Economic Snapshot | Inequality and Poverty

Teacher salaries don’t make the grade

A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Snapshot for December 5, 2001.

Teacher salaries don’t make the grade
It is well known that the upcoming retirement of the baby boomers will create short-term labor shortages in many occupations. Some professions will have no problem filling their positions because they are prestigious and well paid. Teaching is not one of those professions.

The figure below shows the ratio of teachers’ salaries relative to various other professions requiring a college degree, all of which make more than an average teacher. The figure also shows that the situation for teachers has been getting worse over time, with the gap between the salaries of teachers and other professions growing increasingly wider over the past 10 years. Comparing average starting salaries for college graduates reveals similar disparities: education majors are offered the lowest starting salaries of any major, coming in approximately $8,000 below the salary of the next lowest-paid major (liberal arts).

Comparing teacher salaries to other occupations, 1990-99

This week’s Snapshot by EPI economist Doug Harris.

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