Dollars. The statutory salaries presented do not include bonuses, vacation pay, sick-leave pay, or other additional work-related payments.