Earnings of Humanities Teachers in Public Schools
- For the 2015–2016 academic year, the median earnings of precollegiate humanities teachers (base salary, as well as payment for extracurricular activities and other services to their school system) were approximately $54,000 (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 age 25+ and holding at least a bachelor’s degree were $67,600. Notably, given that humanities education at the precollegiate level is female-dominated (as described in Indicator I-22b), women’s earnings were $57,200.2
- For those teachers who were new to the profession (0–5 years of service), median earnings were $44,000. Among the most seasoned teachers (those with 30 or more years of service), median earnings were $66,900.
- 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 almost twice as large as that for new personnel. This difference is attributable, at least in part, to the higher proportion of experienced teachers holding advanced degrees.
- 2U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2016 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, “PINC-03. Educational Attainment—People 25 Years Old and Over, by Total Money Earnings in 2015, Work Experience in 2015, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Sex,” https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/cps-pinc/pinc-03.2015.html#par_textimage_54, downloaded 9/28/2017.
I-23a: Earnings of Public School Humanities Teachers (Primary and Secondary), by Years of Teaching Service, 2015–2016*
* 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.).
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Teacher and Principal Survey, “Public School Teacher Data File,” 2015–16. Data analyzed by NCES staff at the request of the Humanities Indicators (with special thanks to Maura Spiegelman 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 were those whose main teaching assignment was in area or ethnic studies, art history, bilingual education, civics, communication, composition, English, ESL, foreign languages, government, history, language arts, literature or literary criticism, Native American studies, philosophy, or reading. The category “humanities teacher” does not include 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.