European teachers’ salaries and the situation of female teachers in the USA

What are the wages of European teachers? According to data from the European Commission, the European Executive Agency for Education and Culture and the Euridice organisation, the average teacher salary in European Union countries in 2020-2021 was EUR 25,055 gross per year. Gross annual starting salaries in public lower secondary schools ranged from approximately €4,233 in Albania to €69,076 in Luxembourg. Teachers in Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Iceland are among the highest earners. Among teachers from 36 European countries, Polish educators were in sixth place from the bottom, earning an average of EUR 7,908 gross per year. Considering the ratio of teachers’ starting salaries to the minimum wage in 2020–2021, Polish teachers’ earnings are the worst in Europe.

There is a shortage of teachers in Europe – they are leaving the profession discouraged by low salaries, burnout and working conditions. In 2022, more than 40,000 teachers left their jobs in Great Britain. There is currently a shortage of 4,000 teachers in France, and in Germany, at the beginning of this academic year, there is a demand for 30,000 teachers.

Even though almost 77% of teachers in the United States are women, schools are not always a friendly place to work for them. Barriers for women teachers include pay gaps, difficulties with career development and limited workplace facilities for pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause. According to a study conducted in 2023 by the Brown Center on Education Policy, female teachers earn approximately 2,200 dollars less per year than their colleagues if all sources of income at school are combined.

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