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Teacher Salary Scales at Chicago Catholic Schools

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Teachers in schools administered by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago receive significantly lower salaries than equally trained and experienced teachers who work for the Chicago public school system. Starting salaries for Catholic teachers are $27,250 annually as of publication, while starting salaries for public school teachers are $53,318, according to comparative data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Archdiocesan pay scales.

Archdiocese of Chicago Teacher Salaries

The Archdiocese of Chicago bases its compensation on the same type of salary schedule used by most public schools. This schedule provides teachers higher wages according to experience and the amount of postsecondary education they earn. At the time of publication, teacher salaries in Archdiocesan schools range from $27,250 annually for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree to $53,363 for a teacher with a doctorate and 30 years in the classroom. A typical teacher midway through his career may expect to earn in the low $30,000 range. A teacher with 15 additional credits past his bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience earns $33,134 each year.


In addition to their base salaries, Chicago’s Catholic school teachers receive other forms of compensation. Teachers who are certified as catechists (religious studies instructors) earn an additional $500 annually as of the time of pubication. In addition, the Archdiocese provides up to $1,200 annually for professional development such as continuing education. Teachers also are automatically enrolled in a Blue Cross/Blue Shield health plan, long-term disability insurance and minimal life insurance. Lay teachers are also eligible to participate in the Archdiocese’s 403b retirement plan, a pretax plan similar to 401k packages offered by private employers.

Comparison to Chicago Public School Salaries

Teachers employed by the Chicago public school system earn much more than those who work for the Archdiocese. A first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree receives $53,318 in the 2011-2012 school year, a starting salary that is already $45 higher than the highest-paid teacher in a Catholic school can expect to receive even after many years of experience. In comparison, the highest-paid teacher in the public school system, one with a doctorate and several years of experience, receives $117,661 annually.

Average Chicago Teacher Salaries

More than 100,000 teachers worked in Chicago’s public and private schools as of May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Average annual salaries ranged from $46,120 to $55,170. Only 10 percent of the city’s teachers received $37,330 or less.


Wilhelm Schnotz has worked as a freelance writer since 1998, covering arts and entertainment, culture and financial stories for a variety of consumer publications. His work has appeared in dozens of print titles, including "TV Guide" and "The Dallas Observer." Schnotz holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Colorado State University.