The Average Starting Salary for an Independent School Teacher


The salary of a new teacher in an independent school varies significantly based on his education and location. The specific type of school he teaches in will also play a role in how much he earns. The salaries of independent school teachers are generally lower than that of public school teachers, although the quality of professional life in independent schools is often touted to be much better than is available in public schools.

Independent Schools

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) states on its website that tuition, charitable donations and income from endowments support independent schools. Taxes and church funds do not support them.


Because the salary ranges of each type of school and region vary so dramatically, pinning down an exact average starting salary for an independent school teacher is difficult. Independent schools are beginning to catch up in what they offer to new teachers for salary and compensation, however. Many set salaries at 90 to 100 percent of what the local school board offers teachers. A new teacher in a public school district starts out at $25,318 in Montana or $38,408 in New Jersey, according to as of June 2011. Local independent school teachers in each state could expect to earn a bit less than the state salary base for new public school teachers if that is what the local public school district offers.


The NAIS released statistics on independent schools for the 2010 to 2011 school year. Its report stated that the median lowest salary of teachers in day schools that were not members of the association was $32,250 and that it was $30,000 at boarding schools. The lowest median salary for a teacher in a NAIS member school was $36,505 in day schools and $30,000 for boarding schools.

Other Factors

A new teacher’s level of education will also play a role in determining his salary. If he is a state-certified teacher, he may earn more money than a teacher at a particular school who is not. The teacher’s levels of benefits and other forms of compensation also affect his starting salary. He may have better health and retirement benefits at one school than another. Considering other forms of compensation is important in determining the school for which he wants to work.

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