Humanities Indicators
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K-12 Education  >  Primary- and Secondary-School Faculty
 
Earnings of Humanities Teachers in Public Schools
(Updated October 2017)

For public school teachers in the U.S., seniority is much more determinative of earnings than subject taught.[1] Because precollegiate teaching salaries are so closely tied to years served, public school teacher earnings data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Teacher and Principal Survey are presented here by career stage, with the earnings of new teachers compared to those of both midcareer teachers and educators with three decades or more of classroom experience.

Findings and Trends

  • For the 2015–2016 academic year, the median earnings of precollegiate humanities teachers (base salary, as well as payment for extracurricular activities and other services to their school system) were approximately $54,000 (in current dollars; all earnings values given here are rounded to the nearest $100; Indicator I-11). In comparison, the median earnings of all year-round full-time workers age 25+ and holding at least a bachelor’s degree were $67,600. Notably, given that humanities education at the precollegiate level is female-dominated (as described in Indicator I-10b), women’s earnings were $57,200.[2]
  • For those teachers who were new to the profession (0–5 years of service), median earnings were $44,000. Among the most seasoned teachers (those with 30 or more years of service), median earnings were $66,900.
  • More experienced teachers had a greater range of earnings. The difference between the 25th percentile and 75th percentile earnings of middle- and late-career teachers was almost twice as large as that for new personnel. This difference is attributable, at least in part, to the higher proportion of experienced teachers holding advanced degrees.
I-11: Earnings of Public School Humanities Teachers (Primary and Secondary), by Years of Teaching Service, 2015–2016*

* Includes regular full-time teachers. Earnings include base salary, as well as payment for extracurricular activities and other services provided to the school or larger school system (the latter includes merit pay bonuses, state supplements, etc.).

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Teacher and Principal Survey, “Public School Teacher Data File,” 2015–16. Data analyzed by NCES staff at the request of the Humanities Indicators (with special thanks to Maura Spiegelman at NCES for her generous assistance). Data presented by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (www.humanitiesindicators.org).

About this DataRelated Indicators
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Endnotes

[1] Median earnings of humanities teachers were very similar in 2015–2016 to those of teachers in every other subject area. (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Teacher and Principal Survey, “Public School Teacher Data File,” 2015–16. Data analyzed by NCES staff at the request of the Humanities Indicators. The Indicators would like to thank Maura Spiegelman at NCES for her generous assistance.)
[2] U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2016 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, “PINC-03. Educational Attainment—People 25 Years Old and Over, by Total Money Earnings in 2015, Work Experience in 2015, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Sex,” https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/cps-pinc/pinc-03.2015.html#par_textimage_54, downloaded 9/28/2017.