Australian Primary vs Secondary Teachers: Who Earns More?

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There is a lot of debate surrounding teacher pay. In some countries, teachers are paid a high salary, while in others, they are paid relatively little. So, what is the situation in Australia? Are Primary and Secondary teachers paid equally? And which teacher earns more – the Primary or Secondary teacher? Let’s take a look at the data and find out!

Do Australian Secondary teachers really get paid more?

According to, the average salary for a Primary teacher is $70,884 per year. The average salary for a Secondary teacher is $73,984 per year. So, it would appear that Secondary teachers do earn more than Primary teachers in Australia.

However, it’s important to note that these figures are only averages. There will be some Primary teachers who earn more than $70,000 per year and some Secondary teachers who earn less than $64,000 per year. The important thing to remember is that teacher salaries can vary depending on a number of factors, such as location, experience and the type of school.

Why do Australian Secondary teachers get paid more?

Secondary teachers can earn more than primary teachers. There are a number of reasons for this. First, secondary teachers generally have more qualifications and experience than primary teachers.

You are much more likely to have another degree in addition to your teaching degree and are more likely to have completed Honours either in teaching or in another subject area. This means that you start your teaching career a step or two higher on the pay scale than teachers who do not have these additional qualifications.

A teacher is walking between rows of high school teachers while reading from her notepad. She is gesturing with her hands to try and engage her students, but some of them seem disinterested.
There are a few reasons why Secondary teachers may get paid more, but it does depend on the individual person.

Another factor is that Secondary teachers may decide to stay in teaching for longer. As you get older, it does become harder to play with and relate to young children. This is not the case for the many fantastic older teachers in Australia, but it does mean that more Primary teachers decide to get out of the classroom to work elsewhere in our education system when compared to Secondary teachers.

The impact of exclusive private high schools

While teacher pay in high-end private schools in Australia can vary widely depending on the school’s budget and the teacher’s experience, generally speaking, teachers in private schools tend to be paid more than their counterparts in public schools.

This is because private schools have a higher level of funding and are able to offer more competitive salaries. In addition, private schools often cater to wealthier families and are able to offer higher salaries as a result.

This is not the case in every independent school. For instance, many Catholic and other denominational religious schools in Australia struggle to keep up with the high salaries of the heavily unionised public school system.

So, there you have it!

In Australia, Secondary teachers do tend to earn more than Primary teachers. However, there is a lot of variation in teacher salaries, so it’s important to keep this in mind when considering your career options.

Do you have any questions about teacher salaries in Australia? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

Elise is an enthusiastic and passionate Australian teacher who is on a mission to inspire and support fellow educators. With over a decade of experience in the classroom, Elise leverages her expertise and creativity to provide valuable insights and resources through her blog. Whether you're looking for innovative lesson ideas, effective teaching strategies, or just a dose of inspiration, Elise has got you covered.

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