In the world today, teaching is counted among the most challenging and demanding professions as these instructors share a common goal of impacting the younger generation with knowledge and contributing greatly to a greater tomorrow. But, does the compensation for teachers commensurate with the herculean task of shaping the future of the coming generation? Taking Kenya as a case study, the salary earned by teachers in both primary and secondary schools may not be big when compared to employees in other sectors. However, reports say Kenyan teachers are the third-best paid on the entire African continent. With that said, we must note that the amount payable to any teacher is dependent on a lot of variables like educational qualification, experience or grade level, gender, and much more.
How Lucrative is Teaching in Kenya?
The salaries paid to teachers in Kenya are affected by a lot of factors. For one, the geographical location has a big role to play in the amount a Kenyan teacher takes home every month. Other factors include experience, educational level, the type of school that employs them, and gender. With that said, people with higher qualifications and long experience will earn the bigger pay, and as for gender, Kenya favors the male gender in secondary school and the females in primary schools.
Going by what is obvious, it is glaring that teachers are among the least paid relative to other professions but people who have passion for this noble profession have continued to be diligent in dispensing their duties. Apart from teachers engaged in public schools where salaries are paid by the government through the TSC (Teachers Service Commission) salary structure, there is another crop of teachers in the private institutions of learning. This category of tutors earn their keeps from the proprietors of the schools that employ them and their monthly remuneration depends on factors such as the size and strength of the school, including the school fees paid by the students or pupils.
Salary Range For Elementary School Teachers in Kenya?
The salary range for teachers engaged in primary schools in Kenya goes from 50,100 KES (at the lowest) to 160,000 KES (at the highest). This figure encompasses transport, housing, and several other benefits. From surveys, it has been revealed that the remunerations paid to primary school teachers vary depending on variables like grade level, experience, academic qualification, gender, and the likes. The breakdown is listed below;
1. Primary School Teacher Salary as Dictated By Experience
- A primary school teacher in his or her early career (between 0 to two years) will earn approximately 59,500 KES on a monthly basis.
- An experienced level of two to five years (mid-career) earns about 76,400 KES monthly as an elementary school teacher – this is 29% above what a teacher with lower than two years of experience would earn
- Experienced primary school teachers with five to 10 years experience are expected to be taking a monthly remuneration of 105,000 KES – this is 38% above what a teacher with two to five years experience will earn. By the time someone clocks 10 years in paid employment, the person’s income is expected to double his startup.
- With 10 to 15 years of working experience, a teacher in Kenya primary school will be taking home a monthly pay of 131,000 KES – this is 24% above what five to 10 years experience would fetch.
- Another highly experienced level between 15 to 20 years would be fetching an elementary school teacher in Kenya a monthly income of 140,000 KES – this is 7% higher than what 10 to 15 years experience would fetch.
- Lastly, Kenya elementary school teachers that have entered their late-career from 20 years and above would be earning 149,000 KES on a monthly basis.
2. Primary School Teacher Salary as Dictated By Level of Education
Even with the same level of experience, individual salaries earned by elementary school teachers will still vary because of educational level. A higher degree they say fetches more income and this has been observed to be true in the salary schedule of Kenyan primary school teachers.
- On the same experience level, a bachelor’s degree holder would be taking home an average monthly package of 74,200 KES as opposed to his counterpart who has gone on to acquire a Master’s degree.
- The Master’s degree holder would be earning as much as 119,000 KES monthly – this is 60% higher than what you would earn with a Bachelor’s degree.
3. Primary School Teacher Salary as Dictated By Gender
On paper, gender doesn’t seem to have any effect on income, but in reality, it does. Male Kenyan primary school teachers get nine percent less than what a female teacher would earn at the same level
- Males – 96,700 KES
- Females – (+10%) 106,000 KES
4. Primary School Teacher’s Salary Structure According to the New TSC Grading
The job groups under which primary school teachers were initially graded were G, J, K, L, M, N, and P. However, TSC recently did a regrouping further dividing them into different subgroups
|Category of Teachers
|Basic Monthly Salary
|Job group P – Grade D1
|All elementary school headteachers in boarding and day schools
|Ksh77,840 to Ksh93,408
|Job group N – Grade C5
|Elementary School headteachers engaged in schools with a very low student population
|Ksh62,272 to Ksh77,840
|Job group M – Grade C4
|Deputy headteachers engaged in day schools
|Ksh52,308 to Ksh65,385
|Job group L – Grade C3
|All senior instructor
|Ksh43,154 to Ksh55, 945
|Job group K – Grade C2
|Senior primary coaches comprising of elementary special need education tutors
|Ksh34,955 to Ksh43,694
|Job group J – Grade C1
|grade C1 teachers
|Ksh27,195 to Ksh33,994
|Job group G – Grade B5
|P1 teachers (this category is for entry-level)
|Ksh21,756 to Ksh27,195
Secondary School Teacher Salary
Just like their counterparts in elementary schools, the salaries of secondary school teachers in Kenya are affected by the same variables.
1. Secondary School Teacher Salary as Dictated By Experience
Experience is counted among the key factors in determining teachers’ salaries in Kenyan Secondary Schools. Naturally, the higher a tutor’s experience in the teaching field, the higher his wages;
- The monthly salary of a secondary school teacher whose experience in the field is less than two years (early career) is approximately 73,200 KES
- A teacher in the secondary school who has bagged two to five years experience (mid-career) is expected to be earning about 94,100 KES on a monthly basis – this is 29% higher than the monthly remuneration of a teacher with lower than two years experience.
- When your experience level falls between 5 to 10 years (experienced teacher) as a Kenyan secondary school teacher, then your monthly take-home moves to 130,000 KES – this is 38% higher than the monthly remuneration of a teacher with 2 to 5 experience. Under normal circumstances, by the time a Kenya secondary school teacher crosses the 10-year-experience milestone, the person’s monthly remuneration doubles their starting package
- Now, when the years of experience for a secondary school teacher spans between 10 to 15 years (experienced teacher), he earns approximately 161,000 KES on a monthly basis – this is 24% higher than the monthly remuneration of a teacher with 5 to 10 experience.
- 172,000 KES is the expected monthly payment for a secondary school teacher whose years of experience fall between 15 to 20 years (highly experienced teacher) in Kenya – this is 7% more than a teacher with 10 to 15 years of experience.
- In conclusion, secondary school teachers whose wealth of experience has exceeded 20 years (late-career) will be taking home a monthly income of 184,000 KES – this is 7% more than a teacher with 15 to 20 years of experience.
2. Secondary School Teacher Salary as Dictated By Education Level
How does a teacher’s education level affect his or her salary? It is a known fact that a higher educational qualification attracts a bigger pay package but what percentage of increment does a degree add to a teacher’s monthly remuneration. Below is a breakdown of the monthly pay of secondary school teachers in Kenya according to their academic acumen.
- Armed with a Bachelor’s degree, a Kenyan secondary school teacher takes home an average monthly pay of 91,400 KES
- Adding a master’s degree to your portfolio attracts a monthly package of 147,000 KES – this is 60 percent more than the earnings of a Bachelor’s degree holder. This goes to prove that acquiring a higher degree is well worth the time and effort for those who can afford it.
- Bachelor’s Degree 91,400 KES
- Master’s Degree (+60%) 147,000 KES
3. Secondary School Teacher Salary as Dictated By Gender
This is very rare in other parts of the world but Kenya uses gender as a dictating factor for remunerations for their employees. In the East African country, male teachers in secondary schools are favored with 10 percent higher than what their female teachers earn on the same level.
- Male – 131,000 KES
- Female – (-9%) 119,000 KES
The Percentage For The Average Annual Salary Rise for Kenyan School Teachers
How often do teachers in Kenya schools get a pay rise? Kenyan school teachers are likely to get a salary rise of approximately six percent every 30 months which is every two and half years. However, the aforestated figure is just the average cut and should be considered as a general guideline. But then, pay rise will always vary from one individual to another depending on several factors. How often a person gets promoted or gets a rise can hinge on his or her performance and contribution to the overall success of the school.
Bonus and Incentive Rates For School Teachers in Kenya
How often and how much bonus do school teachers get awarded in Kenya? With very few exceptions, teaching in Kenya schools is listed among the low bonus-based jobs for some reasons. For one, schools have very limited involvement/contributions in the country’s direct revenue generation. The jobs that earn the highest bonuses and incentives are usually those directly and deeply involved in the country’s revenue generation cycle.
According to a survey conducted on teachers, while 13% were said to have received monetary bonus within 12 months, 87% didn’t receive any. The rate for the 13% who got the bonus was reported to range from 0% to 4% of their yearly income.
The Types Of Bonuses Receivable By Kenya Teachers
The bonuses for teachers in Kenya include;
1. Individual Performance-based Bonuses
This is the standard of all the bonuses – here; it is the exceptional performance of the individual staff that dictates the award of bonuses.
2. Company Performance Bonus
When organizations make excessive profits and earnings, some would celebrate the victory with employees collectively and this comes in the form of bonuses granted to all staff members. Now for teachers, there will be variances in the amount receivable by individuals depending on the roles they played within the school.
3. Goal-Based Bonuses
Here, those who have achieved important milestones are rewarded with bonuses
4. End of the Year Bonus/ Holiday Bonus
This is akin to an appreciation token. Teachers receive this kind of bonus without any reason attached to it.
Allowances For Teachers
TSC pays Kenya teachers a handful of allowances such as
1. Housing Allowances: TSC house allowances vary depending on a teacher’s location. Those residing in the urban areas such as the country’s capital earn higher (because of the high cost of accommodation) than the teachers in the rural areas where the cost of accommodation is less. Besides, teachers employed in the same municipality but who work under different job groups will earn different housing allowances. Municipality here is divided into three;
- Major cities
- Other cities
2. Hardship Allowances: This allowance is paid according to the grade level of each teacher.
3. Leave Allowances: Leave allowance is the amount payable when an employee of a company is proceeding on their annual leave
4. Medical Allowances: Teachers no longer receive this allowance directly, rather, it is deducted and paid directly to Minet insurance / a part of it is given to their NHIF.
5. Commuter Allowance: Important to note that teachers in Kenya receive what is referred to as commuter allowance. The amount payable is KSh5,000 and it is equal for everyone.
Average Basic Salary of Kenya Teachers According to Location
The basic salary receivable by teachers in Kenya can vary depending on the particular location where an individual works. From the report below, the least earners are the teachers in Machakos and Kisumu who earn below Ksh20,000 as basic salary. On the flip side, teachers in Narok and Kwale are topping the list with Ksh39,000 and Ksh48,000 respectively
- Kwale – Ksh 48,000
- Narok – Ksh 39,000
- Garissa – Ksh 38,000
- Siaya – Ksh 34,000
- Kajiado – Ksh 33,000
- Taita-taveta – Ksh 33,000
- Nairobi – Ksh 32,000
- Nakuru – Ksh 30,000
- Migori – Ksh 27,000
- Mombasa – Ksh 26,000
- Kitui – Ksh 22,000
- Kisumu – Ksh 19,000
- Machakos – Ksh 18,000
Kenya Teachers Versus Teachers From Other African Countries
According to Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenyan teachers are the third-highest earners in Africa after South African teachers and those from Morroco (these two countries have larger economies compared to Kenya).
South Africa tops the list of the highest-paid teachers in the continent with a maximum annual income of KSh5,591,500 while Kenya comes in the third position with a maximum annual remuneration of KSh1,672,200. A country like Uganda takes the last position as teachers there earn as low as KSh146,900.
If the words of Uhuru Kenyatta is anything to go by, it means that on average, Kenya teachers earn about Sh139,350 when you add all the allowances, incentives, bonuses, and the likes.
Other African countries like Ghana and Nigeria are also paying teachers fairly well but not as high as South Africa and Morroco. In Ghana, the lowest average pay for teachers is 2,580 GHS monthly while the highest average is 9,810 GHS monthly. Nigeria, on the other hand, pays variations of salaries from private schools to government schools. While the mushroom schools can pay as low as N10,000 on a monthly basis, the government schools are paying the current minimum wage of N30,000 (some still pay the former minimum wage of N18,000). You will also see some really big private schools that pay a salary range of N50,000 to N250,000 to their teaching staff.
One thing that must be noted with all these countries is the fact that their salary level depends on the value of their country’s currency. While currencies like the NGN has drastically diminished in value in recent time, others like the South African Rand still maintain their value.