Education at a Glance 2015
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Education at a Glance 2015

OECD Indicators

Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators is the authoritative source for accurate information on the state of education around the world. It provides data on the output of educational institutions; the impact of learning across countries; the financial and human resources invested in education; access, participation and progression in education; and the learning environment and organisation of schools.

The 2015 edition introduces more detailed analysis of participation in early childhood and tertiary levels of education. The report also examines first generation tertiary-educated adults’ educational and social mobility, labour market outcomes for recent graduates, and participation in employer-sponsored formal and/or non-formal education. Readiness to use information and communication technology for problem solving in teaching and learning is also examined. The publication provides indicators on the impact of skills on employment and earnings, gender differences in education and employment, and teacher and school leader appraisal systems. For the first time, this edition includes highlights of each indicator inside the book. The report covers all 34 OECD countries and a number of partner countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, and for the first time, Costa Rica and Lithuania).

The Excel™ spreadsheets used to create the tables and charts in Education at a Glance are available via the StatLinks provided throughout the publication.

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Indicator D3 How Much are Teachers Paid? You do not have access to this content

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Indicator D3 shows teachers’ statutory salaries at different points in their careers, teachers' actual salaries, and salaries of teachers relative to the salaries of similarly educated workers. It also includes information on the formation of base salaries and the various additional payments and incentive schemes used to reward teachers.

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Chapter Highlights

  • On average across OECD countries, pre-primary and primary teachers earn 78% of the salary of a similarly-educated, 25-64 year-old full-time, full-year worker, lower secondary teachers are paid 80%, and upper secondary teachers are paid 82% of that benchmark salary.

  • The statutory salaries of teachers with 15 years of experience and typical qualifications average USD 38 653 at the pre-primary level, USD 41 245 at the primary level, USD 42 825 at the lower secondary level, and USD 44 600 at the upper secondary level.

Chart D3.1. Teachers’ salaries relative to earnings for similarly educated workers (2013)
Salaries of lower secondary teachers teaching general programmes in public institutions

Notes: The definition of teachers’ typical qualification is based on a broad concept including the typical ISCED level of attainment and other criteria, as discussed in Box D3.2. For further details on the different metrics used to calculate these ratios, please refer to the Methodology section.

1. Statutory salaries of teachers with 11 years of experience and minimum qualification instead of 15 years of experience and typical qualifications.

2. Data on earnings for full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education refer to Belgium.

3. Data on earnings for full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education refer to the United Kingdom.

Countries are ranked in descending order of the ratio of teachers’ salaries to earnings for full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education aged 25-64.

Source: OECD. Table D3.2a, and Table D3.2b, available on line. See Annex 3 for notes (

ContextExpand / Collapse

Teachers’ salaries represent the largest single cost in formal education and have a direct impact on the attractiveness of the teaching profession. They influence decisions to enrol in teacher education, become a teacher after graduation (as graduates’ career choices are associated with relative earnings in teaching and non-teaching occupations, and their likely growth over time), return to the teaching profession after a career interruption, and/or remain a teacher (as, in general, the higher the salaries, the fewer the people who choose to leave the profession) (OECD, 2005). Burgeoning national debt, spurred by governments’ responses to the financial crisis of late 2008, have put pressure on policy makers to reduce government expenditure – particularly on public payrolls. Since compensation and working conditions are important for attracting, developing and retaining skilled and high-quality teachers, policy makers should carefully consider teachers’ salaries as they try to ensure both quality teaching and sustainable education budgets (see Indicators B6 and B7).

Other findingsExpand / Collapse

  • In most OECD countries, teachers’ salaries increase with the level of education they teach. For example, the salary of an upper secondary school teacher with 15 years of experience and typical qualification in Belgium, Finland, Hungary and the Slovak Republic is at least 25% higher than that of a pre-primary school teacher with the same experience and typical qualification.

  • Salaries at the top of the scale for teachers with typical qualifications are, on average, 64%, 66%, 65% and 66% higher, respectively, than starting salaries in pre-primary, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education. The difference tends to be greatest when it takes many years to progress through the scale. In countries where it takes 30 years or more to reach the top of the salary scale, salaries at that level can be more than 90% higher, on average, than starting salaries.

  • Teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of their salary scales are paid, on average, USD 49 176 at the pre-primary level, USD 51 177 at the primary level, USD 53 786 at the lower secondary level, and USD 54 666 at the upper secondary level.

  • In 11 out of 28 countries with available data, the average annual salaries of upper secondary teachers, including bonuses and allowances, are at least 10% higher than statutory salaries for upper secondary teachers with 15 years of experience and typical qualifications.

  • In the 17 countries with available data, the average annual salary for full-time equivalent tertiary academic instructional faculty members varies across countries, ranging from USD 13 348 in Latvia to USD 74 305 in Germany. For the 12 countries with available data, the average salaries for men are consistently higher than those for women.

TrendsExpand / Collapse

Between 2000 and 2013, teachers’ salaries rose, in real terms, in all countries with available data, except Denmark (upper secondary), England, France and Italy. However, in most countries, salaries increased less since 2005 than between 2000 and 2005. The economic downturn in 2008 also had a direct impact on teachers’ salaries, which were either frozen or cut in some countries. As a consequence, the number of countries showing an increase in salaries, in real terms, between 2008 and 2013 shrank to about one in two OECD countries.

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