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Teacher-turned-Walmart employee says he’s making $20,000 more ‘without a degree’

An Ohio man quit teaching to earn more than $20,000 a year more at Walmart, he claimed in a video that went viral this week.

“Quitting teaching after 6 years to go be a manager at Walmart and earn more without using my degree,” Sethy Gabriel said in a TikTok video on Monday. His images have been viewed more than 780,000 times.

In the comments section, Gabriel explained that he “loves teaching” and that he only left because of the salary. He said he made $43,000 a year as a teacher in Ohio, compared to $65,000 to $70,000 as a Walmart trainer, depending on bonuses. Once he steps up to manager, he could make over $100,000, Gabriel claimed.

His 45-hour workweek at Walmart pales in comparison to the time he spends teaching, said the former educator, who taught sophomore and freshman grades, coached soccer and track and field and taught l summer school for the past six years.

“I don’t know if you’re aware of those long teaching hours spent on lesson planning, grading, report cards, extracurricular events… if you’re a coach, it’s even worse,” a- he told viewers in a follow-up video. . “I remember weeks where I probably spent 60 hours.”

Teacher job satisfaction hit an all-time low this year, according to the Merrimack College Teacher Survey. Most respondents said they felt overworked, underpaid and undervalued. Only 12% said they were very satisfied with their jobs, down from 39% in 2012. More than half said they were unlikely to advise their young people to pursue a career in teaching.

An Ohio man quit teaching to nearly double his salary at Walmart, he claimed in a video that went viral this week. Here, a classroom at a New York public school on June 24, 2022.
Michael Loccisano/Staff/Getty Images North America

The average teacher salary for the 2021-22 school year was $66,397, 1.7% higher than a year earlier, according to the National Education Association. But the surge in inflation has outstripped wages. After adjusting for inflation, teachers earn $2,179 less than 10 years ago.

As schools grapple with teacher shortages and panic over school shootings, states like New Mexico, Florida and Mississippi have pledged pay raises to make teaching jobs more competitive. However, some of these increases have yet to materialize. In February, the Florida Department of Education reported that teachers in 31 of the state’s counties were still waiting to meet the $47,500 minimum wage promised two years earlier.

Gabriel is far from the only teacher to have left school for a retail job, as revealed in the comments section of his video.

“I did the same,” wrote one viewer. “I love teaching and I miss my students, but I remain [an operations] headmaster for more than double my teaching salary.”

Another commented: ‘I was going to school to be a teacher, had been at Walmart for 5 years and made more than I would with some degrees.’

Newsweek contacted Gabriel for comment.

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