Which European country pays its teachers the best?

In Europe or elsewhere, Teachers’ salaries vary greatly from country to country. What is their salary in Luxembourg or in Estonia? Are they better paid than French teachers?

Teacher compensation: the situation in France

France knows, like other countries of the European Union (EU). lack of teachers. The situation is such that increasing their salary is now obvious, to attract new people.

In fact, in its 2023 finance bill, the government provides an envelope of 935 million euros for teachers’ salary increases. This review will consist of “an average increase in teachers’ salaries of 10% combined with an additional increase for volunteer teachers engaged in new missions”.

As a reminder, in the Letter of the President of the Republic to the teachers and staff of National Education, Emmanuel Macron promised that “no teacher will start their career with less than 2,000 euros net from the beginning of the 2023 school year”.

Europe: strong disparity at the start of a career

According to Eurydice’s report on teacher salaries in Europe for the 2020/2021 school year, Teachers in Bulgaria receive the lowest salaries, with €7,731. To compare, in Luxembourg, the country where teachers are the best paid in Europe, their salary is around €78,286which is 10x more than a Bulgarian teacher.

After Luxembourg, among the countries that pay the best to their teachers, we find Germany (€60,163), Denmark (€55,593) and the Netherlands (€40,723). Conversely, the lowest paid teachers are found in Poland (€7,908), Hungary (€8,063) or Romania (€8,818).

In France, at the beginning of their career, a secondary school teacher earns 29,382 euros annually.similar to his Italian or Maltese colleagues, whose salaries are between €25,000 and €30,000 gross annually.

Read more: Inflation: pay rise in outlook

Summary table for the year 2020 / 2021

Country Total annual salary (in €)
Germany 60 163
Austria 39,055
Belgium (French speaking) 32,737
Belgium (Dutch speaking) 33,988
Bulgaria 7,731
Cyprus 24,189
Croatia 14,158
Denmark 55,593
Spain 34,619
Estonia 15,780
Finland 36,734
France 29,382
Greece 13 104
Hungary 8,063
Ireland 37,692
Italy 26 114
Latvia 9,480
Lithuania 15,781
Luxemburg 78,286
Malta 25,763
Netherlands 40,723
Poland 7,908
Portugal 22,374
Czech Republic 14,789
Romania 8,818
Slovakia 10,980
Slovenia 19,777
Sweden 39,097

Note that in each country, working hours and the responsibilities entrusted to teachers vary. However, the highest-paid teachers do not necessarily work more than the lower-paid ones. In France, according to a Senate report, teachers work an average of 720 hours a year. In Germany, working hours are 641 hours for teachers.

This is simply due to different school systems and different economies. Salaries are also primarily related to the country’s standard of living..

Also, the evolution of salaries during the career differs from one country to another. In France, secondary school teachers see their salary increase by 71% over the course of their careers. In other countries, they do not increase by more than 20%.

With the inflation of recent years, which affects all countries in Europe and the world, the increase in wages does not always make it possible to gain purchasing power or the quality of life.

Read more: Professions that will increase salaries in 2023

Finally, elsewhere in the world, the situation is the same. For example, in the Americas, an American professor is paid an average of $60,000 a year, while in Costa Rica, teachers receive a salary of about $25,000 a year. In South America, the situation is quite delicate : in Argentina, teachers receive €1,170 per month compared to €687 in Brazil.

In Asia, as in America, wages are low but above the national average. however, education systems are very different. Education takes up a lot of space in society and students are under a lot of pressure. The teacher’s profession is therefore completely different.

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