Top Tier - Top Pay?

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jessiejames
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:00 pm

Top Tier - Top Pay?

Post by jessiejames »

Title says it all ready - does a Tier 1 school necessarily equate to a top salary?
I was recently offered a job by a school I have often seen in lists of top schools on here, and is well spoken of, despite the long hours and high workload. I was very surprised that the package offered was less than many other schools in the same city.
I am relatively new to international teaching (less than 5 years) though I have been teaching for quite a while. I had previously aimed for top tier schools. Is this an anomaly or commonplace?
Thank you for your opinions in advance!
unsure
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:15 pm

Re: Top Tier - Top Pay?

Post by unsure »

[quote=jessiejames post_id=62622 time=1642430288 user_id=179245]
does a Tier 1 school necessarily equate to a top salary?
[/quote]

Usually, yes. There's no real other objective way to measure them.

As for your comment, "I was recently offered a job by a school I have often seen in lists of top schools on here. . .I was very surprised that the package offered was less than many other schools in the same city.". That's because admin have been known to use this site to talk up their school. Take what you read on here with a large pinch of salt.
Heliotrope
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Top Tier - Top Pay?

Post by Heliotrope »

Yes, usually the tier 1 schools will offer the highest pay in a particular city, because savings potential is one of the main reasons most teachers rank a school as top tier.
Can you disclose which city this school is in? (or even give us a hint as to which school it is?)

Did you accept their offer?
sid
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Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Top Tier - Top Pay?

Post by sid »

It's not as uncommon as some people think.
American international schools tend to pay less than British ones, but also tend to define a teaching load as lighter than Brits do. So if you have a top-tier American school, it could pay less than the British school across town.
Benefits also vary, and you have to find ways to compare apples to apples. 100K annually with a 10% retirement match is better than 105K annually at another school. Housing - cash, actual house, or nothing? Insurance - worldwide, except US, or just in-country? Etc, etc, etc. Make sure you compare it all.
Pay scales also move at different rates. Case in point from a previous school of mine, a teacher with more than 8 years of experience would get paid more with me than across town. But at 7 years or less, they would have done better at the other school. By 10 years and up, the difference was quite significant and growing each year, and we had lots of teachers attempting to switch schools once they hit the 8 or 9 year mark.
And then there are simply those that pay less. It happens. Top tier means many different things to different people. We're judging, from afar, and without all the info, various points about the students' overall experience, work-life balance, teaching resources, community support, leadership approaches, pd provisions.... The package should be good at a top tier school, but that doesn't mean it has to be the best in town.

If you like the school, and the overall package works for you, take the job.
Smokegreynblues
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Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:50 pm

Re: Top Tier - Top Pay?

Post by Smokegreynblues »

I guess Top pay corresponds to market conditions. Irrespective of Top Tier. A school catering to the rich elite with 50k USD in fee will always pay more than, a Top tier that charges 20K USD. Usually, Not-for-profit schools might have a lower or equal fee than For-profit enterprises and will provide a higher salary, if every other factor remains the same. In my city, there is a school that pays 10k USD more than the top tier 1 schools at the top end. But it belongs to one of the richest families as well. The top tier I refer often gets mentioned on this forum in Asia.
jessiejames
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:00 pm

Re: Top Tier - Top Pay?

Post by jessiejames »

Heliotrope wrote:
> Yes, usually the tier 1 schools will offer the highest pay in a particular
> city, because savings potential is one of the main reasons most teachers
> rank a school as top tier.
> Can you disclose which city this school is in? (or even give us a hint as
> to which school it is?)
>
> Did you accept their offer?

It is a school with a big focus on service, in SE Asia.
Heliotrope
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Top Tier - Top Pay?

Post by Heliotrope »

jessiejames wrote:
> It is a school with a big focus on service, in SE Asia.


If it's the school I think it is, it's in a city with a total of three tier 1 schools ('yours' being one of those three), and both of the other two definitely pay more - one pays a lot more actually
These three tier 1 schools do all pay more than the highest paying tier 2 school in that city though, although there's one tier 2 school that come close to what 'your' school pays.

It's a very solid school though, which will allow you to save a good sum each month, and it'll look great on your CV when you decide to move on.
jessiejames
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:00 pm

Re: Top Tier - Top Pay?

Post by jessiejames »

That is a really helpful perspective. Thank you very much. Would you mind giving clues on what the better paying one would be - for future reference...!
Heliotrope
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Top Tier - Top Pay?

Post by Heliotrope »

jessiejames wrote:
> That is a really helpful perspective. Thank you very much. Would you mind
> giving clues on what the better paying one would be - for future
> reference...!

It's [city name] American School. Their postal code ends in 547 (just in case we're talking about different cities).
jessiejames
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:00 pm

Re: Top Tier - Top Pay?

Post by jessiejames »

Ah yes - that figures! Sounds like a great school, too. Some ISR reviews beg to differ but I know its very subjective.
chemteacher101
Posts: 111
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Re: Top Tier - Top Pay?

Post by chemteacher101 »

The thing about "Tier 1" schools, is that there is no unified list that EVERYONE agrees to, simply because some people may value more one thing over another. I certainly have seen TIER 1 schools that do not appear to pay as much as one would have imagined (I'm thinking of a certain school that was in the news a few years ago due to a scandal and that changed from International to something else starting with "Inter" due to local laws not wanting "International"ness).

Eliminating the idea of "Tiers", I have seen some of the best schools in a region pay less than schools that are not "as good" in that same country, simply because they cater to a different kind of student (and teacher). In Latin America, for example, there are some very rich schools that do not have any retention of having high academic standards and serve as more of a social club that will pay more than much better schools that are highly academic in nature and with better work conditions for expat teachers (albeit if being more like bilingual schools with NEASC accreditations). But again, it also depends on what a "good school" is. Personally, I have also found that a good school for students may not be so for teachers, and that there are schools where it's great to be a teacher, even though I would not want my kids to go to said school...
PsyGuy
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Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

Well it would be difficult to claim a top salary for all tier 1 ISs in a region that has multiple tier 1 ISs. This is why typically within such a scenario there is the elite/premiere IS that is generally ranged first among the tier 1 ISs.
You must also differentiate between salary and compensation (value of all benefits) some of which can be subjective. Even after doing that balancing salary and comp against obligations, tasks and workloads can change the picture between ISs within the same tier quickly. Many ITs find it surprising that at early steps in salary ESOL can pay as well if not better than IE given the overall workload in IE.
Generally, salary is one of the easier factors to quantify in tier rating, but its not the only one. Despite this, high salary is often present in first tier ISs. Even then not all scales are equivalent between ISs When considering differences in step at various points as well as band and TLR stipends. An IS with a separate Advanced degree band may be much better for an IT once they obtain the advance degree than an IS that offers a fixed stipend.
Even then within a region their is often an 'off circuit' IS/DS (private/independent DS that typically isnt very international if at all )that may pay substantially more than the first tier ISs within a region.
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