A teacher has revealed the hidden costs she and her tens of thousands of colleagues are hit with every year just to allow them to do their work.
Teachers – whose starting salaries are around $75,000 – may have to occasionally shell out on stationery, but that’s not the only cost they face.
Like some other industries, teachers have to pay yearly registration fees to allow them to work.
Some teaching graduates say this is unfair fresh out of university, where they may have undertaken unpaid or lower paid work placements during their training.
Nicola Markovic, a teacher in South Australia, said she was forced to cough up $465 before she was allowed into classrooms.
Nicola Markovic, a teacher in South Australia , said she was forced to cough up $465 before she was allowed into classrooms
‘As someone who has just come off the back of four years of uni student wages, nearly $500 is a lot of money to me and it required a transfer out of my already dwindled savings account,’ she told Yahoo News.
Ms Markovic had to pay for two years of registration – one to take her up to the renewal date of January 31 next year, and also for the year following that.
The $465 fees included $245 total for both years of registration, a $195 application fee and a $25 criminal background check.
‘It seems as though it is designed to make people who earn the least amount of money, pay the most amount of money, in order to start earning money,’ Ms Markovic said.
The Teachers Registration Board in South Australia receives no government funding and is paid for by registration fees.
Each state and territory has different fees for teachers, but they all charge something.
New South Wales has an annual fee of $100.
Queensland graduates must pay between $167.85 and $183.80 when they first sign up. After that, yearly renewals cost $100.70.
Victorian teachers pay $152.88 and then $114.40 going forwards when they renew.
In Western Australia, graduates pay a fee of between $140 and $178. After that they must pay two separate annual fees of $95 and $56.
Teachers in Tasmania pay an annual fee of $169.29.
The Northern Territory charges $101 a year, and graduates pay an extra $54 the first time around.
The Australian Capital Territory charges teachers $115 to renew their registration each year.
Teachers have to pay yearly registration fees to allow them to work (file picture)
There is a shortage of teachers across swathes of Australia and that is expected to worsen in years to come, with a decreasing number of people choosing to take education degrees.
In Victoria, more than 2,250 positions were being advertised on the state’s Education Department’s website earlier this year.
The Minister for Education Jason Clare told the Guardian earlier this year that in the past 10 years, the number of young people going into teaching had fallen by about 12%.
‘Of those who do start a teaching degree, only 50% finish,’ he said. ‘And of those who finish it, 20% are leaving after less than three years.
‘Teachers do one of the most important jobs in the world and we need more of them.’
In response to the drop in numbers of teachers, the federal government has rolled out its National Teacher Workforce Action Plan, which will provide $40,000 scholarships to 5,000 young people who want to become teachers.
Paramedics and nurses are among other professions who also have to pay an annual registration fee to work.