Updated: Jul 14, 2022
You might wonder what a teacher’s salary in Singapore is as you embark on the journey of exploring various career paths. Aside from job contentment, salary is a huge deciding factor for many when choosing the career that you want to dedicate your life to.
If you feel as though there are a lot of obscurities when it comes to teachers’ salaries, you’re not alone! We sieved through piles of information and have compiled the average salary of a Singaporean teacher in one handy place.
Read on to gain more insight into the lives of an NIE-trained teacher and what salary might await you as a teacher in Singapore.
A Teacher’s Salary During Training
If you’ve looked into becoming a teacher, you might already know a little bit about the path to becoming a teacher in schools under the Ministry of Education (MOE).
Bachelor of Arts (Education) and Bachelor of Science (Education) Teaching Scholars Programme
There are many routes to becoming a teacher but the most popular one would be entering the 4-year undergraduate program at National Technological University (NTU).
This is where you graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Education) or Bachelor of Science (Education) which is jointly given by both NTU and the National Institute of Education (NIE).
If this is the education pathway that you choose, you get to enjoy a full sponsorship of your education and get to start teaching immediately upon graduation, based on MOE’s needs.
A less popular way of becoming a teacher would be through the DipEd program. This is because you are only limited to being a primary school teacher if you choose to go through this path.
If you’re someone who enjoys flexibility and would like the option to teach older children, then this might not be the best choice for you.
Meanwhile, if this sounds like something you see yourself doing, then it can be a great choice for you if you’ve just graduated from the GCE A-Level program or are an International Baccalaureate/Polytechnic diploma holder.
Just like the other programs, your time at NIE will be fully funded and you’ll need to serve a 3-year teaching bond at a primary school.
Postgraduate Diploma In Education (PGDE)
On the other hand, if you’re currently a degree holder and choose to become a teacher, a popular path is attaining the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).
Under the PGDE, you will need to take on a compulsory contract teaching stint as an untrained teacher before enrolling in NIE.
Additionally, if you are successfully enrolled in NIE, you will also get to enjoy a teacher’s salary in Singapore.
The exact teacher’s salary that you get to enjoy will depend on a few factors such as the type of prior relevant experience you have, the amount of time that you spend on the job, your academic training, and whether you have completed full-time National Service.
Just like the former pathway mentioned, your training at NIE will be funded by MOE.
Here’s a summary of what you can expect from both of these programmes:
Comparing DipEd vs PGDE
How Does MOE Career Track Work?
It’s no surprise that government jobs are hierarchical in nature. As a result, the salary that you get as a teacher will also be affected by your salary level in this hierarchy (GEO 1-5/SEO 1-3).
Don’t worry if these abbreviations sound foreign to you, the next section delves into this in greater depth.
But first, it’s important to understand the career track. Your career progression in this industry can be extremely helpful in allowing you to attain your ideal salary as a teacher in Singapore.
Sourced from MOE
There is a great level of flexibility in terms of your professional development in MOE which varies based on your strengths.
There are three career tracks to pick: Teaching, School Leadership & Senior Specialist.
Teachers can only specialize in career tracks when their supervising officer decides that they can take on additional responsibility.
This usually happens when Teachers are GEO 4 or 5 and could take quite some time for someone who has just entered the industry (5 years at the earliest).
If you’re interested in teaching in a school setting, you can opt for the Teaching Track which allows you to advance in ranks in the teaching force.
For more managerial positions, the School Leadership Track might be more suitable for you. This role allows you to take on leadership roles in schools.
Regarding educational development, the Senior Specialist Track could be right for you! This allows you to apply your knowledge and skills to innovate in specialized areas of education.
However, movement between the different tracks is always an option. This means that entering the teaching field does not lock you into a particular track for your entire lifetime!
MOE Teacher Salary Level
If you’re starting out as a classroom teacher, there is a great deal of transparency with regard to your starting salary as a teacher.
You begin your teaching career as a General Education Officer (GEO). There are five teaching salary levels within this particular role, ranging from GEO 1-5.
The program that you enrolled in during your time at NIE affects your salary. Graduating with DipEd places you in GEO 1 while PGDE places you in GEO 2, where you can expect to enjoy a salary of $3,500-$4,000 after you graduate.
You can rise up the levels if you attain satisfactory evaluations and as you progress from one GEO level to the next, you get to enjoy a 10% increase in your salary as a teacher.
If you do not get promoted, your salary will still see an increase yearly. However, this is not as drastic compared to a promotion to the next level.
Furthermore, there are salary caps for each GEO level which is why you may experience some stagnancy in your pay.
When you’ve reached GEO 5, your next promotion would put you on the Senior Education Officer (SEO) scale. However, it’s also possible to jump from GEO 4 to the SEO scale.
The SEO scale ranges from levels 1-3. As an SEO, you take on more challenges and more responsibilities, as exemplified in the above infographic. You can be on either career track for this to occur.
After being promoted onto the teaching track, you get to enjoy a 20% jump in your salary as a classroom teacher. Subsequent promotions between levels within the track would allow you to reap an increase of 15-20% in your teaching salary.
Beyond the SEO scale is the Super Scale where little information about salary is disclosed.
The Average Teacher’s Salary (Based On Experience)
Being more senior in the teaching industry does not only affect your teaching caliber but also allows you to enjoy a higher salary as a teacher in Singapore.
Hence, we hope that this section will help you to gain more insight into how your salary as a teacher will change based on your time in the public teaching service.
Note that the salary is what you can expect if you remain as a GEO throughout your career as a teacher!
Sourced from Glassdoor
The Average Teacher’s Salary (Based On Position)
Even though we don’t have specifics, here’s a broad idea of the average salary you get to enjoy as a teacher in the different roles of a career track based on Glassdoor.
MOE’s CONNECT Plan
MOE rolled out this plan as a means to incentivize teachers to stay in the teaching force. MOE sets aside a sum of money ranging from $2,400 to $8,320 annually for eligible teachers.
This amount will be handed out to the teacher on top of their regular salary at key points of their teaching career.
Sourced from AGC
You can think of this as a form of passive income that comes by every few years!
Additional Benefits You Enjoy
Aside from a reasonable annual salary, there are some other amazing perks of being a teacher.
This includes bonuses, time off during the school holidays, subsidized medical and dental perks, and of course, the well-thought-out CONNECT Plan.
To be specific, you get 14 days of medical leave and 10 days of urgent leave (subject to approval). You will also be reimbursed 85% of your expenses per visit to your dentist, which can be up to $120 per year.
Additionally, you enjoy excellent medical benefits, such as subsidies of up to $500 per calendar year for your medical expenses.
An additional 2% of your gross monthly salary will also be accounted into your Central Provident Fund Medisave Account.
As a teacher, you are a public officer which allows you to enjoy the Public Officers Group Insurance Scheme. You get to enjoy worldwide coverage at low premium rates which protects against death and the various forms of disability.
We advocate for having such protection in case of sudden emergencies that arise. Instead of spending on frivolous purchases, why don’t you consider putting your money into your own future?
We hope that this article helps you to understand more about the complexities associated with the teaching industry as well as a teacher’s salary.
Even though we believe it’s important to find a job that is financially rewarding (for you to make that BTO downpayment!), it’s equally important to be in an industry that’s emotionally gratifying!
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