CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

Journal Article

An Exploration of the Pay Levels Needed to Attract Students with Mathematics, Science and Technology Skills to a Career in K-12 Teaching

In an exploratory study (Note 1) of the role of salary level and other factors in motivating undergraduate math, science, and technology majors to consider a career as a K-12 teacher, the salary level students said would motivate them to consider a career in teaching was related to the salary expected in their chosen non-teaching occupation, but not to three of the Big 5 personality dimensions of extroversion, agreeableness, and openness, nor concern for others or career risk aversion. An annual starting salary 45% above the local average would attract 48% of the sophomore students and 37% of the juniors. Focus group results suggested that low pay was an important reason for not considering K-12 teaching, but that perceived job demands and abilities and interests were also important reasons for not being attracted to a teaching career.

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Publication Date

December 2003