New Eurydice Report on Teachers' and School Heads' Salaries and Allowances in Europe (2021-2022)


The annual Eurydice report "Teachers' and School Heads' Salaries and Allowances 2021-2022" provides information about the salaries and allowances of full-time, fully qualified teachers and school heads in 39 European countries.

The report highlights substantial differences in the statutory starting salaries for teachers. On average, pre-primary teachers earn less and upper secondary teachers generally earn more (except for Bulgaria and Greece). In most countries, salary differences between education levels are linked to differences in minimum qualification requirements. In 10 countries, the statutory starting salary is the same across education levels (Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Montenegro). Regretfully, between 2014 and 2022, the annual starting salaries of teachers decreased for all education levels in countries such as Belgium, Greece, Spain, and Italy. In contrast, the highest increases – more than 30% – over the last six years occurred in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Serbia.

The report highlights variations in salary progression throughout teachers' careers. Some countries offer substantial increases over a teacher's career span, incentivizing long-term commitment, like Cyprus, where salaries increase by more than 60% in the first 15 years of service and up to 143% in the following years. However, in others – like Hungary and Albania - modest increments over extended service periods discourage talented individuals from entering or staying in the profession (in Hungary it takes 42 years to reach the highest salary level; the salary increment in Albania is 14%). ETUCE strongly believes that decent salary and fair salary progression are key to raising attractiveness and retention in the profession.

Eurydice confirms the trend from the previous years, where countries with higher GDPs, like Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, offer more attractive remuneration to teachers (in Luxembourg salaries exceed EUR 93,000). In contrast, in countries like Latvia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania, teachers’ average salary is below the GDP per capita at all educational levels, impacting the attractiveness of the profession. Data shows that there was an overall salary increase compared to the previous year (except for Greece, Belgium, Italy, and Spain, where salaries decreased), but the increases have been slight and often linked to inflation adjustments. About school heads, the report highlights that at least 5 years of professional experience is required at their appointment in half of the European education systems.

Eurydice’s report on the length of compulsory education within the European education systems, released on 2 October 2023, confirms the previous year’s trend: the shortest full-time compulsory education duration is in Estonia, Croatia, Poland, and Slovenia (8-9 years), while the longest is in France (15 years).

ETUCE believes that decent salaries for both teachers and school heads need to be ensured and to be adjusted to the rising cost of living. Attracting and retaining well-qualified graduates in the teaching profession, and addressing the issue of teacher shortages, is essential (see 2020 European Commission communication and 2021 Council resolution). Key elements of making the profession attractive are decent salary, good working conditions, career prospects, professional development, recognition, and motivation.