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Educators seeking employment often have a few factors to consider during their search; general location, school district, and grade level, are just a few.  Additionally, one of the larger components an educator wants to consider, is their preference on teaching in a public or private school. While there are obvious similarities between the two, the differences can define the way the teaching positions (amongst other things), are structured.  Educators alike spend a considerable amount of time within their workplace, and it is important for new and experienced candidates to know where they are comfortable. Here are a few important things to consider when comparing public and private schools.

Available Teaching Opportunities

It’s no secret that the job market and the economy have struggled over the last decade.  Students enrolling in college are still experiencing difficulties finding suitable employment following their graduation.  While the market is slowly rising back up and opening more jobs, one thing to always consider is the availability of teaching jobs.  Of course, no industry is invincible to economic struggle, schools and teachers are often directly affected; however, the need for teachers is consistently increasing.  Because there are more public schools than private, by default, educators are more likely to find employment opportunities within public establishments. Additionally, educators can be more specific about location and grade level within the public sector.   

Pay Scale

Pay for teachers has been an arguable topic for years.  According to the National Education Association (NEA), the 2017 National Average Starting Teacher Salary was $38,617.  This is a significant difference when compared to the overall average starting salary of 2016 graduates with a bachelor’s degree.  For educators, it doesn’t end there; there are also significant pay differences between public and private schools.  Surprisingly, public school teachers are known to have a higher salary when compared to private. While public school educators are protected by the teachers union and have their salary based off of their state requirements, private school teachers’ salaries are based off of a percentage of student tuition; often resulting in a lower annual salary.

Varying Education Level Requirements

Private school education level requirements for potential teachers is handled differently than that of public school.  While public schools require teachers to obtain a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certification by the state, private schools offer a little more leeway within their requirements.  Although many private schools maintain the same standards as the public sector, they are not state run, and sometimes do not require their teachers to have the same certifications.

Classroom Size

The size of the classroom is commonly known to be a significant difference between public and private establishments.  Public schools are state regulated facilities, and though it is a goal to have smaller classrooms, many public schools experience higher student to teacher ratios; ultimately resulting in larger classroom sizes.  This is a factor that many private schools pride themselves on. With private schools being tuition based, their student enrollment is often less than that of a public school, creating smaller student to teacher ratios.