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Best way to negotiate salary

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Palmat, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. Palmat

    Palmat New commenter

    I have 12 years teaching experience in the US (also have my masters) and I was just offered my first international position. I think the salary offer was decent (although I have nothing to compare it to) but I’m wondering if I should ask, in a polite way, for more money. Is there a polite way to ask for more?

    Or do I just take what I was offered and be happy that I have my first international position? Just afraid I’ll kick myself for not even asking down the road. I plan on taking the position regardless.

  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    In 95% of all cases its a "take it or leave it" offer that is made, unless you are an A Level/High School Maths or Physics teacher.

    The majority of international schools don't show you a meaningful pay scale so you are always left in the dark with regards to what your other teachers are earning, it can also be a top secret in the school what every person is paid.

    I was recently shown a pay scale for a school in UAE that went up to 20 years experience, but you could only enter the scale at 8 years, so pointless giving my years of experience. I did question this and was offered an extra 1000AED per month, but unfortunately the school was not a place I would want my children to be educated.

    You will pick up what I mean in your first year of international teaching. But talking about salary in the staff room can be the quickest way to be dragged in the principals office or even dismissed.

    There are a handful of "unicorn" schools that will offer open pay and conditions but the majority of schools will be between the two.

    There is no polite way to ask for extra money, you just need to be brave enough to ask, they can only say no!

    Plenty of threads you can search on here with regards to salary and what is a good offer.
  3. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    If a school is willing to negotiate, then its probably not a school you actually want yo work at. Unlike Feb31st who seems increasingly bitter about international life, the "unicorn" statement is just false. I dont know of one decent school that doesnt have a payscale. You will start where they put you, and most schools i know only really count international years if you want a very slightly higher starting point.
    Mr_Frosty and 576 like this.
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Just trying to inject a touch of realism into the proceedings. Imagine the principal offering you a package has a fixed figure of 100,000USD to employ a standard classroom teacher, this covers, salary, flight, visa, health insurance and taxes. If the principal makes you an offer of 90,000USD they get to keep 2500USD as a bonus every year of your employment.
  5. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    This is why decent schools have a set pay scale thst everyone knows
    Mr_Frosty and 576 like this.
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I agree with dumbbells66. If the school is a good one, then they will have a clear salary scale and the principal will be straightforward and upfront about it.

    On the other hand, if the school does offer to give you a higher salary as a result of some "negotiations", then that might well be because their initial offer was absurdly low. In other words, they are a bunch of shysters and you should avoid working at that school, if you possibly can!
    576 likes this.
  7. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    This is not a dose of reality. It is about as real as magic realism. Might I suggest re-reading some Garcia Marquez? It makes for good holiday reading.
    Bill8899 and dumbbells66 like this.
  8. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Many international schools unfortunately can be found in Dante's Divine Comedy, "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate".
  9. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    Art, geography.... beg on all fours for a salary

    Maths, Chemistry or Physics ask for 6 figs and the principal has to wash your car daily.

    Really depends on school (salary scale or a lower end school that negotiates more) , age, dependents and subject.
  10. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    They might not budge on salary, but there might be other ways you can negotiate - for example, more responsibility (in exchange for more money, obviously) or ask the school if they might be able to find employment for your partner (I accepted a post at my current school on the basis that they find my wife work).
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, you might find some wiggle room, even at one of the more prestigious schools, if you are going down the path that tb9605 has recommended. Otherwise I would not bother.
  12. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    If it's a decent to good school then they will have a pay scale and it will be clear what you get paid. They may have a maximum entry point and they should be able to tell you how you progress on the scale.

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