It’s no secret that teachers in the U.S. are vastly underpaid.
According to data from as recently as May 2019, the average salary of a job requiring a college degree in the U.S. was $92,175. The average salary of a public high school teacher is $65,930.
And though wage gaps vary from state to state, reports show that teachers are making anywhere from 2% to 32.7% less than other workers with degrees, and, for many, it’s getting to the point where enough is enough.
This led one Ohio-based teacher to go viral on TikTok after revealing he was quitting his job as an early education teacher to make more money working retail. Seth Gabriel, who was an early education teacher, claims he is leaving his job after six years to pursue a career as a Walmart Coach.
“Leaving teaching after 6 years to go be a manager at Walmart and make more not using my degree,” the video reads in the caption.
In his video’s comments, Gabriel said that in his Ohio county, teachers make between “$23-30ish” thousand per year. He said his salary in his first year was $23,000 and his last salary in his sixth year of teaching was $43,000.
@sg_powerlifting Its not even close….. #fyp #walmart #education #leavingteaching #walmartcoach #careerchange ♬ Camera Shutter Click (Digital SLR Photo Camera Taking Pictures) [Version 3] – Finnolia Sound Effects
“I know a lot of people that were starting to retire in my district that were making 75/80 [thousand] ish. But that was after like 25 years,” Gabriel explained in a follow-up video.
Gabriel said in a video that as a Walmart Coach he can make a starting salary of around $65,000-$70,000 but even more as a Walmart Manager.
Store managers make six figures plus a crazy bonus depending on how they do,” he claimed in another video.
Some comments note that Gabriel would now be giving up having nighttime and weekends free when making the shift to retail, but Gabriel pointed out that being a teacher also involves “lesson planning, grading report cards, after-school events” among other responsibilities. He estimated he works about 60 hours a week as a teacher, whereas working at Walmart would only have him working about 45.
Per Walmart’s website, a GM Coach is a position where one “leads and develops teams effectively by teaching, training, and actively listening to associates” among other responsibilities, which is what Gabriel would be doing.
Though not all hope is lost for teachers seeking better pay.
The State of Florida has invested over $2 billion in teacher pay over the past three years, according to its website, and teachers received new pay raises this past May. In New York City, a starting salary for a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree and no prior teaching experience is around $57,845.
Walmart was down just shy of 10% in a one-year period as of Wednesday morning.