How much will I earn in teaching and education?

How much will I earn in teaching and education?
Find out about starting pay for qualified and unqualified teachers, how much you could earn as your career progresses and what salaries are like in education and care.

The starting salary for newly qualified teachers is currently at least £22,467, rising to £28,098 in inner London. This compares favourably to the average starting pay for all graduates who left university and entered the workforce in 2015, which was around £21,700, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

However, graduates who take up teaching jobs outside London are likely to find themselves on lower pay than their peers who take up jobs with big multinational employers. A recent survey carried out by the Association of Graduate Recruiters found that its members, which tend to be large graduate recruiters, offered a median starting salary of £27,500 to graduates joining them in 2016.

If you manage to get a teaching job without having the qualifications that are usually required (a degree plus a teacher training qualification), you can expect to be paid less. Unqualified teachers earn between £16,461 and £30,270.

What could I earn as my career in teaching progresses?

If you stay in the teaching profession, you could earn up to £115,582 – the maximum pay for a headteacher – depending on how your career develops. If you choose to specialise in teaching and become a leading practitioner rather than moving into a more managerial position, you could earn between £38,984 and £62,361. The leading practitioner role involves leading the development of teaching skills and supporting other teachers as well as continuing to teach your own classes.

There are also additional payments available to teachers who take on sustained additional responsibilities, worth up to £12,898. Teachers’ pay is reviewed regularly and is subject to negotiations between the teaching unions and the government.

Another benefit of going into teaching is having access to the teachers’ pension scheme and having more days’ holiday than many people in other professions, though in practice many teachers work during their holidays. They work in school for 195 days per year.

What could I earn as a teaching assistant?

There is not a nationally agreed pay structure for teaching assistants in the same way as there is for teachers. They typically earn between £13,000 and £18,000 a year. The type of contract they are employed on varies and this affects both pay and holiday entitlement. Teaching assistants on full-time permanent contracts can expect to get the school holidays as paid leave, but this is unlikely to be the case for those with term-time or casual contracts.

What could I earn in other jobs in education or care?

Broadly speaking, salaries in education are higher than in care-related roles. For example, a qualified further education lecturer can earn anything from around £23,500 to more than £80,000, while a school inspector earns between £43,000 and £70,000.

Nursery workers typically start on around £13,000 a year, rising to around £25,000 with qualifications and experience. Similarly, playworkers can earn between £13,000 and £20,000 a year, rising to around £30,000 if they take on managerial responsibilities.

Teacher or parent?

Join our mailing list to receive monthly newsletters from our TARGETcareers and Inspiring Futures teams to help you support your school leavers in their career and university decision making.

Join

Take the careers quiz

Want career ideas in a hurry? Got stuck thinking about what to study at university?
The Spartan careers quiz is a quick way to come up with ideas that might suit you.

Take the careers quiz


Teachers and parents

Planning to discuss careers or university with teenagers? Get up to speed on their options and employability prospects with our help.

Explore options

Sign up for careers alerts and access to our careers publications

Sign up Sign in