There is fierce rhetoric on both sides of the issue, with teachers’ unions and state governments across the country locked in a seemingly endless series of pay disputes.

The reality is that Australian educators are generally well paid by OECD standards, but there is significant variation state-to-state.


Do teachers get paid more in other countries?

Although Australian public school teachers don’t start (or finish) their careers on the staggering wages enjoyed by their counterparts in Luxembourg, they are paid well by international standards.

The OECD’s Education at a Glance 2018 report found that Aussie primary and secondary school teachers start their careers 20 to 30 per cent better off than the OECD average, depending on school level.

Pre-primary teachers do even better comparatively, with a 38 per cent better than average starting salary.

After15 years on the job, Australian educators are even more well off compared to the OECD average.

Experienced Australian school teachers are paid 24 per cent better than average at the upper secondary level, 34 per cent better at the primary level, and a massive 47 per cent better at the pre-primary level.

There is a lot of variation within the OECD, however. Teachers in countries like Latvia and Hungary are paid very little, while top-of-the-table Luxembourg affords experienced teachers six-figure USD salaries at every school level.

Compared to their United States counterparts, Australian teachers are somewhat better off, both as graduates and after 15 years of experience.


Which state pays teachers the most?

Although Aussie educators make good money, the situation is far from equal state-to-state.

Tasmanian teachers can start their careers on as little as $59,245, making them the worst paid teaching graduates in Australia.

Graduates looking to make good money straight out of university could consider heading to the Northern Territory, where beginning teachers enjoy a $73,335 salary – scheduled to go up to $75,168 in October of this year.

Western Australia and Queensland are second and third for graduate salaries, with both states paying new teachers a little over $70,000.

Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales pay new graduates around $68,000, roughly the Australian average, while the ACT comes in a little lower at $64,411.