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Teacher Salary Singapore Guide_ How Much Do Teachers Earn

Teacher Salary Singapore Guide: How Much Do Teachers Earn in Singapore?

profileJoel Koh

In my mind, there is no doubt that teaching is a noble profession as teachers play a significant role in shaping the minds and the future of our children.

It is a career for those who wish to answer a higher calling and dedicate their lives to the service of our nation’s young.

But if you thinking of becoming a teacher for that iron rice bowl: a term we often use to refer to jobs with guaranteed job security, stable income, benefits and a certain level of progression.

Then you might want to rethink your decision.

But beyond that, you really should think hard about what you wish to accomplish and whether this is the path for you.

Finding your Ikigai would be a good place to start.

But before you do so, let’s look at the salary and benefits that teachers of all levels in Singapore receive.

Hopefully, it will help you make a more holistic decision about your career as salary is just one aspect you have to look at.


TL;DR: Teaching Salary Singapore

Role/Track (includes senior/leadership positions)MOE TeacherEarly Childhood Educator (Educarer/Teacher/Leader Tracks)Special Education TeacherPrivate Full Time Tutor
Monthly Pay With CPF Contributions
(+17% employer contribution)
~$3,022 - ~$9,263~$2,106 - ~$8,892~$3,065 - ~$7,687-
Monthly Pay W/O CPF-From $5,022
(Based on 35 hour work week assumption & teaching
students from Primary school)

Do note that these numbers are before the planned salary increases of 5 to 10 per cent for Ministry of Education (MOE) teachers, allied educators and MOE kindergarten educators from 1 October 2022. Also, note that these are career tracks stated and include senior/leadership positions.

Jump to:


MOE Teacher Salary Singapore

Entry QualificationsGCE O Level holdersGCE A Level, Polytechnic Diploma, International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma holdersDegree holders
ProgrammeArt and Music/Chinese Language Teacher/Tamil Language Teacher Training SponsorshipDiploma in Education (DipEd) at NIEBachelor of Arts (Education) and Bachelor of Science (Education) Teaching Scholars ProgrammePostgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) at NIEPGDE Physical Education (PE) at NIE
Training Duration/Cost3 years (Tamil)/4 years, funded by MOE2 years, funded by MOE4 years, funded by MOE16 months, funded by MOE2 years, funded by MOE
Bond3 - 5 years3 years4 years3 years3 years
Salary during untrained teaching stint and NIEAllowance of $800 during your studies at NAFA/NP and a gross monthly
salary of $2,350 during the final year at NIE
$1,800 to $2,450Unspecified$2,810 to $3,650$2,810 to $3,650

Note: For O-level holders, you’ll need to be accepted for MOE’s Teacher Training Sponsorship which is not included in the above table.

Contrary to popular belief, teachers are paid according to their educational qualifications and not the level they teach.

For example, Primary School teachers with university degrees and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) will be given roughly the same amount of salary as Junior College teachers with the same qualifications.

But the caveat is that teachers who enter teaching with lower qualifications are typically sent to Primary and Secondary schools.

For example, an Art Teacher who studying for a Diploma in Education may be teaching in a Primary school and earning a salary of $1,800 – $2,450 during their untrained teaching stint in school and if enrolled, their NIE training as well.

After graduating, they may be given a slight pay raise of $100 – $200 a month.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at total salary estimations from benchmarking website Payscale.com for Primary school teacher salaries and Secondary school teacher salaries.

These salaries also include the annual bonuses of teachers who will receive the same annual bonuses as civil servants.

 Average Early Career Salary (Monthly)After 5-9 Years After 10-19 Years 20+ Years
Primary School~$2,583 - ~$3,000 ($31,000 -$36,000 a year)

~$3,022 - $3,510 w/CPF
~$4,417 ($53,000 a year)

~$5,168 w/CPF
~$5,417 ($65,000 a year)

~$6,338 w/CPF
~$6,250 ($75,000 a year)

~$7,313 w/CPF
Secondary School~$4,833 ($58,000 a year)

~$5,655 w/CPF
~$5,500 ($66,000 a year)

~$6,435 w/CPF
~$6,667 ($80,000 a year)

~$7800 w/CPF
~$7,917 ($95,000 a year)

~$9,263 w/CPF

Also do note that the salaries mentioned above do not include the planned salary increases of 5 to 10 per cent.

MOE Teacher Benefits

According to MOE, MOE teachers will also get to enjoy the following benefits:
  • Bonuses, such as Non-Pensionable Annual Allowance, performance bonus and other variable bonuses.
  • The CONNECT Plan, which rewards you for your commitment to teaching with pay-outs at defined points of your career.
    • Eligible MOE teachers (General Education Officers) will be given ($2,400 to $8,320) every year. This would be paid out at key points (every three to five years) in a teacher’s teaching career.
    • At the end of 30 years of service, the cumulative payouts amount to $168,000. But, teachers will forfeit their CONNECT payout if they quit before key points.
    • The CONNECT plan will be further enhanced from 2023, by about 20 per cent overall.
  • Time off during school holidays, as long as your services are not required during that time.
  • Subsidised medical and dental benefits.
  • 14 days of medical leave (without hospitalisation), and up to 60 days of hospitalisation leave.
  • 10 days of urgent leave for private matters, subject to approval.

Although teachers earn respectable salaries in Singapore after CPF contributions, there are many more hidden costs you have to take note of. Some teachers fork out their own money and time for the sake of their students. Others may even find themselves working overtime to coach students or provide emotional support.

I urge you to read this comic first before you make any decision as many MOE teachers are also struggling with burnout and are switching to becoming private tutors.

Early Childhood Teacher Salary Singapore

According to a recent Ministry of Manpower (MOM) report, early childhood educators in Singapore can generally expect to receive salaries in this range:

TrackDefinitionSalary Range (Monthly)¹
Educarer Track²Educators on this track will work with children aged two months to four years in both kindergartens and childcare centres$1,800 - $3,150

($2,106 - $3,686 w/CPF)
Teacher Track³Educators on this track will work with children aged four to six years in both kindergartens and childcare centres$2,200 - $3,550

($2,574 - $4,154 w/CPF)

Leader TrackEducators on this track will take on centre or teacher leadership positions in both kindergartens and childcare centres$3,150 - $7,600

($3,686 - $8,892 w/CPF)

¹’The salary ranges are aggregated from public and private sources and provide a reference of the general monthly salaries for educators at different job roles, based on information current as of 2019.’

²’Infant/Toddler Educarers will work with children aged 2 months to 3 years, while Beginning Educarers and related job roles will work with children aged 18 months to 4 years.’

³’Educators with a Diploma in Early Childhood (Teaching) or equivalent, will be able to work with children aged 18 months to 6 years. The Teacher Track and related job roles are specific to educators currently deployed to work with children aged 4 to 6 years old.’

Typically, Educarers (teachers who care for young children aged two months to four years old) can earn between $1,800 – $3,150 a month depending on their educational qualifications (professional certificate) and experience.

Source: SkillsFuture

Whereas Teachers with teaching diplomas can earn between $2,200 – $3,550 a month depending on their educational qualifications and experience.

There is also the leadership track where you can take on ‘centre or teacher leadership positions in both kindergartens and childcare centres.’ These leadership positions pay handsomely as well with salaries ranging from $3,150 – $7,600 a month depending on your educational qualifications and experience.

For more information do refer to this guide from the Early Childhood Development Agency.

Early Childhood Teacher Benefits

As for benefits, it differs from employer to employer.

But as a reference, Ministry of Education (MOE) Kindergarten teachers are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Time off during school holidays, if your services are not required during that time.
  • Subsidised medical and dental benefits.
  • 14 days of medical leave without hospitalisation, and up to 60 days with hospitalisation.
  • 10 days of urgent leave for private matters, subject to approval.

Special Education Teacher Salary Singapore

Perhaps you are called to help children and youth with special educational needs fulfil their full potential.

A career as a special education (SPED) teacher in a Government-funded SPED school for children with moderate to severe special educational needs might be for you.

If you decide to take up this career, you’ll be glad to know that SPED teachers will receive a starting monthly salary of $2,620 $3,120.

Source: MOE Singapore

You will be paid a salary in this range during your untrained teaching stint in school and if enrolled, the one-year full-time Diploma in Special Education (DISE) training as well.

But, the amount of salary you receive will depend on your:

  • Academic qualifications.
  • Any relevant teaching experience.
  • Time spent on your job.

As a SPED teacher, you can opt for the SPED teaching or leadership career track which determines what roles you can take up in the future.

According to the National Council of Social Service’s (NCSS) FY2019 Salary Guidelines For The Social Service Sector, SPED teachers can expect to receive salaries in this range:

Source: NCSS | FY2019 Salary Guidelines For The Social Service Sector

³Requires recognised EI teaching which is minimally an Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Intervention-Special Needs (ADESN). A Certificate in Autism (CIA) and Higher Certificate in Autism (HCIA) can be accepted as minimum training only for teachers in programmes that specialise in Autism.

⁴SPED Teachers in these roles should possess minimally a Diploma in Special Education.

A SPED teacher will get anywhere from ~$3,065 – ~$7,687 a month after CPF.

Special Education Teacher Benefits

As for benefits, it differs from employer to employer.

You can check with the employers from this list of government-funded special education schools for specifics.

Private Tutors in Singapore Salary

Well, what about private tutors?

This chart from leading tuition teacher agency SmileTutors might provide a good estimation.

Source: SmileTutor

According to a 2018 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) the average teacher in Singapore works about 46 hours a week.

As it would be difficult for full-time tutors to find work for 46 hours a week, I have adjusted it down to a more manageable 35 hours a week.

For example, you can be teaching 12 students a week for 3 hours each time.

This rate is achievable as a private tutor if you can manage to multiply your time by establishing small group tuition classes at your place. This also reduces the need to travel to and fro.

A full-time tutor who works 35 hours a week and 4.345 weeks a month (average weeks in a month) will earn about $5,322 a month without CPF contributions if we account for the lowest $35 per hour rate for Primary school tutors.

But, you will also need to be constantly on the hunt for students all the time and work public holidays and long weekends.

There is also little to no career progression. But the sky is the limit in terms of pay if you can manage to build up your brand or specialise in niche topics.


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About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. I hope to help people make better financial decisions and not let money control them.
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