Private school teachers share many of the same responsibilities as public school teachers, to educate, guide, and evaluate students within their areas of expertise. Private schools employ teachers for all core subjects such as math, English, history, and sciences, but also commonly provide jobs for music, dance, art, computer, athletics, and other teachers. Private school teacher pay can be determined based on a number of influences.
National Average Pay Scale
According to data provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2010, private schools at the elementary and secondary levels employed an estimated 441,930 people at an annual mean wage of $41,770 a year. Those in the bottom 10th percentile made less than $20,470 a year while teachers in the top 10th percentile reported wages of more than $67,490 annually. Most teachers fell into the middle 50 percent, receiving salaries ranging from $28,020 to $51,950 a year.
Grade Level and Wages
The 2010 BLS report provides evidence that the grade being taught generally does not significantly influence teacher salaries. At the elementary level, the average salary at public and private schools was $54,330, with a total range from less than $34,390 to more than $80,140 a year. Middle school teachers averaged $54,880 a year with a range of less than $34,990 to more than $80,940. Even at the highest school level, the numbers were similar. Secondary teachers earned $55,990 on average with salaries ranging from under $35,020 to more than $83,230 a year.
Experience and Pay
In 2007, "Private School Review" cited a salary survey done by the Independent School Associate of the Central States in which beginning teachers with 0 to 5 years of experience made $30,707 a year on average at private schools. After 6 to 10 years on the jobs, they earned $34,743 a year, from 11 to 15 years they made $38,384 a year, and those with 16 to 20 years of experience averaged $41,388 annually. Teachers with the most experience of 21 years or more reported an average annual salary of $46,391.
Teachers in public schools are expected to teach material based on a somewhat universal system, but at private schools they have the freedom of a flexible curriculum. Smaller class sizes are also common at private schools and allow for more individual student attention. A smaller student body also is sometimes associated with a safer teaching environment and fewer discipline problems, according to a 2007 article in "Private School Review."