As millions of students troop back to school this week, media attention is focused once more on the lack of classrooms, facilities as well as teachers. Television news is filled with images of crowded classrooms and lectures being held in the shade of a big tree.
There’s less attention on the plight of the teachers who bear the brunt of the work of educating students—from pre-schoolers to college students. For example, do we know how much our teachers are being paid on average? Are these wages enough? How do they compare to salaries of other occupations?
To find out, we checked the latest Occupational Wages Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority that provides average wage rates for more than 400 private-sector positions across 50 industries as of 2014. We ranked all of the jobs by average wage to find out how the pay for various kinds of teachers compare to other occupations.
Based on the data, the salaries of eight types of teaching professionals from private schools range from Php12,253 up to Php24,284. College, university and higher education instructors are paid the highest while pre-school teachers are paid the least.
In terms of ranking, six of the eight teaching occupations are included in the top half of the wage ranking of 440 different occupations. Only two belong to the lower half of the spectrum: technical and vocational instructors and pre-school teachers.
Understandably, topping the list of highest paid workers are aircraft pilots, navigators and flight engineers, who receive an average salary of Php156,823 per month. Oddly, college professors are also paid less than unskilled workers in the airline industry, who get Php33,301 a month. That’s more than a third higher than college teachers’ pay.
The comparative wages of our teachers reflect the value we put on education. We get what we pay for.
Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH's data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg