Principals paid much more than teachers

Gap between Australian teacher and principal pay one of the highest in OECD
Sep 17, 2021
Australian teacher pay not the best, not the worst.

If you want to bring in a nice pay packet as a teacher or principal you need to find your way to Luxembourg, pay for educators in the tiny principality is almost double that of Australian teachers.

A teacher at a Luxemburg school with the top level of qualifications will get circa a handsome US$140k, starting teachers there are also well remunerated with the top earning around US$80k.

It is also good to be an educator in Germany, highly qualified teachers can expect an average of around US$80–90k. For a teacher holding the highest levels of qualifications in Switzerland their pay will be over US$100k per year.

Australia does look after its teachers though, it comes in seventh with the best pay averaging out around US$70k. There is less of a gap between highly qualified teachers’ pay and the average, teachers holding the top level of qualifications will also be earning around US$70–80k a year.

That compares well with other developed nations in the OECD, while the starting salary for teacher in the Netherlands is about even with Australia, the top earners there can expect a smidge under US$100k, but on average Dutch teachers take home about US$80 grand a year.

So, what is the difference in the OECD between teacher and principal pay? In Mexico the gap can be massive, the maximum paid to a school head can be more than triple that of the lowly teachers, a Mexican school head can earn US$150,000 compared to US$23–47k for a teacher there.

The British are also wont to pay principals much better than their teaching underlings, the top band of principals in Blighty can expect around US$150k with teachers on average earning US$30­–50k.

Generous Luxembourg pays its teachers and principals in an egalitarian way, a teacher on average will earn around US$100k while their principals take home about US$150k.

Australian teachers are significantly worse paid than their principals, while the top average teacher pay is around US$70k the minimum principals will take home is US$80k per year with the top earners bringing in US$120k plus, that is one of the widest gaps in the OECD.

New Zealand’s principals are also significantly better paid than teachers, while the minimum a principal takes home is around US$60k, which compares well to NZ teacher salaries, the highest earning principals can expect almost double that, receiving about US$110k.

In the high performing school systems of Finland, Denmark and Sweden the gaps between principal and teacher pay are less pronounced, a principal can expect to earn about US$20k more than the teaching staff on average.

Also, in Korea’s hard driving education system, teachers will earn a maximum of about US$90k while principals can expect a touch over US$100k.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels