Salaries

Most teachers are employed on contracts which are directly linked to the salary scales in the relevant Employment Agreement. Refer to the links on the right hand side of this page for more information about employment agreements. The following information can be used as a guide.

Early childhood teacher salaries

There is a wide variety of early childhood education services and remuneration varies greatly and many early childhood centres set their own salaries. Salaries are either covered by a collective agreement, or they may be negotiated on an individual basis. The Kindergarten Association, however, does have a collective contract which includes a salary scale. You can access this agreement at www.nzei.org.nz.

Primary teacher salaries

The current starting salary for a primary school teacher with a Bachelor’s teaching degree is $46,025. The starting salary for a primary school teacher with a Bachelor’s degree (not a teaching degree) and a recognised teaching qualification is $47,519.

In order to progress up the salary scale a teacher must demonstrate that they have met the applicable professional standard. Their school’s board of trustees (often delegated to the school principal) must attest that the teacher has met this standard.

Primary teachers with a Bachelor's teaching degree can progress up to $68,755. Primary teachers with a Bachelor’s degree (not a teaching degree) and a recognised teaching qualification can progress up to $72,645.

Schools can also allocate ‘units’ to teachers in management positions or to those with extra responsibilities. Each unit is worth $4,000 and is paid on top of a teacher’s base salary. Higher qualifications, such as a subject or specialist degree held in addition to a teaching qualification, can lead to a higher starting salary and enable progression to the top of the scale sooner.

When you’re first appointed to a teaching position your entry salary will be assessed by the Ministry of Education. The assessment takes into account your qualifications, any teaching experience and/or any relevant work experience.

Secondary teacher salaries

The current entry salary for a secondary school teacher who holds registration granted by NZ Teachers Council and a NZ Qualifications Framework (NZQF) Level 7 subject or specialist qualification (the qualification must have at least 72 credits at Level 7) and a recognised teaching qualification is $47,874.

In order to progress up the salary scale a teacher must demonstrate that they have met the applicable professional standard. Their school’s board of trustees (often delegated to the school principal) must attest that the teacher has met this standard. Secondary teachers can progress up to $72,645.

Secondary schools can also allocate ‘units’ to teachers in management positions or to those with extra responsibilities. Each unit is worth $4,000 and is paid on top of a teacher’s base salary. Higher subject or specialist qualifications can lead to a higher starting salary, enabling progression to the top of the scale sooner.

When you’re first appointed to a teaching position your entry salary will be assessed by the Ministry of Education. The assessment takes into account your qualifications, any teaching experience and/or any relevant work experience, provided the work was undertaken after completing a recognised and appropriate vocational qualification that is at least at Level 4 on the NZQF. 

New Zealand taxation system

For the latest income tax rates and information on the New Zealand tax system, go to www.ird.govt.nz

GST (Goods and Services Tax) of 15 percent is levied on all goods and services.

Overseas teachers should apply for an IRD number as soon as a job offer is confirmed. If you wait until starting your job, you are likely to be taxed at the non-declaration rate.

New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand