Insights from Global Teacher Status Index

The Global Teacher Status Index (see Varkey Foundation) attempts to compare the status of teachers across the world. In a global economy, national standards are not enough to determine the educational success of a country.


Looking at teachers salaries can tell a little bit about how well the teachers are treated. Over 20 countries have better teacher salaries than the US relative to other graduates. South Korea, Spain, Canada, Portugal and many others are ahead of US. Italy, Hungary, Chile, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic are behind the US regarding teachers salaries.


Money is not everything for teachers. Many people choose this profession for respect. Teachers have the highest status in China, Turkey, Greece, and South Korea. Teachers in countries such as the Czech Republic, Brazil, and Italy don’t command high respect.

In the United States, France, Turkey and China, primary teachers are regarded more highly than the secondary teachers. In Greece and China, head teachers are seen as administrative staff and ranked below primary and secondary teachers.

Teaching: A Sought-After Profession

The status of educators is examined by finding whether people want their children to become teachers or not.

In China, 50% parents encourage their children to become teachers whereas, in Israel, only 8% parents want their children to choose this profession. In the United States, about 35% parents would encourage their children to become educators.

Social Status of Teachers

In Us, Brazil, France, and Turkey, people consider the role of teachers similar to librarians. In New Zealand, the teaching job is seen as similar to the nursing job. In Japan, people think teachers to be similar to government managers. In China, people compare teachers with doctors.