This Kansas Elementary Trainer Earns $55k in 2024


In our new collection Trainer Wage Tales, We Are Lecturers readers share how they’re making it work—or not—on a instructor’s wage. The objective is to take an sincere have a look at instructor pay in the USA and world wide—what’s working, what’s not, and what wants to vary if we need to stem the stream of educators leaving the occupation and recruit new lecturers to the sector.

In at present’s Trainer Wage Story, we hear from a Kansas elementary instructor who has navigated a 10-year profession from a $40,000 beginning wage to $55,000. Reaching a grasp’s diploma with assist from a authorities grant, college stipend, part-time work, and household, this educator and their partner stretch their mixed incomes to help a household of 5. Regardless of going through monetary challenges, together with a reliance on occasional plasma donations, their story is certainly one of perseverance. With minimal will increase and a modest state retirement plan, they illustrate the truth of lecturers managing on tight budgets, highlighting the laborious decisions and methods for monetary survival within the training sector.

The place do you reside?

Leavenworth, Kansas.

What’s your job title?

Early educator.

What’s your annual wage?


What’s your stage of training?

Grasp’s diploma.

How did you pay on your training?

I funded my training by a mixture of a authorities TEACH Grant, a stipend from my college, part-time work, and monetary help from my household.

How lengthy have you ever been educating? Is that this your first profession?

Ten years. I used to be a paraprofessional in faculty.

What was your beginning wage as a instructor?


Inform us about your earnings development (e.g., have you ever obtained commonplace step will increase, taken on further duties, gotten a sophisticated diploma, or switched roles?).

I got here in with my grasp’s diploma so I’ve solely obtained commonplace will increase primarily based upon years of service and something negotiated by the Board of Training.

How a lot is one paycheck, after taxes, and the way usually are you paid?

My month-to-month pay, after taxes, is round $4,028 earlier than deducting insurance coverage. After eradicating insurance coverage prices, I take residence nearer to $3,100.

What’s your approximate web value together with financial savings, investments, retirement, and different belongings?

I’ve no financial savings, however I put money into an additional retirement profit plan to complement the contributions to the state retirement plan. After a set of 15 years, my state plan has solely accrued a couple of thousand {dollars}.

How many individuals dwell in your family? Are you the one earner?

5 individuals, and my partner additionally works.

What are your approximate month-to-month bills (e.g., hire/mortgage, automotive cost or different loans, childcare, meals, leisure, cellphone/Web/utilities, different subscriptions)? 

We inherited our residence so we pay yearly property tax at $3,000 and month-to-month utilities vary from $200 to $500 a month relying on the time of yr. We don’t subscribe to cable however we pay about $50 a month in streaming providers and $50 a month for web.

Do you obtain a school- or PTA-provided price range for classroom provides? If that’s the case, how a lot?

No PTA price range. Dad and mom present some provides.

How a lot of your personal cash do you spend in your classroom yearly?

I pay a couple of hundred a yr in provides for my classroom. We attempt to buy as many reusable gadgets as attainable. I do numerous recycling and I request donations from family and friends.

What sorts of issues do you purchase if you deal with your self?

Pizza or espresso largely.

What expense would you tackle for those who immediately received an additional $1,000 per paycheck?

I might work on paying off my close to 35K in debt that I’ve accrued from bills over time.

How does your district deal with retirement? Will you obtain a pension?

We’ve the required state retirement plan. We’ve the choice to purchase into the flex retirement profit that goes into the inventory market.

Do you could have any secondary sources of earnings, like a facet hustle or one other job?

We’ve each achieved some odd jobs/facet jobs to cowl fundamental bills, corresponding to plasma donations, medical research, and freelance work.

How happy are you together with your educating wage on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being very happy and 1 being by no means happy? Please clarify.

4. Whereas our pay covers many issues, we’re additionally paycheck to paycheck. If we now have automotive bother or have an equipment break down, we find yourself using a bank card and create extra debt. We’ve to be fairly picky with what we will afford to do for enjoyable.

Has your present and/or future wage impacted your decision-making round different main life decisions (e.g., the place you reside, whether or not you hire/personal, whether or not or to not have children, and many others.)? Please clarify.

Sure. Limiting the variety of youngsters was a tricky resolution. Making use of for and using Medicaid helped cowl the wants of our children, who’ve well being and particular wants. Opting to not transfer to a brand new residence, take giant holidays, or purchase new vehicles was a monetary technique. Buying solely considerably used automobiles, clearance clothes, and discounted meals with coupons and particular gross sales ensures our children can get pleasure from extracurricular actions and have their requirements met.

Do you intend to remain in training?

Sure, however solely as a result of my diploma shouldn’t be actually transferable to something apart from childcare regionally. I can’t afford extra training.

Do you could have some other ideas about instructor pay that you just’d wish to share?

Lecturers shouldn’t need to depend on public advantages corresponding to Medicaid or meals stamps to make ends meet. They work so laborious to get a sophisticated diploma and spend tireless hours molding future generations.

Are you interested by taking part in our Trainer Wage Tales challenge? Fill out the Google Kind right here. If we select your story for publication, we’ll notify you and ship you a $150 reward card. All responses shall be revealed anonymously.