It's back to school season and across much of the world, teachers and students are gearing up for another academic year. The date when U.S. schools actually open their doors after the summer break varies considerably between regions which can mean anywhere between July and early September. Many schools actually open after the long Labor Day weekend which is considered the unofficial end of summer. While many kids will be experiencing a nerve-wracking first day of school, many teachers will also be having their first day as well. In 2017, a U.S. elementary school teacher could expect to earn an initial salary of $39,138, a paycheck that's higher than in many other developed nations, according to OECD data.
Within 15 years, U.S. elementary school teachers see their pay rise to just over $61,000 on average. Salary levels are similar north of the border in Canada where teachers starting out in elementary school take home $39,222 on average and $65,000 when they get 15 years of experience under their belts. Luxembourg has the best elementary teacher pay of any nation according to the OECD with a starting salary of $70,000 and then an average $102,500 when a decade and a half of experience is accumulated.
In many developed EU countries, new elementary teachers can expect to earn less than half of Luxembourg's starting salary with France and Italy key examples where new teachers take home less than $30,000. Even after 15 years in the job, their prospects don't improve too much with pay only reaching $36,000 in France and $34,400 in Italy. Starting salaries are similar in developed Asian countries where elementary teachers start off with just over $30,000 in Japan and South Korea. Their long-term prospects are better, however, with teachers who have notched up 15 years of experiencing taking home more than $50,000.