Figure 1. source
In the USA, the average salary of a professor is $66,973. At the top of the scale, experienced professors earn up to $132K per year. In comparison, Australian professors earn $188,213 on average, and go up to $284,000 at the top of the scale.
This difference is massive.
Sure; the best professors at Yale earn over $255K per year. When compared to professors at the best Aussie universities, that number is higher. But on average, American teachers are underpaid.
Why does this happen? Why is the teacher salary Australia better than the U.S. one? We’ll have to discuss the educational systems of both countries to come down to an answer.
How the U.S. Educational System Fails to Meet the Needs of Teachers
There’s a controversial conversation within the teaching community in the U.S. Some claim that the low salaries are part of the tradition. Half a century ago, most school teachers were women, who were used to contributing with a small income for the family. They were not expected to be the main providers of income, so they made peace with the low salaries.
Time came out with an eye-opening story about American teachers in 2018. “I have a Master’s degree, 16 years of experience, work two extra jobs, and donate blood plasma to pay the bills. I’m a teacher in America.” That’s just one of the stories. Teachers cannot pay their bills, see a doctor when they need one, or save money for the future of their children.
As a result, teachers become less and less inspired to perform well at their jobs. The curriculums are still challenging, but since the students aren’t getting proper instructions, they turn to practical solutions. If you can pay for your essay, an online service will deliver it in a matter of hours. The grades no longer reflect a student’s true knowledge.
This situation is the main cause for the system’s drop in quality. The best students do not strive to become teachers. They know they can choose a more productive career for their lives. Of course; we’re not talking about scholars who become professors at Yale. We’re talking about the average teacher at elementary school, high school, and college. They have modest lifestyles that do not inspire students to pursue such a career. That’s how the quality of teaching will continue going down for future generations.
What Makes the Australian System Better?
The average teacher salary Australia is still not impressive. It’s great for university professors, but those at lower levels earn much less when compared to other professors. Still, when compared to the USA, this country gives better treatment to its educational staff.
The common student problems are still there. Aussie students order papers online, too. They also find the curricula challenging. However, Australian students achieve better results in all subjects, especially in public schools.
Public schools here are more centralized, and they are funded by the Departments of Education of the states. Schools receive fair funding, which is allocated at a State Government level. In America, local boards fund the schools. There are massive differences in financial power between local boards, so the students across the USA do not receive the same standard of education.
Another reason why the Aussie system outperforms is that it has higher standards of teacher training. For someone to get into this profession, they go through a challenging program. When they get hired, they go through regular audits.
The U.S. educational system also controls its teachers, but not well enough. When someone’s students achieve bad results on standardized tests, the teacher doesn’t get sanctioned.
Australian teachers are more inspired to do their jobs. The teacher wage Australia is decent, and the system pushes them to perform well. As a result, they focus on practical teaching and assign less homework. They do their best to teach everything at school.
The Australian Teacher Gets Paid Better Because of the System
Australian schools receive enough funding from a centralized body. There is no discrimination based on the location of the school; everyone is treated equally. All schools are great, and the teachers are motivated to work there.
The American educational system is troubled mainly because of the funding issues. There’s not enough money for all schools and all teachers to get a good share. The money that’s available is not fairly distributed.
The Australian system isn’t perfect. Still, in terms of motivating the educational staff, it’s better than the American one.
BIO: Robert Everett has an unusual interest: education around the world. He travels a lot and does his best to experience the teaching practices in each country he visits. So far, Luxemburg and Australia have been the most impressive places for him.
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