Teachers earn 17 percent less than workers with similar qualifications

When adjusted for education, experience, and demographic factors, teachers earned 1.8 percent less than other workers in 1994, while in 2015 the teacher wage penalty had grown to 17 percent, according to a new report. (AJC File)

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When adjusted for education, experience, and demographic factors, teachers earned 1.8 percent less than other workers in 1994, while in 2015 the teacher wage penalty had grown to 17 percent, according to a new report. (AJC File)

A new report says teachers are losing ground in salary compared to other college graduates. And that may be why fewer college graduates are choosing to go into teaching.

The Economic Policy Institute report released Tuesday sounds an alarm for future staffing of schools, noting, “The supply of teachers is diminishing at every stage of the career ladder. On the front end, fewer students are entering the profession…Over the long run, employment opportunities for women have greatly expanded, and thus the teaching profession can no longer rely on what was a somewhat captive labor pool. At the same time, teachers are less satisfied and more stressed as standardized testing has been elevated as a tool for student, school, and teacher evaluations.”

On pay, the report found a teacher wage disadvantage when compared with other college graduates.

“Teachers today earn 17 percent less than workers with similar qualifications — skyrocketing from just a 1.8 percent difference in 1994. Even worse, the gap is bigger for more experienced teachers, meaning that the more expertise teachers develop, the less they’re rewarded for it,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten in response to the EPI report.

To read more, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.