I predict salaries will go up

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(I need to write down more test data as part of my effort to track testing effects in the school, but I am pretty tired of test data. I’ll get there soon.)

While making lunch, I was thinking about all the teachers I know who are leaving or planning to leave the profession, along with all the teachers who now advise young people against even considering the teaching profession. As conditions continue to worsen, with more and more required government standards, tests and oversight, I now know many people who are just waiting to get out. Various teachers and administrators in my school have warned their kids away from educational careers.

Economics tells us that when required jobs become difficult to fill, salaries go up in response, as employers scramble to fill positions. Registered nursing provides a great example of this effect. I predict that in the next decade or two, teaching salaries will increase significantly as districts attempt to fill empty positions.

Eduhonesty: Taking a trip sideways back into time, let’s look at nursing. The following information comes from http://www.healthecareers.com/article/nursing-50-years-back-and-today-how-the-nursing-field-has-changed-over-the-last-50-years/158432, by Julie Blanche, ADRN, www.nursingstudenttutor.com.

Nursing 50 Years Back and Today: How the Nursing Field Has Changed Over the Last 50 Years – 11/2/2010

Salaries of Nurses over the Past 50 Years

Over the past 50 years, nursing has experienced many changes when it comes to salaries. During this time, there have been periods when the supply of nurses outstrips demand when the demand for nurses is not able to keep up with the growing need. Recent years have seen a much greater demand than there is supply. This has made salaries over the past two decades grow at a surprising rate.

The good news for nurses entering the field today is that demand in the next decades is only projected to grow. Today’s nurses, RNs specifically, can make as much as $72,000 a year. Many registered nurses (RNs) in today’s market start out making as much as $40,000. Of course, this is largely dependent on where nurses live, the type of nursing positions that are being taken, and the demand for nurses in that area.

While this is definitely a respectable salary by today’s standards, it’s something nurses in 1966, when a general duty nurse earned the whopping sum of $5,200 for a year’s worth of service could hardly have imagined. Many nurses today bring home in a month what the nurses of the 1960s and 1970s earned in a full year of service. This salary change for nurses from an average salary of $2,100 in 1946 is the direct result of a nursing shortage that was deemed critical at the time.

I expect to see a critical teacher shortage within the decade if nothing changes. Contracts in unionized districts still set salaries, but those unions and contracts are weakening. Bonuses to teachers entering critical fields are becoming more common. While the change remains a few years away, pressure to fill vacant positions should benefit teachers financially in the not-far-distant future.