Earnings of Humanities Teachers
- For the 2017–2018 academic year, the median earnings of full-time precollegiate humanities teachers (including base salary, as well as payment for extracurricular activities and other services to their school system, but excluding summer earnings) were $55,000 (in current dollars; all earnings values given here are rounded to the nearest $100; Indicator I-23a). In comparison, the median earnings of all year-round full-time workers holding at least a bachelor’s degree were $70,900. For women, median earnings were $60,800. The prorated amount for ten months, the typical duration of a K–12 teaching contract, was $59,100 for all bachelor’s degree holders and $50,700 for women with a bachelor’s. (Humanities education at the precollegiate level is female dominated, as described in Indicator I-22b.)2
- For those teachers who were new to the profession (0–5 years of service), median earnings were $45,000. Among the most seasoned teachers (those with 30 or more years of service), median earnings were $69,800.
- More experienced teachers had a greater range of earnings. The difference between the 25th percentile and 75th percentile earnings of middle- and late-career teachers was more than twice as large as that for new personnel. This difference is attributable, at least in part, to the higher proportion of experienced teachers holding an advanced degree.
- When inflation is taken into account, teacher earnings for 2017–2018 were largely unchanged from 2011–2012.3
- 22018 American Community Survey Public Microdata Sample. Data analyzed by the Humanities Indicators.
- 3Inflation adjustment performed using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). Earnings estimates for 2011–2012 generated from U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey, “Public School Teacher and Private School Teacher Data Files,” 2011–2012. Data analyzed by NCES staff at the request of the Humanities Indicators.
* Includes regular full-time teachers. Earnings include base salary, as well as payment for extracurricular activities and other services provided to the school or larger school system (the latter includes merit pay bonuses, state supplements, etc.) but exclude summer earnings.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Teacher and Principal Survey, “Public School Teacher and Private School Teacher Data Files,” 2017–18. Data analyzed by NCES staff at the request of the Humanities Indicators. Special thanks to Julia Merlin at NCES for her generous assistance. Data presented by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (www.humanitiesindicators.org).
The graph displays, for earnings at each career stage, a set of statistics referred to as the interquartile range, which describes the range of “typical” or “usual” characteristics exhibited by a population of persons or objects. Quartiles are statistics that divide the observations of a numeric sample into four groups, each of which contains 25% of the data. The lower, middle, and upper quartiles are computed by ordering the values for a particular variable (in this case, teacher earnings) from smallest to largest and then finding the values below which fall 25%, 50%, and 75% of the data. The lower and upper quartiles are the endpoints of the interquartile range. The middle quartile is also known as the median.
Personnel included in the humanities teacher count are those whose main teaching assignment was in area or ethnic studies, art history, civics, communication, composition, English, English as a second language or bilingual education, government, history, language arts, languages other than English, literature or literary criticism, Native American studies, philosophy, or reading. Not included are what the National Teacher and Principal Survey refers to as “general” educators in the elementary and middle grades who spent a portion of their time teaching language arts, reading, history, and other humanities material. These educators’ earnings were similar earnings to those of humanities teachers.