Nurses salary vrs teacher's salary - page 2

There was an article in our local paper about a teacher who just lost his job for "fratanizing" with a senior student. The paper states that his base salary was $67,000 a year. My reaction... Read More

  1. by   HM2VikingRN
    Nursing and teaching are good careers to have. My wife will earn 48,000 next year with a Masters in ECSE plus 45 credits and 8 years experience. She has paid for her degree out of pocket.

    As a new grad I wil earn roughly the same. I still would not want to teach.

    In general they are both careers that are relatively bad economy proof.
  2. by   ASSEDO
    My daughter works 180 days a year as a school teacher in the South, makes $33,000 with execellent benefits and retirement. Loves her job. Yes, its a public school.
  3. by   Heloisea3
    I am a former high school English teacher. I worked in that capacity for three years, and the highest I ever grossed was just over $40k. Yes, I had 2 months off every summer, and 1-2 week breaks for holidays, but I routinely worked 60-hour weeks (for which I did not receive overtime). The job always follows a teacher home, because there are lessons to be prepared for the next day, papers to grade, etc. And no matter how long you stay at school, there is never enough time to get it all "done." Additionally, the atmosphere at most high schools is simply appalling, with teachers being at the low end of the totem pole in terms of respect, autonomy, and support. Not that nursing always scores an A+ on those points either, but at least I will get paid for each hour that I have to endure those conditions, and when I leave work, I'm not bringing a stack of grading home with me.

    Incidentally, after I finish with LVN school in May, I will earn approximately the same amount of $$ with a one-year vocational certificate that I ever did with my four-year English lit degree. Go figure.
    :yeahthat: I am also a former high school English teacher. I grossed $36,250 my last year teaching. My husband is currently teaching in a small school district here in Texas. He has been teaching 8 years. His salary this year is $38,000, and his insurance is crap! Teachers get an additional $250 in salary for each year of teaching experience, and they earn an additional $1,000 for a Master's degree. His school district does not pay for graduate school, and they pay for very little of his school supplies. My sister is an LVN. She made $47,000 last year, and has awesome insurance.

    It always amazes me that so many people think that teachers really have it made. Yes, I had a lot of days off, but so do nurses. Do the math. Many nurses work 3 12 hour shifts a week. 3x52=156. That is assuming they work every week of the year. I know there are nurses who work extra shifts. I acknowledge that, but there is no way that I could work 36 hours per week as a teacher. As trophywife stated, many teachers work 60+ hours per week, and since they are on salary, they do not get additional pay for this. I know nursing is hard work and can be stressful, but I can't wait to have a job where I can leave work and go home without carrying more work home with me. Also, working conditions for secondary teachers are horrible. ugh. I won't even get started on that.

    I would encourage anybody to go into teaching (except for my own kids, of course), but do it because you love kids and think you would like teaching, not because you think it offers great pay and benefits. Some school districts do offer this, but the vast majority of them don't.
    Last edit by Heloisea3 on Dec 1, '07 : Reason: error
  4. by   actioncat
    I don't know why, but I have run into quite a few nurses who seem to hold up teaching as an "easy" job that pays a lot.
    Teachers routinely take home work every evening. In fact, I remember meeting an ICU nurse in my clinicals who left teaching precisely for this reason. He did not feel that teachers had so much more free time than nurses. He felt in nursing that his evenings were HIS.
    Add to this, teachers do not seem to get the respect that nurses do (everyone thinks they can teach-- all it takes is a knowledge of some subject--as if!), teacher's jobs are often at the whim of voters, and teachers are often asked to do the impossible (well, that is not unlike nurse's jobs.)
    Also, lets be serious, don't we want to pay those that are teaching our children well?
    Honestly, I am sure there are professions out there that are better examples of making too much money for what they do (Can anyone say "hedge fund manager"?)
  5. by   VetTechingWasEasier
    Maybe we're missing the point....Doesn't anyone else agree, that the guy who threw his career, marriage, employability, etc... in the toilet for some fling with a teenager, is the stupidest one of all??

    Let's not second-guess ourselves about our career choices, there will always be someone making far more money doing what seems to be easier work. Some teaching jobs are easy and pay very well. Not to knock teachers though, but it's arguable who makes more of an impact on a young person. I'd rather be teaching little Timmy how to work his new insulin pump, than 90% of the menutia and trivia that I remember my early education being.
    (Anyone remember the official state flowers, birds and trees? I had to memorize them!) Ahh school days.
  6. by   RN1989
    My mother doesn't make any money after 20 years with a MEd. Her normal day is to be at work at 0730 and often doesn't leave till 1900. The other teachers leave sooner but they take their work home with them and my mom just gets it done at work. She works with several teachers who still have their nursing licenses but have not practiced nursing in years. They think that teaching is better than nursing even though the money is worse. Although I am thinking teaching will be getting worse soon if more people do like my mom's principal did and command the teachers to change the students grades so it didn't look like so many kids were failing. My mother was the only one in the district that she knows of that refused to do this. The principal went into the computer and changed the grades of my mom's students anyway. I still haven't figured out if nursing or teaching is worse but at least nursing usually pays better.
  7. by   actioncat
    Quote from VetTechingWasEasier
    Maybe we're missing the point....Doesn't anyone else agree, that the guy who threw his career, marriage, employability, etc... in the toilet for some fling with a teenager, is the stupidest one of all??

    Let's not second-guess ourselves about our career choices, there will always be someone making far more money doing what seems to be easier work. Some teaching jobs are easy and pay very well. Not to knock teachers though, but it's arguable who makes more of an impact on a young person. I'd rather be teaching little Timmy how to work his new insulin pump, than 90% of the menutia and trivia that I remember my early education being.
    (Anyone remember the official state flowers, birds and trees? I had to memorize them!) Ahh school days.
    I have to disagree with you here. It is not all minutia. Teachers are incredibly important and I have to say that I have a lot more memories of teachers than any nurse I had contact with growing up. A good teacher can really affect your life. Unfortunately, a bad one can too.
  8. by   lennon20
    This is my first post. I'm a former high-school science teacher who has been a stay-at-home mom for the last four years. I'm looking to make a career change to the medical field and saw this thread and just wanted to chime in.

    Straight out of college in 2001, after working five years for my BSED, I made $28,000/year. This included coaching two sports, volleyball and basketball (with my seasons running from August to March). With my coaching duties, there were some weeks that I worked upwards of 70 hours! I never had a week of teaching where I wasn't in my classroom by 6:30 or 7:00 at least three days a week. With my coaching duties, staying after school wasn't an option. I coached for the money, and it was pretty pitiful compensation, something like ~$1.75/hr. (but, of course, I was paid by the season, so I never did the math to figure my hourly wage). We practiced on Saturday and had open gym on Sundays, as well as 3x's a week workouts in the summer, not including two or three full weeks of camp during the summer.

    The science budget at my high school, which included five teachers, was around $700, total! About $125/teacher/year. Or about $2/student/year. So, yeah, most of the things I did in class, including labs (and even some dissection specimens) came out of my pocket. I would estimate those expenses to be around $50/month, which is a noticable chunk considering my annual salary. And then I had to take master's level courses (paid for by me, of course) during my first summer "off" to keep my degree current!

    I enjoyed teaching and it's something that I was good at, but the idea that teachers have it made is a misconception. I know former colleagues of mine who have Master's and Doctorate degrees who are making less than $50,000/year. And they paid for those degrees out of their own pockets, going to school nights and during the summer to earn them. In my area (the midwest), there is no classroom educator making anywhere close to $67,000/year. That is an income maybe reached by a superintendent.

    Teaching is a wonderful profession. I am proud to have been a teacher and I think most teachers/former teachers would feel the same. But it's demanding, often under-appreciated and under-paid work. "June/July/August" is often the only perk, and that perk is usually taken up by something school-related.
  9. by   SusanKathleen, RN
    Another issue: be wary of what newspapers report as salary. Very often, they include the cost of your insurance coverage as part of the salary.
  10. by   VetTechingWasEasier
    My mother has been a grade 2 through 3 teacher for over 25 years, the kids adore her and come back years later to say hello. I'm not out to invalidate the profession.

    On the other hand, I've seen enough bouquets and thank-you cards in nurse's stations, to know that they have quite the impact as well.

    I should not have worded my post the way that I did, it reads like I want to debate who has more intrinsic worth to society or something. I apologize to any teachers, former teachers, future teachers, and all friends and relations of teachers for my poor wording... Oh, and for my sentence fragments.
    :trout:
    Last edit by VetTechingWasEasier on Dec 12, '07
  11. by   LeavingTeaching4RN
    I teach in one of the nations largest school districts. I have 5 years of experience. Here are my numbers:

    I work 196 days per year. I'm paid for 7.5 hours per day.
    Base salary: $39,000

    With Incentives: $41,000 ($28/hr)

    If I obtain a master's degree, additional incentives, and national board certification (a very difficult process), I could earn up to $50,000 annually ($37.41/hour).

    I pay $8 bi-weekly for my health, dental, and vision insurance. Sounds good so far, but wait there's more...

    If I had children, my ins would cost about $400 bi-weekly. Many of my co-workers' children are uninsured. Some teachers have to lie and manipulate the system to gain coverage for their children under a government subsidized program.

    Average cost for a 2BR apartment in a decent neighborhood: $1200/month.

    Average cost for a 3BR home in a decent area: $300,000

    Home owner's insurance: $5000-$8000 annually

    Taxes: $5000 annually

    Plus the additional expenses of buying classroom supplies out of pocket. We receive a small supplement for this but it isn't enough.

    This year another teacher and I bought clothes and shoes for a student. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon.
  12. by   NewGrad07
    I am honestly not surprised. My friend and I just graduated, she took a teaching job at an elementary school. I took a job as a staff RN at a hospital. She makes ~$15k more per year than I do.
  13. by   actioncat
    Quote from LeavingTeaching4RN
    I teach in one of the nations largest school districts. I have 5 years of experience. Here are my numbers:

    I work 196 days per year. I'm paid for 7.5 hours per day.
    Base salary: $39,000

    With Incentives: $41,000 ($28/hr)

    If I obtain a master's degree, additional incentives, and national board certification (a very difficult process), I could earn up to $50,000 annually ($37.41/hour).

    I pay $8 bi-weekly for my health, dental, and vision insurance. Sounds good so far, but wait there's more...

    If I had children, my ins would cost about $400 bi-weekly. Many of my co-workers' children are uninsured. Some teachers have to lie and manipulate the system to gain coverage for their children under a government subsidized program.

    Average cost for a 2BR apartment in a decent neighborhood: $1200/month.

    Average cost for a 3BR home in a decent area: $300,000

    Home owner's insurance: $5000-$8000 annually

    Taxes: $5000 annually

    Plus the additional expenses of buying classroom supplies out of pocket. We receive a small supplement for this but it isn't enough.

    This year another teacher and I bought clothes and shoes for a student. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon.
    Yes, you cannot forge the out of pocket expenses teachers incur. It is not an insignificant amount.

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