Teacher Pay Scale Across Canada - Update for 2011

The previous post on Teacher Pay Scale Across Canada lead to a huge discussion and many posts on the worth of teachers, etc. The reason for my post originally wasn't for that discussion - instead I wanted to show the inequality in pay across the provinces. Since the last time I posted, the scales have shifted a bit, many of the links I posted do not work anymore, and some provinces have renegotiated their teaching contracts. For this reason, someone asked me to update the article. So that's what I'm doing in this post.

Here are the teacher salaries in 2011. I'll keep it consistent with the previous article: I'm listing the salary I would have within jurisdictions in Canada that I wouldn't mind moving to - mostly cities. I will do it for a teacher with 8 years experience with a bachelor degree + 2 year teaching degree (this is about what I am). But if you want to check your salary in the given province, the link should point you in the right direction.

Here's the updated table for the salary scale across Canada:

Province Salary Year Link
British Columbia (Vancouver) $73,972 2011 BC's Local Collective Agreements (2006 - 2011)
Alberta (Calgary) $87,954 2011 Alberta Teachers' Association Collective agreements (2006 - 2012)
Saskatchewan $72,435 2010 Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation Collective Agreement (2007 - 2010)
Teachers in Saskatchewan are currently trying to negotiate another contract.
Manitoba (Winnipeg) $76,547 2010 MTS Collective Agreements
Ontario (Toronto) $83,865 2011 OSSTF Collective Agreement (2008 - 2012)
Quebec (Montreal) $52,435 2011 Montreal Teachers' Association Collective Agreement (2010-2011)
New Brunswick $72,536 2011 New Brunswick Teachers' Federation Agreement (2008-2012)
Nova Scotia $59,644 2010 NSTU Collective Agreement (2008-2010)
P.E.I. $64,608 2011 PEI Teachers' Federation Agreement (2010 - 2013)
Newfoundland $69,994 2011 NLTA Collective Agreement (2008-2012)

As you can see from the table, not much has changed since last time I did this comparison (2008). The ranking of the provinces is still similar - Quebec near the bottom of the pack, Alberta near the top. I decided to follow my own advice and move to Alberta (from Quebec). I'm just finishing off the school year and doing a road trip through Canada back to Calgary! I'm pretty psyched - plus there's less tax on top of the pay hike!

Compare teacher salaries to house prices: Teacher Salaries and House Prices in Canadian Cities

Other Teacher Salary Rankings: Canadian Teacher Salary Rankings of Provinces and Territories: prepared by the BC Teacher Federation Research

Also see: Are Teachers Worth the Money?

Further Reading:

Inside Track: Getting Hired to Teach in a Canadian School

teacher pay scale, salary, salary grid, salary schedule, canada comparison, 2011
Submitted by bogusia on Mon, 05/09/2011 - 20:10

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Interesting comparison. I like it! Thanks.

You have the wrong salary for NS teachers, for a 2 year teaching degree and 8 years of teaching experience, your salary would be $59 644 carefull on what you post

"That said, I would like to offer some modest perspective on a teacher's 'worth'. I live in Ontario and make just under $75,000 a year. That makes my pre-tax income roughly $15 per day, per student. In contrast, the local kennel that boards my dog during the work day charges over $20.00 per day.
Keeping this in mind, would you not agree that teachers provide a high-value public service?"

I am so sick of hearing teachers make this highly illogical argument - I hope you aren't a math or business teacher. That kennel that boards your dog for $20 a day has to pay for rent/heat/hydro/telephone/internet/office supplies/computers/staff/insurance etc... that all has to come out of that $20. Are teachers fronting any costs associated with teaching like a business owner would? NO. Are teachers in EVERY province well paid? YES. In comparison, my best friend is a government scientist that has 8 years of post secondary and a masters - salary is about $60k for 12 months work with 2 weeks off. I know he is at work on a regular basis at night and on weekends checking on experiments running in the lab. Now - compare to an Ontario teacher of the same age with 2 years less education that is making close to 50% more money and works over 2 months less - something is wrong with this equation and it isn't that he's grossly underpaid. Teachers are seriously the whiniest, self important egomaniacs you will ever meet. It's honestly disgusting.

I work as a programmer in the private sector, and get paid less than if I worked for in the govt union. Teachers salaries are on par with all govt union salaries, which are probably 25% higher than in the private sector. I think all the rest of us need to declare a new law where everyone with a Bachelors degree automatically gets the same salary as a Teacher. nuf said. p.s.

Some do. There are a few who would be better off looking after dogs.

Your example with the kennel is deceptive. The kennel needs to pay for all the overhead the business requires to operate. If you looked only looked at the salary, it would be WAY much less. If you wanted to be fair, you should look at the over head it cost to operate the school and school board system.

Hi there,

just wanted to give a correction on the NS salaries. Actually a teacher in NS a teacher with 8 years experience with a bachelor degree + 2 year teaching degree get paid $59644. All teachers with a bachelors and + 2 yr BE.d start at TC5 on the pay scale. To get to $75,646 you need 3 masters degrees and 8 years of teaching experience. Nice eh?

sorry about that... before I posted your comment I wanted to make sure your information was correct. Although I didn't get a response from the email I sent to the ministry of education in Nova Scotia, I think you both are right in correcting me (I reread all the documentation, and it makes sense that what I posted was an error). I'll change the post right away; thanks for keeping me honest!

Good luck trying to get that 87K in Calgary. If you are trained in Quebec you are gonna have to go back to school to get some credits to get accredited. I was trained in the UK and despite my years of teachign 11 years of post doc and management consultancy research in education the lovely people at the ATA were making go back to do 18 credits to get accredited and even then due to a backlog it would take a year to work out my salary which meant getting bottom of the scale for the c4 years it would take to get the credits whilst working and wait for the salary calaculation. So I applied to ON and got temp certified straight away (just needed to do an ABQ, which is a cakewalk). I always wondered whether this was a actually a restraint of trade and whether one could sue a provice for this, or indeed whether it is a breach of human rights ...

I was trained in Alberta, so I wouldn't have a problem with that. But I know teachers from all around Canada that also didn't have a problem with getting certified in Alberta. I know that teachers from outside of Canada have a harder time... and this is totally unfair I agree. It's the same with doctors and nurses. My dad called this "mafia" - they have their little club and don't let anybody in. TERRIBLE to exclude other nations and make these highly educated and experienced people take remedial courses. I hope everything worked out for you, though. And thanks for the comment!

I'm in this boat right now - I'm an Australian teacher with 8 years of experience, two undergraduate degrees and I've nearly finished my Masters degree BUT Alberta (all across Canada I believe) don't recognise any teaching experience outside of Canada, so I have to go back to the bottom of the pay scale. Plus ... I have to take a university course in Canadian history. It's enough to make a girl want to quit teaching!

I read recently that .08 % of teachers in Ontario are fired for incompetence etc. ( and I'm pretty confident that the other provinces would have similar numbers).
Compare this to the 8% of employees fired from ALL other jobs for incompetence etc.
Does this in itself not spell PROBLEM for the Taxpayers of Canada and especially the children ?...

Although I think that teachers should be compensated well, I do not believe their pay should be the same or similar across the board. The costs of living are different from city to city, never mind province to province. In addition to that, their pay should reflect their performance in a combination of being first rated by parents each year. Secondly, AFTER parents ratings has been tabulated, preform a third party standardized testing of students knowledge to corroborate & more accurately illustrate true performance. Then make the teachers compiled results(aka a report card) known to parents.

It is my view & experience that not all teachers are created equal, and I would be very disappointed if bad teachers are being paid the same or better than the really good ones.

(more unpopular thoughts off topic but along similar lines)
As a generalization, I think teachers pay should be lower(Christ they're not doctors after all) then what it is today by approx 25%; but ONLY if class room sizes are cut by a 3rd to 1/2 (15-20 students MAX).

Higher more teachers, lower average pay by 1/4, lower class sizes to 15-20 students Max in order to increase quality. Plus get rid of the boards, they're just top heavy fat cats that don't add to the children's needs, should there be an actual function that they preform that is needed, push that responsibility on to the principles & vice principles, grouped via county. With board members gone we can bring back teachers for the arts thus bringing cultural & creative benefits!

Agreed on all accounts!

Hi, I'm sorry if this is a stupid question.. But are the above figures averages of salaries? Obviously, not every teacher is not paid the same. It might be helpful to show a range of pay for each province. I'm in school to become a teacher in Calgary and I'm wondering what I can expect to start out at.

You can follow the link (for Alberta / Calgary teachers) and that should give you your starting point. Or if you want a range (minimum to maximum pay), check this out: http://www.nucleuslearning.com/content/canadian-teacher-salary-rankings-...

Good luck!

Is there a difference between salaries for elementary and high school teachers?

I think it might depend on the province. In the two provinces I taught (Alberta and Quebec), there is no difference. But I think if there is a difference, it might be a very small difference in pay.

Thanks for the information, with the BCTF job actions, we do not recieve acurate information from the union. With this kind of leadership, it is no wonder the public does not support the teachers, even though we all have friends that are teachers.

I'm in my 5th year of teaching in Ontario in the GTA and I have to say that getting a full time job or even a Long Term Occasional (LTO) teaching contract is extremely difficult. The problem here are the teacher unions. The teacher unions do absolutely nothing to help us newer teachers get a full-time job. I've had a few semesters of actual teaching since getting my B.Ed, but now I'm stuck supply teaching. I would love to teach full-time, because I'm one of the 'good' teachers that actually care about students, but the unions don't care about us. The greedy unions will defend the 'bad' teachers with all of the money that they collect from our paychecks, because those teachers have seniority, and until the teacher unions are dissolved, the teaching profession will never improve. The school board is our employer, but if the unions tell us to strike, we are forced to strike. Striking is the worst form of job action, in my opinion.

I am a teacher in Quebec. I make a pittiance of a salary, and cannot for the life of me find a 100% full-time job in English, seeing as everything here is French. I am 30 years old, extremely qualified and have 8 solid years of part-time teaching under my belt. For all you teacher-haters who say our salaries are too high, consider this: most of you people have no idea how to spell. I have seen about 8348 spelling and grammar mistakes reading this. Do you REALLY say teachers need lower pay? I am sure the median age of those commenting is 35-40 years old; can someone please understand the correct use of an apostrophy already???

Teachers deserve to get paid more than nurses(they do) so we can all spell correctly!
Can't argue with that logic(as a teacher you probably don't understand that I am being facetious right now!)
How's my grammar?

Ouch! That's a bit harsh. A teacher slamming people for poor grammar and spelling? Crikey, where were the teachers when they needed to learn how to write and spell as a child? Oh right, you're going to stay that's the fault of the parents, because parents should be teaching the kids. Please understand that the apple doesn't fall from the tree and our public schools are suppose to help break that cycle of functional illiteracy, not the parent who fell the cracks too.

I have worked as a teacher for 15 year mostly in Quebec, however I have NEVER had a full-time permanent contract. Every year I "dumb down" my CV by leaving off the PHD, MEd, certification, experience, etc. and as I do this, I am amazed that I am called for more and more interviews each year. The only thing that I think would improve my marketability would be purple hair, and multiple tatoos and/or earrings. Once the principals realize that I am "over-qualified", they hire someone else; even my own students, as I have also taught courses in the education faculty at a local university. The bottom line here is their budgets, which have continued to shrink year after year. As I go to schools for short-term PT and FT contracts and subbing, it amazes me again at the quality of people who ARE hired; usually they have only one or two years of an education degree, sometimes a bachelors degree, but rarely certification. Of course, the principals and administrators cannot openly admit their hiring rationale for fear of the union's reprecusions, but in recent newspaper articles/interviews, some principals have referred to the "shortage of trained teachers" as a reason for hiring those who are not fully trained or even untrained. Most of us know how many hundreds, if not thousands, of certified teachers are driving taxi cabs or working at the local Walmarts or have spent years subbing or going from contract to contract. The salary numbers definitely DO NOT tell the whole story.

As far as the quality of education from province to province, I do not believe that salary scales are correlated. I have worked in schools in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and BC and have certification in 2 of these provinces and a permit in another and I believe that Quebec schools are generally above the average, at least from my experience at the secondary level. This could be due to lower class sizes, but also because the school boards are generally smaller and less beurocratic, although there are likely more administrators per teacher (I would guess 1:4 is a more accurate ratio if you include their secretaries). I have also found that parents in rural Quebec are more keen on having education for their children and this is reflected in the children's attitude towards school. In the end, it is really the parents' and teachers' understanding of and attitude towards education that is the key. If the purpose is to mould standardized "products" like a factory manufactures computer components or car parts where downloaded facts and figures are the measure of successful production or education (as it currently seems to be in most provinces), then everyone has failed. If developing healthy attitudes in young people toward others and toward learning and life is the purpose, then we may have some hope. Again, grades and numbers cannot really tell the whole story.

Hats off to the few dedicated and hard working teachers who truly do care about their students and their communities regardless of their paychecks.

I would just like to say that you teachers deserve the money you make,you put in a lot of hours the public is unaware of.

Lets face it you are helping to shape our next generation. Good for you

Salaries typically vary for more reasons than just the work or job itself. Noting the disparity among different cities is not enough - cost of living in each of those cities and desirability are also BIG factors that have to be taken into consideration. The same job may need more 'incentives' if it is located in a city where it costs more to buy a home (like Toronto) than most anywhere else in the country. Also, it may take a better salary to attract teachers to smaller rural communities or areas where their spouses may have difficulty finding work or face a long commute each day. A good comparison would be real estate - the same size house or condo in one city will not fetch anywhere near the same price in every city. It's just not enough to look at the job itself.

Are teachers overpaid or are politicians overpaid?!
Poiticians cut real jobs to cover up their greed and corruption.
Come on, Canada - you cant be serious claiming teachers are overpaid.
Are policians getting smarter or are Canadians getting dumber?