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Advice sought - Teaching International School

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Pennywhistle
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Advice sought - Teaching International School

Postby Pennywhistle » Mon, 01 Jul 2013 7:31 pm

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Last edited by Pennywhistle on Tue, 10 Sep 2013 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Pennywhistle » Tue, 02 Jul 2013 5:25 pm

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Last edited by Pennywhistle on Tue, 10 Sep 2013 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 02 Jul 2013 11:46 pm

Pennywhistle wrote:So it seems I jumped the gun and posted a topic that has been covered many (MANY) times! So apologies to all that I may have made sigh at seeing yet another teacher post. Rookie Mistake.

Having now utilised the forums' search function, and scouring lots of teaching topics and helpful replies, coupled with other information about salary packages for the corporate world I have more specific questions.

Someone last noted in 2008 that a teacher with experience and a Masters Degree employed at an International School should expect $140,000 SGD. On top of that you could expect a minimum of $2500 housing assistance for a couple up to $3700. Flights (Quantity unknown) included, medical included and a 20% completion bonus at the end of the contract (in addition to the base salary). I couldn't find anything about relocation fees. Also discounted education for up to three children. (Our child is only 6 months so we would not be able to utilise that bonus.)

In the corporate world, I have noted many posts (most recent in 2013) that say to take your existing homeland salary, then increase it by 50%. Flights once a year, Freight to and from, Relocation allowance of $10,000 US, one month of living allowance while settling in and looking for accommodation. Obviously this could be comparing apples with oranges.

My home base salary is in the $80,000 AUD range so based on others more recent advice I would be looking at $120,000 AUD or $140,000 SG as a base before extras are added. It comes out very close to what somebody said (I am assuming) a teacher of my qualifications an experience would have received in 2008. Would that pay scale have adjusted itself in that 5 year period?

Down to the nitty gritty. Can anyone confirm that International Schools are still offering similar pay scales and bonuses? There hasn't really been any further information that I can find that was last touched on since 2008 (apart from a lot of new graduates with no teaching experience asking questions) and I would really appreciate anyone's experience. Cheers.


Not a snowballs chance unless you're HOD in the best schools (SAS for example and even then). My wife earned about S$70,000 pa at XXX. Don't forget you don't get paid for two months summer in most of these schools.

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Postby Pennywhistle » Wed, 03 Jul 2013 7:18 am

Thank you PNKMK for your reply. I am assuming that the level of salary that I quoted from old posts was restricted to the top tier schools, but it's good that you have clarified that it would be a head of department on that salary so I know what to aim for. Anything less than what I am actually earning in Australia would, of course, be ridiculous to consider with a family.

If anyone else has any contradictory (or supportive!) information from their own or others experience I would really appreciate their feedback.

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 03 Jul 2013 10:25 am

Pennywhistle wrote:Thank you PNKMK for your reply. I am assuming that the level of salary that I quoted from old posts was restricted to the top tier schools, but it's good that you have clarified that it would be a head of department on that salary so I know what to aim for. Anything less than what I am actually earning in Australia would, of course, be ridiculous to consider with a family.

If anyone else has any contradictory (or supportive!) information from their own or others experience I would really appreciate their feedback.


You'll need IB qualifications AND experience to get that sort of job. Australian curriculum probably won't do it.

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Postby bgd » Wed, 03 Jul 2013 11:29 am

Pennywhistle wrote:

In the corporate world, I have noted many posts (most recent in 2013) that say to take your existing homeland salary, then increase it by 50%. Flights once a year, Freight to and from, Relocation allowance of $10,000 US, one month of living allowance while settling in and looking for accommodation. Obviously this could be comparing apples with oranges.


Indeed, apples and oranges. This is an expat type package where a company relocates an employee. These are not as common as they once were and I should think very rare in the education sector.

When looking at salary make sure you factor in the lower tax regime in Singapore. It does make a big difference.

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 03 Jul 2013 2:07 pm

I've just asked my wife what she thinks you're worth. Her answer was US$85,000 to US$95,000 p.a. payable for 10 months only (2 months are salary free in N. American Int'l schools) AND you need to bring a teaching partner with you and if you can find a good job in one of the top schools. That's only for someone with a masters and IB experience. The reason you need a teaching partner - and this is common in Int'l schools - is so you can double dip on the housing allowances and actually afford somewhere. You'll get your moving paid and flight back if you move in from overseas.

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Postby Pennywhistle » Wed, 03 Jul 2013 4:38 pm

Thanks again for the replies, and thank you for asking your wife! Much appreciated. Considering the Australian dollar has for a while now been worth on average 5% more than the American it made me laugh (in a good way!) at the comparison. But now we are below parody again ;)

I understand that additional qualifications may be needed to teach in some of the International Schools due to the curriculum differences, but figured I could nut that out with schools prior to applying. Like I said, this is all for research to see if it's even a viable option for us, so once again I really do appreciate honest feedback. Unfortunately my wife is not a teacher (architect) so that throws a serious spanner in the works. Just to clarify, my wife is intending to stay at home (where ever we are) and look after our baby for the toddler years therefore we wouldn't be drawing her income. We figured it could be a great chance to move O/S where I could teach in an International School in a more senior role (something we have always wanted to do as fresh grads but never got around to it) and in essence earn a salary that was near to what we would have been earning combined in Aus, while saving some money and gaining a great life experience at the same time. And yes, factoring in the tax breaks. But by the sound of some obstacles we may be facing, this might all be a pipe dream!

But, in hopes of continuing....what range do you think the housing allowance might be and is it essential to have a teaching partner? I can see the argument in terms of housing assistance being paid once, but what of teaching partners who have a number of school age children and receive discounted school fees? Surely there is a balance somewhere. Would we only receive flights home, but not there? No yearly return flights? I think there is a contract completion bonus of around 20%, can you confirm? When you say an annual salary but only paid for 10 months, in essence I would be receiving less than the stated annual salary? Is superannuation paid in addition to the salary? (not sure if it has another name in the US, but a retirement fund contribution paid by the employer). Apologies that my very vague question at the start of this topic has now become a detailed search! Thanks again everyone.

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 03 Jul 2013 6:05 pm

I can only say at this stage to apply to schools here (most advertice twice yearly) and see what they offer. You will be tight on funds but free with time. Most teachers are here. Most schools offer one free tuition place per parent for children.

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Postby Pennywhistle » Wed, 03 Jul 2013 6:26 pm

I think that's our next step. Great to see schools advertising via their websites so will certainly be keeping an eye out.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 03 Jul 2013 8:00 pm

Pennywhistle wrote:But now we are below parody again ;)



Nice word play!


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