Do Teachers Get Paid in the Summer? The Full Truth - Wealthy Nickel (2023)

Do Teachers Get Paid in the Summer? The Full Truth - Wealthy Nickel (1)

Do teachers get paid in the summer? This question is on many people’s minds whether they just started their first teaching job or are considering becoming a teacher.

Summer break is a long stretch of time to go without a paycheck, so it’s essential to know if you’ll be getting paid during those months.

In this article, we’ll discuss several different topics related to teacher pay:

  • Whether or not teachers get paid during the summer
  • How much teachers make in a year
  • How often do teachers get paid
  • Summer job ideas for teachers to earn extra income
  • and more!

Keep reading to find out all about how teachers get paid.

Table of Contents

Do teachers get paid in the summer?

No, technically, teachers do not get paid in the summer if they are not actively teaching. However, most teachers have the option to spread their pay for ten months of work over an entire 12 month period. This is not the same as getting paid for summer vacation, as their contract specifies their pay for a certain number of working days per year.

Many people think teachers get a paid two-month vacation every summer, but that is a myth. As you’ll see further down, not only do they not get paid during the summer, teachers are expected to do a lot of unpaid work during the summer and other breaks to prepare for being in the classroom.

However, the option to spread out ten months of pay over twelve months is one that most teachers use to their advantage. It can help with their personal finance management to receive a steady paycheck throughout the year.

Imagine if your job paid you for ten months and you just got nothing for the last two months of the year. It makes it very hard to budget for recurring monthly expenses like rent, utilities, food, and transportation that you still need when you aren’t working.

Example of 12-Month Pay Option

If a teacher opts for a 12-month payment option, their overall annual pay will be spread out, so they receive less each month but still receive a paycheck during the summer months.

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For example:

  • Annual teacher salary: $70,000
  • Monthly salary over 10 months: $7,000/month
  • Monthly salary over 12 months: $5,833/month

How do teachers get paid?

Teachers get paid in various ways, often depending on individual school district policy. Most will get a biweekly paycheck (26 pay periods per year), a twice-monthly paycheck (24 pay periods per year), or a monthly paycheck (twelve pay periods per year). Of course, this assumes the teacher opts to spread their pay for ten months of work over the whole year.

Most teachers sign an annual contract that specifies the number of working days and hours they get paid. A typical contract would be somewhere around 180-190 days of classroom instruction or teacher in-service days over a school year that stretches from August to May.

Compared to the average full-time employee annual workdays of 240, it seems like teachers work a lot less. But of course, teachers put in more work than just classroom instruction. There is curriculum preparation, grading, communication with other staff and parents, after-school activities, continuing education classes, teachers can work A LOT of unpaid hours.

Shannon McLoud, a high school English teacher in Providence, Rhode Island, estimates she works an average of 2,200 hours per year, which is more than most full-time workers! Often, teaching can be a full-time job with part-time pay.

Do Teachers Get Paid in the Summer? The Full Truth - Wealthy Nickel (2)

How much do teachers make a year?

The national median wage for a teacher is $67,340 per year, with the bottom 10% earning $41,330 or less and the top 10% earning $102,130 or more. Teacher pay also varies by geography, generally tied to cost of living. New York tops the list of highest median pay at $88,420 with Missouri in last place at $45,290. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Teaching generally requires a bachelor’s degree along with a state-issued certification. Some teachers go on to get a master’s degree or specialized credentials, and those with advanced degrees generally get paid more.

Teacher Benefits

While teachers have a lot of responsibilities and work extra hours without pay, they enjoy some benefits that are rare in other professional careers.

One of the main benefits still available to teachers is a state-sponsored pension program. You may be required to contribute a portion of each paycheck to pay into the pension fund, but if you stick with your teaching career, you will be able to draw a pension during retirement. Most for-profit companies have done away with pensions, so this is a real benefit to teachers.

In addition, teachers are generally eligible for good health and dental insurance benefits at rates much lower than self-employed workers could receive.

Depending on your disposition, teaching hours could be another benefit. Most schools start early and let out by 3:00 pm. While there are sometimes after-school activities teachers must attend, they have flexibility in their schedule to run errands or even be home with their kids when they get off school, saving the additional burden of after-school care costs.

What do teachers do in the summer to make money?

Of course, one way to get paid during the summer is to opt for a 12-month payout of your 10-month contract. But what if you want or need to earn more money over summer vacation?

Fortunately, teachers have many skills that can easily translate into a summer job. For example, teachers can make money over the summer by teaching classes at a community college or even signing up to teach summer school at their current secondary school.

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Another option for teachers is to start their own private tutoring business. My daughter’s kindergarten teacher does this during the summer and even throughout the school year. She is a great teacher and is always in high demand. Teachers can often make $20 an hour or more tutoring and benefit from setting their own hours.

For teachers who love lesson planning and curriculum, the site Teachers Pay Teachers can be a great platform to earn money for your lesson plans, curriculum, and other educational resources. As the name implies, teachers created the products for sale, and revenues help support like-minded teachers.

Summer Jobs for Teachers (That Have Nothing to Do With Teaching)

As a teacher, maybe you are burnt out in the classroom and need to do something completely unrelated during the summer. That is certainly understandable!

Fortunately, there are many gig economy and freelancing jobs available over the short term. Or you could even pick these up as a side hustle during the school year tomake extra money.

Here are a few examples of jobs you could pick up during the summer:

  • Bookkeeping side hustle – In the link, I share an interview with a teacher who started bookkeeping as a side hustle, and he actually ended up turning it into his full-time job!
  • Freelance writing – If you enjoy writing, there are tons of paid writing opportunities. You can expect to make around 10 cents per word as a starting point.
  • Find a traditional summer job in retail or food service – These industries are really hurting for workers right now and the pay is definitely above what it used to be.
  • Drive for a ridesharing service or food delivery service

If you need a few mindless ways to make money, during the summer or otherwise, these apps might fit the bill:

  • Survey Junkie – Take surveys on your phone and participate in focus groups that pay up to $50 each.
  • Swagbucks – The ultimate “get paid to” app. Get paid to watch videos, play games, take surveys, and more.
  • InboxDollars – Similar to Swagbucks, allows you to earn points and exchange for gift cards.

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Do teachers get paid for winter break?

No, teachers are not paid for the winter break holiday. Teachers are paid for a set amount of working days per year, usually 180-190 days. While their pay can sometimes be spread evenly over the year, they are technically only paid for their contracted work days, not including summer holidays, winter holidays, or spring break.

While teachers don’t get paid for holidays or winter vacations, keep in mind that the typical annual salary for a teacher spread out over twelve months is still above the national average income for all jobs.

According to the BLS, the median wage across all occupations is around $42,000 compared to just over $67,000 for teachers. Of course, if you factor in all of the extra unpaid work teachers perform outside the classroom, their working hours are often comparable to those with a full-time job or more.

How many days off do teachers get?

Taking everything into account, teachers get about 75 days off per year, which is the equivalent of 15 workweeks. Most teachers work 180-190 days compared to around 230 days for the average profession. Some teachers get 5-10 days of personal or sick leave during the school year, plus other holidays, winter break, spring break, and summer vacation.

While this sounds like a lot of vacation time, keep in mind that teachers do a lot of activities “off the books” that are unpaid. Lesson planning, continuing education, grading, conferences, and many other activities can add the equivalent of 5-10 weeks or more of additional time worked.

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Do Teachers Get Paid in the Summer? The Full Truth - Wealthy Nickel (3)

Unpaid Summer Requirements for Teachers

While there is a myth that teachers get a free two-month summer vacation every year, that is not necessarily true. Teachers have many unpaid responsibilities during the summer that are unpaid but still have to be done.

Continuing Education for Licensure

Most states require teachers to take continuing education classes to maintain their teaching certification. In my home state of Texas, 150 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) is required every five years. While some school districts will pay for continuing education classes, virtually none of them will pay for the time that it takes.

In addition, many teachers are working toward special certifications or advanced degrees, which require college coursework. It can be challenging to fit in classes during the school year, so summers can be the ideal time to load up on coursework.

Lesson Planning

It’s an unfortunate fact of teaching that curriculum requirements are changing all the time. Even if you’ve taught the same subject for 20 years, there is a good chance you will have to change up at least some of your lesson plans for the upcoming school year.

For new teachers or those changing subjects, expect to spend even more time preparing your curriculum for the next year during the summer. While teachers could technically do this planning during the school year, they can quickly become overwhelmed trying to take on a new subject and new students in a changing environment without careful planning in advance.

Classroom Preparation

I remember walking into my new classroom each year in elementary school and marveling at how well decorated and organized it felt. That doesn’t happen by accident. Many teachers spend several days just preparing their classrooms for the new school year, often spending money out of their own pockets for supplies.

Conclusion: Do Teachers Get Paid During Summer Break

While teachers do not get paid in summer, having the option to select a 12-month payout of their salary is an excellent benefit to smooth income and make budgeting easier.

There are many pros and cons to being a teacher. While many hours of unpaid work are often required, long periods of time off offer opportunities to rest or take on an extra job to earn more money.

Teachers may not have the highest-paying jobs available. Still, when you consider the average teacher salary compared to other professions and consider the benefits, it can make the decision a little easier for those considering a career in teaching.

Andrew Herrig

Website | + posts

Andrew Herrig is a finance expert and money nerd and the founder of Wealthy Nickel, where he writes about personal finance, side hustles, and entrepreneurship. As an avid real estate investor and owner of multiple businesses, he has a passion for helping others build wealth and shares his own family’s journey on his blog.

Andrew holds a Masters of Science in Economics from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He has worked as a financial analyst and accountant in many aspects of the financial world.

Andrew’s expert financial advice has been featured on CNBC, Entrepreneur, Fox News, GOBankingRates, MSN, and more.

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Does NYC teachers get paid during summer? ›

In NYC teachers get an annual salary. So they're off for 3 months, plus multiple holidays, and the annual salary covers that. So, in essence, yes, they're getting paid.

Do paraprofessionals get paid in the summer in NYC? ›


The NYCDOE will pay a stipend of $40.00 per week (up to six weeks or $240.00) to each eligible paraprofessional attending an approved college or university during the summer semester. Paraprofessionals who work for the NYCDOE during the summer are not eligible to participate in this program.

Where do teachers get paid the most? ›

Highest-Paid Teachers By State
3New York$89,000
46 more rows
Dec 4, 2022

What is the highest paid HS teacher? ›

How Much Does a High School Teacher Make? High School Teachers made a median salary of $61,820 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $78,780 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $48,830.

Do teachers get money during the summer? ›

Do teachers get paid in the summer? Most teachers do not get paid over summer break, but teachers can usually choose to receive their paychecks over 10 months or 12 months. Many teachers take a prorated salary to keep a steady income throughout the calendar year.

Do teachers get salary in summer vacation? ›

Furthermore, most schools pay salary for 11 monthsonly by excluding summer vacation. These differences are not only in salaries, but also in many other areas where private teachers are lagging behind. They avail one casual leave per month.

Are teaching assistants paid over summer? ›

It depends on the school and the contract. (And it might depend on the laws of the state where you would be working.) In some large districts, with strong unions, they may get some holiday pay; but most districts do not offer that.

What do Paras do in the summer? ›

In these temporary positions, your duties revolve around providing classroom support for a teacher. You can assist with summer school activities or work with specific students who need extra assistance during summer school programs.

Why are teachers underpaid? ›

A number of factors contribute to how far a teacher's salary goes—family structure, caregiving responsibilities, health issues, and student loans among them. While many teachers in the U.S. must work second jobs to live comfortably, plenty do not. Some of them live in states that pay better than others.

What state has the lowest paid teacher? ›

The state with the lowest average teacher salary in the US is Mississippi, at around $48,000 a year. However, $48,000 in Mississippi may look very different from $48,000 in New York.
How does average teacher pay in your state compare to average pay in other jobs?
Graphic designer$53,720
67 more rows
Nov 8, 2022

What state has the best teacher retirement? ›

States Ranked by Best Retirement Plan Available to New Public School Teachers
RankStateOverall Retirement Benefits Score
1South Carolina94.20%
3South Dakota78.70%
47 more rows
Jun 29, 2022

What state has the highest teacher shortage? ›

For the 2022-2023 school year, Michigan had the most teacher shortages in math, science, world languages, health and physical fitness, art and music, language arts, English as a second language, special education, social studies and career and technical education, according to U.S. Department of Education data.

What is the highest paid elementary teacher? ›

How Much Does an Elementary School Teacher Make? Elementary School Teachers made a median salary of $61,400 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $77,920 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $48,450.

What is the highest paid middle school teacher? ›

How Much Does a Middle School Teacher Make? Middle School Teachers made a median salary of $61,320 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $77,640 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $48,540.

What is the lowest-paid high school teacher? ›

The highest paid teacher in Kenya is the chief principal who takes home Ksh 200,928 while the lowest earning teacher pockets Ksh 16,692 per month.

How much money do teachers get for summer school? ›

How much does a Summer School Teacher make? As of Mar 6, 2023, the average monthly pay for a Summer School Teacher in the United States is $3,292 a month.

What do teachers do for money during the summer? ›

While many of us dream of having the summer months off, lots of teachers use their vacations to earn extra cash.
Jobs That Will Keep You Teaching
  • Teach English as a Second Language. ...
  • Offer Tutoring. ...
  • Become a Test Prep Instructor. ...
  • Coach Youth Sports. ...
  • Work as a Nanny or Babysitter.
Nov 21, 2022

What is the highest paying summer job? ›

15 high-paying summer jobs
  • Lifeguard.
  • Camp counselor.
  • Bartender.
  • Landscaper.
  • Customer service representative.
  • Dog walker.
  • Construction worker.
  • Babysitter/nanny.
Feb 16, 2023

Do teachers have salary during vacation? ›

Teachers have proportional vacation pay because they are not entitled to the annual leave credits with pay. That leave includes 5 days of mandatory leave, 3 days of special leave, 15 days of vacation leave, 15 days of sick leave, and birthday leave. This kind of leave is enjoyed by other government employees as well.

How much time do teachers get off in summer? ›

Most schools around here require teachers to work a few days after the students are gone for summer, and come in a week or two before the students return in the fall. So, if the students get 8 weeks of vacation, teachers get 6–7 weeks. When is your School breaking for Summer Vacation?

What is the average teacher salary? ›

Find out what the average Teacher salary is

The average teacher salary in Ireland is € 37 538 per year or € 19.25 per hour. Entry-level positions start at € 30 000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to € 48 812 per year.

Why don t teaching assistants get paid more? ›

This is because teacher pay and TA come from different sources of funding - teachers are paid from the DfE, while TAs pay is set by the local authority government.

How many weeks of the year do teaching assistants get paid? ›

36 weeks a year you work. It isn't the same as teachers, teachers are on a full year contract so get pay, NI and pension for the whole year. And pro rata holiday, no? Our TAs are salaried so their annual salary is divided by 12 and they are paid every month even during holidays (in the same way as teachers).

What is a TA pay scale? ›

£13k - £23k.

Why do Paras make so little money? ›

Research shows that about three-quarters of paraprofessionals don't have a bachelor's degree, which is one reason why school districts pay them so much less than teachers, said Amaya Garcia, the deputy director of preK-12 education at the left-leaning think tank New America.

Which is harder paras or Marines? ›

Who is tougher, the Royal Marines or Paras? There is really no answer to this question. Both require extremely high standards of fitness to achieve entry.

Are paras more elite than Marines? ›

The Infantry walk in. The paras and Marines are fitter than your average infantryman. But out of the 2, one is not more elite than the other. They have different roles, so are not really comparable.

Why are teachers so badly paid in US? ›

Teachers get paid so little because education is underfunded in the United States. This equation has other factors, but this is the prime reason. The professional group of teachers has not experienced a salary increase in quite a long time.

Why so many teachers are quitting? ›

Many of the predominant challenges teachers face, including safety concerns, low salaries, funding deficits and declining mental health, are not new issues — but the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has intensified existing problems within the profession.

How to make 6 figures as a teacher? ›

How to make more money as a teacher
  1. Find opportunities to earn supplemental money at your school. ...
  2. Do research on your location's pay rates. ...
  3. Earn an advanced degree. ...
  4. Take advantage of professional development opportunities. ...
  5. Transition to an administrative career. ...
  6. Offer tutoring options.
Jan 19, 2023

What state has the happiest teachers? ›

Overall ranking of best and worst states for teachers in 2022
RankStateOverall score
1New York3.80
4New Jersey4.77
46 more rows
May 31, 2022

What states are easiest to get a teaching job? ›

For a teacher willing to relocate, there are schools that are hiring now. In most states, there is a severe need for bilingual, ESL, special education, math and science credentials.
The 10 Best States To Find A Teaching Job
  1. North Dakota. ...
  2. Alaska. ...
  3. Illinois. ...
  4. Florida. ...
  5. Arizona. ...
  6. Connecticut. ...
  7. Alabama. ...
  8. Arkansas.

Who are the highest paid teachers in the world? ›

Teachers in Luxembourg earn 30% more than any other teacher in the world, with a starting salary that exceeds nearly every other nation's maximum teacher salary.

What happens to my Social Security if I become a teacher? ›

As a California public school educator, you do not pay into Social Security, so you will not receive Social Security benefits for your CalSTRS-covered position.

At what age do most school teachers retire? ›

This means that someone who enters teaching before age 25 with a bachelor's and accumulates 30 or more years of service can usually retire sometime between age 55 and 60. In most states teachers are eligible for retirement without penalty once they turn 60 even with less than 30 years of service.

How old are most teachers when they retire? ›

The average retirement age for teachers hovers around 59.

Which teachers are most in demand? ›

Which teaching subject is most in demand? While specific needs vary by institution, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are subjects that are always in high demand.

What states really need teachers? ›

As a result, teacher shortages in 2023 could persist. As we head back to school we are already seeing massive shortages in Texas, Nevada, Florida, and Arizona. These shortages are exacerbated by the lack of substitute teachers as teaching jobs remain vacant into the 2023-2024 school year.

Which states produce the most teachers? ›

Texas public schools had more teachers than any other state. In 2018-19, public schools in the United States employed a full-time equivalent of nearly 3.2 million teachers, according to figures from the National Center for Education Statistics.

What grade of teaching makes the most money? ›

What grade / level do teachers get paid the most? The highest earners are typically high school level teachers, and the lowest paid are preschool teachers.

What is the highest teacher salary per month? ›

Highest salary that a Primary School Teacher can earn is ₹4.2 Lakhs per year (₹35.0k per month).

What is the highest paying school district in the US? ›

#1. Scarsdale Public Schools, Scarsdale, NY ($107,100)

This small district recognizes the value of their teachers which is evidenced by the average salaries landing at the top of any district in the country.

Where is the best place for teachers to live? ›

Best States for Teachers
Overall RankStateTotal Score
1New York59.33
47 more rows
Sep 19, 2022

What is the best salary in school teacher? ›

Teacher salary in India ranges between ₹ 0.2 Lakhs to ₹ 5.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 2.0 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 36.9k latest salaries received from Teachers.

What is the highest paid public high school teacher? ›

How Much Does a High School Teacher Make? High School Teachers made a median salary of $61,820 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $78,780 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $48,830.

What kind of high school teacher makes the most money? ›

If you're a chemistry buff, you're in luck — chemistry is one of the highest-paid subjects to teach in high schools. Chemistry teachers typically major in chemistry or a related field during their undergraduate education.

Which subject of high school teachers make the most money? ›

Teacher salaries for science, math and other STEM-related classes are higher than subjects like art and foreign languages. For example, according to PayScale, a physics teacher makes 11% more than a language arts teacher. Subjects that usually offer a higher salary: Biology.

Do NYC teachers get paid on holidays? ›

Employee Comments

All holidays the students are off, will be paid holidays. Holidays including national holidays and some religious holidays. There are paid holidays included in the school calendar.

How often do NYC teachers get paid? ›

Department of Education (DoE) teachers are paid semi-monthly.

How can teachers make money in the summer? ›

If you're considering something seasonal this summer vacation, check out these 10 ways to make money in your teaching off-season.
  1. Start a blog. ...
  2. Sell lesson plans. ...
  3. Seek out seasonal work. ...
  4. Try direct selling. ...
  5. Work at a summer camp. ...
  6. Tutor. ...
  7. Contract as a freelance writer/designer/editor. ...
  8. Work in a child care center.


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