What’s the story with poor pay for science-related jobs?

Last Friday’s Irish Times (9/11/07) did a special supplement on “Jobs in Science”. They included the results of a survey carried out last month of salaries in the pharmaceutical and medical devices market. The results were (to my mind at least) surprising.

They listed thirteen categories and looked at the lower, mid and top entry level.

The average mid-entry level was about 29K and the average top level salary was about 45.5K. It was a little unclear because many of the top salaries were listed as 50,000+ and the + wasn’t specified.

I’ve been teaching full-time for ten years so presumably am at the lower end of mid-entry and my basic salary is about 52K.

There is no  secret here (why are people slow to say how much they get paid?) – all union journals list the salary scales for teachers. Almost all teachers with the same experience are on the same pay, although there are extra payments if you teach in a gaeltacht area, or in a school for the blind etc.

There are of course are all sorts of extras available, from correcting exam papers, to supervising exams to giving grinds.
Supervision and Substitution is another chore most teachers sign up to, covering absent teachers for a couple of periods a week for (I think) about 1500 to 2000 euro.

Starting salary for a secondary teacher (full-time) is about 37K, although the hard part is getting that coveted full-time position.

The holidays aren’t bad either.

And anyway, how are people paying big mortgages on these science-job salaries? Something seems decidely odd.
I know I wouldn’t be rushing to sign up to a science course in college based on this report.

Secondary level teacher salary scale here