I Have Two Master's Degrees & Make $53K As A Math Specialist In Education

illustrated by Hannah Minn.
In our series Salary Stories, women with long-term career experience open up about the most intimate details of their jobs: compensation. It’s an honest look at how real people navigate the complicated world of negotiating, raises, promotions, and job loss, with the hope it will give young women more insight into how to advocate for themselves — and maybe take a few risks along the way.
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Age: 33
Current Location: Detroit, Michigan
Current Industry & Title: K-12 Education, Math Specialist
Starting Salary: $28,000 in 2007
Current Salary: $53,500
Number Of Years Employed: 10
Biggest Salary Jump: $9,565 in 2016 (from $37,467 to $47,032)
Biggest Salary Drop: $14,000 in 2008 (from $28,000 to $14,000)
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: “With teaching salaries, you can’t really negotiate for a different salary but can negotiate for ‘steps,’ or years of service. I wish I had pushed back on the pay freeze, because people were getting hired for what I’m currently making now who had fewer years of experience. Looking back, this was a big regret, because I realized that I should always be negotiating when it comes to salary. When and if I switch positions again, I will make sure that I advocate for my years of service and fight for what I’m worth.”
Best Salary-Related Advice: “Even though it’s teaching, you can negotiate. There are ways to get your worth for your position. For instance, in Michigan, you can Google any district and get its entire pay scale. Sometimes one district will have a very different pay level, so it’s good to come in with that information and have already done your research.”

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