Teachers’ salaries represent the largest single cost in formal education and have a direct impact on the attractiveness of the teaching profession.
On average across OECD countries, the statutory salaries of teachers with 15 years of experience average USD 37,350 at the pre-primary level, USD 39,024 at the primary level, USD 40,570 at the lower secondary level, and USD 42,861 at the upper secondary level.
But, teachers’ salaries vary widely across countries, according to OECD. The salaries of lower secondary school teachers with 15 years of experience range from less than USD 15,000 in Estonia, Hungary, Indonesia and the Slovak Republic, to more than USD 60,000 in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland and exceed USD 100,000 in Luxembourg.
Pre-primary teachers earn 80% of the salary of a tertiary- educated, primary-school teachers earn 85% of that benchmark, lower secondary teachers are paid 88%, and upper secondary teachers are paid 92% of that benchmark salary.
Findings from the 2012 OECD Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) suggest that high- performing systems tend to prioritise higher salaries for teachers, especially in high-income countries. Among countries and economies whose per capita GDP is more that USD 20,000, systems that pay teachers more (i.e. higher teachers’ salaries relative to national income per capita) tend to perform better in mathematics.
In contrast, across countries and economies and economies whose GDP is less than USD 20,000, a system’s overall academic performance is unrelated to its teachers’ salaries.