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Monday, August 11, 2014

Bay Area Income Distribution & Teacher Salary Data

The top 10% of teachers in Santa Clara county make annual salaries of $80,607 to $94, 412.  (See images below)

Today the San Jose Mercury news ran a piece titled "Income high but at what price?"  where they wrote
Santa Clara County has the highest median household income in the nation, at $93,500, and two other Bay Area urban centers are in the top 10, but the tech-fueled geyser of wealth has created a widening gap between high earners and middle- and low-income workers, according to a report released Monday.
Commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the study found that the San Francisco-East Bay-San Mateo- Marin area ranked No. 4 nationally, at $75,900, and Napa County came in at No. 7 with $72,100. 
But the study also found that income is increasingly less evenly distributed. In the Bay Area, Jon Haveman, an economist with Marin Economic Consulting, said that has led to “a region of haves and have-nots.”
Below are some charts to show how teachers in Santa Clara County, often called "The Silicon Valley" fit in this range.

A friend who is a manager in the high tech industry told me he has to pay about $83,000 to get a good employee who is a recent college graduate and it can run $100,000 to $130,00 to get someone experienced.  

My mother (RIP) was a teacher near the top of her pay curve.  She retired after 30 years with about 60% of her salary.  It was a great job as she got summers off, numerous holidays including two weeks for Christmas and great health benefits.   She also didn't have to travel on her own time to meet customers, attend engineering seminars, work nights and weekends to meet tight schedules.  The best part is she didn't have a boss who didn't take vacations trying to tell her to work harder or be replaced, something many in the Silicon Valley would love.

Santa Clara County Teacher Salary Distribution (Source)

Los Altos Teacher Salary Distribution (Source)
Clearly teachers in the bottom 25%, even after accounting for a great pension plan and more holidays than the typical tech worker, are not wealthy with  K-12 making $44,235 to $53,661 but for the good teachers who move to the top quartile, the salary is decent.  The top 10% in Santa Clara county make annual salaries of $80,607 to $94, 412.

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