© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Average Salary: $56,380

Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,354,000

Ha! You are adorable. Okay, so you do get paid some money to teach at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. But it isn't much. After all, you are doing this for the kids, remember? 

As with most jobs, your salary will depend a lot on where you teach—you'll make much more in New York than you will in rural Iowa, and you will make much more in a well-to-do private NYC school than you will teaching at one in the inner-city. As you should be able to deduce, teaching at a school in inner city rural Iowa would pay bupkis. 

There is also the matter of pensions and benefits. Best case scenario—if you're teaching in Silicon Valley you could be making $65k a year for only 8 months work (continue teaching summer school or pick up some supplementary income and your annual take could be quite nice indeed). Plus you get $18k a year put into your pension and an additional $12k in benefits. No longer chump change. More like champ change.

But that's best case scenario. In most places you'll be making more in the $40-$50k range, potentially more if you have a Master's degree, but considering the importance of your work and the time and effort you put into it, this salary is a pittance. Oh, if only we were all paid what we were worth. We wouldn't see so many Hollywood celebrities driving around in fancy cars, we can tell you that.

So fancy it doesn't even need a license plate.