Teaching and Writing in the Education Market: That Issue of Pay

Big shout out to WEM member Larry Bernstein for responding right away to my thoughts about a blog. He’s been patient about me having this great piece go live. I’d love to keep this up…so send your entries. If we can gather momentum, we will keep this going.

Teaching and Writing in the Education Market: That Issue of Pay

by Larry Bernstein




“He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”

We’ve all heard this famous line from Bernard Shaw’s play, Man and Superman. We may even have thought it to be true when frustrated with our teachers during our school days.

But this adage is quite insulting to those who have made a career in education. The insinuation is that teachers join the profession because they cannot actually do anything else. In other words, teachers are those who have few skills, so they reside in the undemanding world of education. And, sadly, that view is substantiated by lower salaries in the field overall.

It seems that this mindset carries over into the world of education writing. Because, in general, the pay scale for us education writer folks is pretty low. Is it now true that he or she who no longer teaches for skimpy wages can only write to earn skimpy pay? Looks like that might be the case.

Teaching Demands vs. Salary

Anyone who has spent more than an hour in a classroom, or simply considered the many responsibilities a teacher has, knows that life in the education world is more than demanding. Educators are tasked with something huge: contributing to the development of capable, intelligent future generations. That’s a pretty heavy responsibility, especially with growing the expectations of what teachers must accomplish in the classroom.

Yet, while many people claim to know and agree that teaching is hard, it is is still not a particularly well-respected profession. One telling sign is the average teacher salary. The 2016 Economic Policy Institute study “The Teacher Pay Gap is Wider than Ever” underscored how teacher pay lags farther behind that of comparable workers—17% lower, in fact.

There are those critics who contend that public school teachers get great benefits and therefore, the pay differential some cite is not an accurate. However, the study clearly proves this to be false.

While pay rate is not the only way to judge respect given, it is a significant factor. If society valued teachers for the impact they have on our children (and the level of skill and knowledge that a quality teacher must have), then the rate would be higher.

The Connection to Writing in the Education Market

The lack of respect in the form of salary for teachers carries over to the wages of those who write in the education market. While there are certainly good gigs available and rates vary, education writers typically do not make a whole lot of money. And, generally even less than writers receive in other industries. That’s been my experience (and probably yours, too).

Recently, I considered an interesting gig announced by a reputable company, with, according to LinkedIn, about 100 employees. I figured that was a decent enough sized business that an hourly rate would be at least competitive, especially if a quality writer was top of mind.

But, I was wrong. In fact, here was the salary narrative: “We do have a baseline of $22.50 per hour that we do our best to maintain, although almost 99% of the work we do is per deliverable versus per hour.”

I did some quick calculating: based on a 40-hour workweek, and 52 weeks per year, this rate was equivalent to a salary of $46,800. Many of us who are education writers are former teachers, with at least a Master’s degree (required in the field). And those ready to bring their expertise into the writing market are pretty experienced. You get the point: that salary does not match the years and years of professional practice, knowledge, and ranking. Now, that’s insulting!

Confession: I took the gig for a short period of time. It was a slow period, and I needed the money. (Come on, we’ve all been there. No judgment.) And that’s what makes it tough. Sometimes, when we need the work, we settle for less. Maybe it could build our craft and portfolios. Or at least we convince ourselves of that because…well…hey…you know what I mean.

But, I contend that as educational writers, we can help raise the rates the industry pays. There are over a 1000 of us registered on WEM. Yes, we are in different positions in our careers, have different backgrounds, and come from different financial circumstances. I get it. Yet, I believe something can be done. We are a significant block. It is up to us to make our voices heard and let employers know we have minimums we will accept for payment.

Again, there are good gigs out there that pay a wage more in line with what an experienced professional can rightfully expect to earn. While some employers – including the ones quoted above–are middlemen who decide rates based on what a client pays, there is money in education.

Wouldn’t it be nice if more of that money went to us? Imagine doing a meaningful job you enjoy and getting a rate that is apropos to your skill set.

Copyright © 2017 Larry Bernstein. All rights reserved.



Read More

High School Lesson Plan Writer

WEM Job Listing

A new listing on the Writing for the Education Market job board!

Company: Bookrags

Job Title: High School Lesson Plan Writer
Location: [96]

BookRags is hiring lesson plan writers! We are looking for current or retired high school English and literature teachers who are interested in ongoing work. Our lesson plans help teachers guide students through complex and cogent literary analysis. Lesson plans are written in an online template that includes eight sections: Chapter Abstracts, Characters, Objects/Symbols, Daily Lessons, Fun Activities, Essay Topics, Short Essay Questions, and Multiple Choice Questions. You will be required to read the book for which the Lesson Plan is being written, but we will also provide you a study guide as a supplementary aide.

Pay Rate: $350 – $400

How to Apply: 

Please send a resume and a 5-page writing sample to The sample can be an academic paper showing your ability to analyze a literary text or a sample lesson plan. The subject line should read “LP Writing Job.”


Read More

Content writers needed in the discipline of Economics

WEM Job Listing

A new listing on the Writing for the Education Market job board!

Company: Six Red Marbles

Job Title: Content writers needed in the discipline of Economics
Location: [96]

Writers are needed to develop Study Guides (including complete specs for still art) for thwo university courses: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Each study guide is expected to be approximately 20 pages in length and we expect to produce 15-30 study guides per discipline. Writers must have an advanced degree in the subject or extensive professional writing experience.The project is expected to start approximately August 28 and run to early December.

How to Apply: 

Resume and cover letter to:

Ashley Glennon


Read More

College instructors needed as reviewers – Economics

WEM Job Listing

A new listing on the Writing for the Education Market job board!

Company: Six Red Marbles

Job Title: College instructors needed as reviewers – Economics
Location: [96]

The project is to develop study guides for an Inrto to Economic course. The study guides are to be written in an engaging and relaxed style to be used to supplement course content for study purposes. There is a scope and sequence (table of contents) developed. The client has added several questions about the scope and sequence that need to be answered.

Weare looking for college instructors to review the Scope and Sequence and validate it as well as address the questions the client has about the Scope and Sequence. The questions are mostly about additional topics that could/should be added and the sequence of the topics.

We estimate that this task will take no more than 8 hours. Our rate for this work is $50.00 per hour. We would like to start this part of the project ASAP.

Must have teaching experience at four-year institutions at the instructors level or above
Must have a masters degree in the subject area

How to Apply: 

Resume and cover letter to:
Ashley Glennon


Read More


Thanks to WEM member Erika Dunham for this community lead:  Copy Editor/Writer (full time)

Online Curriculum Designer (note that actually, they also want folks who can create content, so perhaps shoot for that rather than this position)


Consultant, Curricular and Instructional Design

ELT Curriculum & Assessment Director

Director, Humanities & Instructional Design

Training and Curriculum Specialist (contract)

Grant writer

Instructional Designer Consultant (a fascinating opportunity!)

Various gigs at TE21

Curriculum Developer


Education Content Developer

Online Editor/Investigative Reporter

Roving Correspondent (if you are a great storyteller, this is an amazingly unique opportunity)

Read More


Hi all…still working on the site.

In the interim, with over 1200 site users, it would be great if folks began posting community leads. Or, if a hiring entity, jobs up for grabs. Let’s build this out with everyone’s contributions.

In the meantime, a few things that came across my desk:

Science Educator

Director of Instructional Materials Development

Project Editor

Freelance Fact Checkers (Remote)

We are looking for one or two fact checkers for a literature program. This will require checking on the about the author section, and content. There are approx. 150 titles to be fact checked.  Candidates must have experience to be considered. We are looking for candidates who can start ASAP and work until the end of the year. This will require about 20 hours a week of work, and the work can be done remotely.  If you are qualified and interested, please send a resume for consideration.

Remote; $ 35 to 45 per hour
Contact Name: Ashley Glennon
Contact Company: Six Red Marbles Inc.

Read More


Report Production Specialist

Calculus Content Author

Learning Designer, Science and Engineering

Freelance Writer & Contributor (this one is very cool…very!)

Director, Institute for Writing & Thinking (full time and super interesting)

Editorial Review-Remote

Math Subject Matter Experts in grades 6-8, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. You must be experienced in the use of the Learnosity platform. I need writers and editors who can help to convert exercises from print material into the platform. This project will run for about 2-3 more weeks, ending around Sept. 8 or 15.

Rate: $ 2-11 per exercise to review or convert

Contact Name: Mark Schmit

Contact Company: MPS North America

Contact Website:


Trivium Test Prep (several openings, including the one that follows)
Elementary Education Science Writer-Remote

A fast-paced and rapidly growing publishing firm specializing in test prep study guides is looking for a part-time science writer. This will be a remote contractor position and projects will be assigned as they become available.


  • write and edit subject-specific instructional content for study guides
  • write and edit problems that match the content, format, and difficulty level of a wide variety of standardized tests

Required Skills

  • elementary school science teacher
  • familiarity with Common Core standards and/or curriculums
  • ability to write clearly and effectively about technical subjects
  • ability to work quickly and meet deadlines

Read More

Study Guide Writers

WEM Job Listing

A new listing on the Writing for the Education Market job board!

Company: BookRags

Job Title: Study Guide Writers
Location: [96]
Description: is hiring!

We are an online study guide service for students and teachers. We are looking for freelance writers who have a background in English / American literature and who are able to write complex literary analysis in a style accessible to college and advanced high school students.

How to Apply: 

Please send:

Your resume (BA in English or related field required)
A 5-page academic paper showing your ability to analyze a literary text



Read More