How Much Do Physics Teachers Get Paid?

You are a Physics NQT
How much can you expect to get paid?

Average Starting Salary

The Institute of Physics has released data suggesting that the average starting salary for an NQT in physics (or physics with maths) in the UK is..

£24,800 p.a.


This is £2,600 above the minimum of £22,000 p.a. on the national pay scale. Obviously this would vary depending on where you are in the country. In London, you can expect more to accommodate the significantly higher living expenses.

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There are also variations based on what type of school you start at and what relevant experience you may have. Two particular examples have been released:

Example 1:

Who: Female human biology graduate

Where: State School

How much: £15,500 p.a.

Example 2:

Who: Mid-career male engineering graduate

Where: Independent School

How Much: £49,000 p.a.

Factors Affecting Salary

Type of school

Independent schools generally have their own pay scale and the Head would use their discretion on where you start on that scale. Independent schools may also offer other benefits that can equate to a larger salary: free accommodation, contribution towards fees for any children you may have, use of facilities, etc.


If you can offer skills over and above just physics teaching, you can expect a higher salary. You may offer to lead the Duke of Edinburgh award, teach hockey, start a science club, etc. Some schools see this as part of the life as a teacher (hence no monetary reward!) but others will be happy to offer an “add-on” to your salary. It is worth finding this out at interview.


Some school will have a non-negotiable salary offer; however, statistics show this this is only true of 12% of schools. Physics teachers are very difficult to come by at the moment. Many schools will spend a lot of money on re-advertising in the TES. It is always worth negotiating the salary.

When negotiating, it is helpful to arrive armed with some idea of what other teachers are paid. You now know that the average salary for a physics NQT is £24,800p.a. – you could use that as a starting point – if needed.

I negotiated free accommodation for two years when I accepted the post of Head of Physics at a boarding school. It really helped.Sally Weatherly

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About the Author


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Sally is the Guzled founder and, more importantly, a physics teacher. She led a large and vibrant department for 7 years, after training to teach in London. She is an IB Physics textbook author, online tutor, Trustee for Dynamic Earth and an IoP Teacher Network Co-ordinator.