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3.

PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT AND PAY


Teachers’ salaries

teachers’ salaries represent the largest share of expenditure


and investment in formal education and can have a great Methodology and definitions
impact on the structure of the teacher workforce and the
quality of teaching. the education sector competes with Statutory salaries refer to scheduled salaries
other sectors for the best-qualified employees. teachers’ according to official pay scales. the salaries reported
salaries may strongly influence graduates’ choice to join are gross (total sum paid by the employer before tax)
the teaching profession, and teachers’ choice to stay in less the employer’s contribution to social security and
their job. attractive teachers’ salaries hence help sustain pension (according to existing salary scales). they are
the supply of highly-skilled teachers in the face of an ageing for a full-time teacher with typical qualifications at
teacher workforce and/or a growing school-age population, the beginning of the teacher career, after 15 years of
and thus ensure that those with the greatest competencies teaching experience and at the maximum annual
for teaching choose their career path accordingly (oecD, salary (top of the scale). Statutory salaries as reported
2016). in this indicator must be distinguished from actual
In order to compare teachers’ salaries, the analysis has expenditures on wages by governments and from
to account for the type and level of education, whether teachers’ average salaries. moreover, this indicator is
primary, lower secondary or upper secondary school not directly comparable to the data on compensation
teachers. the data presented here compare the starting, of employees in central/federal government presented
mid-career and maximum statutory gross salaries of in this chapter.
lower secondary teachers with typical qualifications in Gross teachers’ salaries were converted to USD using
public institutions. the comparison comes with a caveat PPPs for private consumption from the OECD National
as international comparisons should consider that Accounts Statistics database.
statutory salaries are just one, albeit major, component teachers’ typical qualifications refer to the level
of teachers’ compensation. variations between countries of qualifications that teachers typically have (i.e.
in social benefits, both employers’ and employees’ social the qualifications held by the largest proportion of
contributions, differences in taxation as well as bonuses and teachers in a given year). the typical qualifications
allowances can result in differences in total compensation. may include certificates and qualifications obtained
moreover, teachers’ salaries have not been adjusted for while in the teaching profession that go beyond
differences in contractual working hours and holidays that minimum qualifications. the definition varies by
may be relevant for national and international comparisons. country. Please see Box D3.2 of Education at a Glance
Still, these data can provide an indication of differences in 2016 for further details.
the returns to teaching experience in oecD countries.
the relative salary indicator is taken from table
teachers’ salaries increase with their level of experience. D3.2b of Education at a Glance 2016 (online). teachers’
on average, teachers’ annual statutory salaries in oecD salaries represent statutory salaries after 15 years of
countries after 15 years of experience are at 44,407 USD work experience. earnings for workers with tertiary
in 2014. there are great differences in salaries across education are average earnings for full-time, full-year
countries: in luxembourg, teachers earn about 113,000 USD workers aged 25-64 with an education at ISceD 5/6/7
per year, while they earn less than 20,000 USD in Hungary, or 8 level.
the czech republic and the Slovak republic. Statutory
salary increases for teachers throughout their career also
vary considerably. While the difference between salaries
at the bottom and the top of the scale is about 58,000 USD Further reading
in luxembourg possible increases in teachers’ salaries are
below 10,000 USD in norway, Denmark, the Slovak republic, oecD (2016), Education at a Glance 2016: OECD Indicators,
turkey and the czech republic. oecD, Paris. DoI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2016-en.
In oecD countries with available data, teachers are paid
on average 91% of the earnings of employees with tertiary
education. In seven oecD countries, teachers’ salaries are Figure notes
higher than the earnings of tertiary-educated workers, with
Belgium is presented as Belgium (Fr) and Belgium (Fl). the United
mexico being the front-runner, where teachers’ salaries are Kingdom is presented as england and Scotland. Data are actual
74% higher. Salaries for teachers are virtually the same base salaries for the United States.
as for tertiary-educated workers in Greece, Germany and 3.27: Data not available for estonia, Iceland and latvia, and for salary
Switzerland. Salaries are lower than the tertiary educated after 15 years of experience for Switzerland. Data are actual base
average wage for teachers in 21 oecD countries. For example, salaries for 2013 for Sweden.
in the Slovak republic and the czech republic teachers are 3.28: Data not available for estonia, Iceland, Japan, latvia and Sweden.
paid less than half of the earnings of employees with a Data are for 2013 rather than 2014 for Finland and France.
tertiary degree. Information on data for Israel: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888932315602.

112 Government at a Glance 2017 © oecD 2017


3. PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT AND PAY
Teachers’ salaries

3.27. Teachers’ statutory salaries, based on typical qualifications, in lower secondary education
in public institutions (2014)
Salary after 15 years of experience Salary at top of scale Starting salary
USD PPPs
160 000

140 000

120 000

100 000

80 000

60 000

40 000

20 000

0
X
U
D
N

L
S
K
BE N
B E F l.)
r.)

)
L
CD

)
N

T
E
N

A
EX

A
R
R

L
L
C
N

E
K

E
BR

BR
IR

CH
PO
PR

CH
NZ

CZ
AU

SW

IT
ES

GR
AU
DN
LU

US

SV
FR
FI
DE

IS
TU
KO

la NO

HU
NL

JP
CA

SV
(F

M
OE
(

(G

(G
L
L

nd
an
gl

ot
En

Sc

Source: OECD (2016), Education at a Glance 2016: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2016-en.
12 http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933532504

3.28. Ratio of teachers’ salaries to the earnings of tertiary-educated workers (2014)


2

0
N
E

)
S

D
CD

L
l.)
C

N
EX

)
BE L
r.)

E
R
BR

BR
an CH

NZ

IR

CH

PO
PR

CZ
IT

AU
GR
ES

AU

DN
LU

US

SV
FR
FI
TU

DE

IS
KO

NO

HU
NL
SV
CA

(F

(F
M

OE
(G

(G
L

L
BE
d

nd
la
gl

ot
En

Sc

Source: OECD (2016), Education at a Glance 2016: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2016-en.
12 http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933532523

Government at a Glance 2017 © oecD 2017 113


From:
Government at a Glance 2017

Access the complete publication at:


https://doi.org/10.1787/gov_glance-2017-en

Please cite this chapter as:

OECD (2017), “Teachers' salaries”, in Government at a Glance 2017, OECD Publishing, Paris.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1787/gov_glance-2017-35-en

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