How much does an NQT really earn?

Wage slip

When I was an NQT I searched high and low to try and find the exact (or a rough guide) as to how much money an NQT takes home each month after tax. It was near impossible. For many reasons really; money is still not openly talked about in Britain- you can’t just ask somebody how much money they earn each month. It really is different for everyone; depending on how much student loan you took out, did you pay for your own fees etc. And it also depends on your pension and national insurance contributions.

So, seeing as I am no longer an NQT and this blog is anonymous I am going to break down my entire NQT wage into what I got monthly. Also bear in mind that the pay scale has increased by 1% (how generous), so it will be ever so slightly, but not by much, higher for NQTs this year.

So here it is; What an NQT really earns and how much they take home each month:

Basic Pay:      £1,817

Sounds and looks good, right? Yeah, it doesn’t ever make it to your bank account.

Employee NIC:    £119.77

Tax:   £250

Pension:   £131.92

Student Loan:   £37

Total Deductions:   £538.69


Above is the take home pay that I received each month during my NQT year. Now, I know it’s not bad, but it’s not brilliant and considering the amount of hours I actually did, I was not even making minimum wage at some points during the year. However, there are a lot of people who never receive anything like that amount each month and the positive thing about teachers is (hopefully) we will all go up the pay scale each year. Yes, performance related pay now means that it is no longer a guarantee, but luckily so far I have not heard of any of my teacher friends or colleagues being held back. Remember, that if you do have student loan repayments they also increase each year. My loan repayments have now jumped up to £87. Ouch.

You can make the take home pay work. I managed to buy a house and go on holiday during my NQT year. Plus, I felt like a millionaire after having no wages for a whole year while I studied for my PGCE.


5 thoughts on “How much does an NQT really earn?

  1. Thanks for the blog. I was interested in finding out how much I would actually get paid. Thankfully having not earnt anything for the year before during my PGCE I am currently not getting taxed properly as presumably I won’t be earning over the £15,000 boundary this financial year. However, having gone through my finances I am rather in a panic. I’m only paying £500 rent, which is low, and my bills (all basic, no luxuries remotely, but including monthly car insurance of £55 & fuel) take this up to £1000. After food I’m left with, what, like £170? A lot of stress for little money! How on earth did you manage to save for a house & go on holiday?? (Genuinely interested)

    • Hi Lilly, your situation sounds very much like mine in my NQT year. My rent was £495 and I had car insurance, bills and fuel to add. I had a partner so that helped although he’s self employed so I paid much more than him towards rent and bills, it wasn’t spilt 50/50. I am quite good a saving though and I already had saved for nearly all of my house deposit. I moved out of my rented flat two months before I bought my house, so that saved over £2000, then when times got hard I did dip into my overdraft. You’re right, at times it did feel like a lot of stress for very little money but you just have to think that if all goes well you will be earning over 30k in 5-6 years.

  2. Pingback: How to Apply to a PGCE Program | The Education Blog

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