Pay for Teachers Around the World: How Australia Stacks Up

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Teachers in Australia are paid relatively well compared to the rest of the world. The average salary for a teacher in Australia is $69,000, which is about on par with the average salary in the United States. In addition, teachers in Australia receive a number of other benefits, such as paid vacation days and health insurance.

However, there are some drawbacks to being a teacher in Australia. For example, teachers often have to work long hours and deal with large class sizes. In addition, the pay rates for teachers in Australia are not as high as they are in some other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Canada.

A female teacher is standing in front of the open doors of a school bus. Students are lining up ready to get on, and the teacher is ticking off their names.
Being a teacher is a job that exists across the entire world, so it’s easy to compare how you’re being paid!

Nevertheless, overall, teachers in Australia are paid fairly well compared to their counterparts in other parts of the world. It is worth thinking about teaching in another country for a number of reasons. If you are considering this change, differences in pay is an important factor to consider.

Are Australian teachers paid well?

Teacher pay in Australia is relatively high when compared to other countries. In fact, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Australia is ranked as the fifth highest paying country for teachers.1 This means that teachers in Australia earn more than the average worker in most other countries.

See more: How to Increase Your Salary as a Teacher.

So how does this compare to teacher pay in other countries? Well, it depends on where you look. There are many countries where you would be paid better than if you were working in Australia, but there are also countries where you would be paid much worse.

A graph that shows the relative teacher pay rates of different countries around the world. The data is split into Primary and Secondary teachers, and Australia is the fifth highest country according to teacher pay rates.
Source: OECD (2022), Teachers’ salaries (indicator). doi: 10.1787/f689fb91-en (Accessed on 03 June 2022)

Which countries have lower teacher pay than Australia?

Teachers in Australia are paid relatively well compared to other countries around the world. However, there are still some countries where teachers receive lower pay rates than Australian teachers.

For example, teachers in the United States earn an average salary of $US51,000 per year, which is around $A68,000. This is significantly lower than the average salary for teachers in Australia, which is $A79,000 per year.

In addition, teachers in New Zealand earn an average of $NZ63,000 per year, which is around $A58,000. This means that teachers in Australia earn around $20,000 more per year than their counterparts in New Zealand.

Finally, teachers in Canada earn an average of $CAD60,000 per year, which is around $A62,000. This means that teachers in Australia earn around $17,000 more per year than teachers in Canada.

Which countries have higher pay rates for teachers?

In general, teachers in Australia earn a good wage. However, there are several other countries that offer higher pay rates for teachers. For example, teachers in Luxembourg earn an average salary of over $100,000 per year. This is more than double the average teacher’s salary in Australia.

Similarly, teachers in Switzerland and Denmark also earn significantly more than their Australian counterparts. While the cost of living in these countries is also higher, teachers can still expect to enjoy a comfortable standard of living. So if you’re looking for a country with high pay rates for teachers, Australia may not be your best option.

So should you move to a different country?

Income isn’t the only thing that you need to consider if you are planning on moving to a different country to work. How far your money goes towards your expenses is also an important factor to consider.

The cost of living varies greatly from country to country. In Australia, for instance, the cost of living is relatively high. This is due in part to the high cost of housing and transportation. In addition, food and other essential items are also quite expensive. As a result, many people find it difficult to make ends meet in Australia.

Teaching is a job that can take you all over the world to find the best opportunities.

By contrast, the cost of living in countries like India and China is much lower. This is due in part to the lower cost of housing and transportation. In addition, food and other essential items are also much cheaper. As a result, people in these countries are able to live relatively comfortable lives even on a tight budget.

Why are teacher pay rates in Australia relatively high?

One of the key reasons why teachers in Australia are paid relatively well is because of the strong union presence in the Australian education systems.

Since the early 1900s, teacher unions have been advocating for better pay and working conditions for teachers in Australia. Thanks to their efforts, teacher salaries have increased significantly over the years. In fact, teacher salaries in Australia are now some of the highest in the world. Thanks to their efforts, teachers in Australia are able to enjoy a high standard of living.

How the public perceives teachers is another factor that influences teacher pay rates. While teachers in Australia often don’t feel like they are regarded very highly by students, parents, governments, and even their own families, they are much more respected than teachers are in many places around the world. 

There are efforts being made to raise the profile of teachers in Australia such as the introduction of the LANTITE, but for many teachers, there is still a long way to go.

So are Australian teachers well-paid?

Although Australian teachers are paid relatively well, we could always use more support. The strong unions and high level of respect that teachers enjoy in Australia are two good reasons to value the teaching profession. However, there are still many challenges facing our educators, such as increasing class sizes and decreasing resources that demand better compensation.

Let’s hope that the government continues to invest in education and gives our teachers the support they need to continue delivering quality education for future generations. What do you think is the most important thing for the government to do in order to improve education? Let us know in the comments down below!


1OECD (2022), Teachers’ salaries (indicator). doi: 10.1787/f689fb91-en (Accessed on 03 June 2022)

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