Salary, Finance and Benefits Questions
- What is the salary of a VIF teacher?
- How much money should I bring in additional funds?
- How much does housing cost?
- How will I manage my finances as a VIF teacher?
- Is my travel to the U.S. paid for?
- What health benefits are offered?
In general, VIF teachers are paid on the same salary scale as U.S. teachers, according to education and experience. The average annual salary for VIF teachers ranges between US$30,000 to US$40,000. Your salary will be determined by your years of teaching experience and by the policies of the district and state in which you teach. In some cases, teachers may receive a higher salary for advanced degrees. In addition to the salary, some U.S. school districts offer supplemental pay. When you receive an offer for a position, VIF will provide you with an estimate of the salary and salary supplement (if one is available) that the district will provide.
VIF provides you with an interest-free relocation payment upon arrival to help you get settled in your new community. However, you will still need to bring additional funds with you for relocation, transportation cost and living expenses to cover the time between your arrival in the U.S. and your first paycheck. The amount you need to bring depends on where you will live and whether you come alone or with family members.
In addition, VIF recommends that you bring a credit card to the U.S. Obtaining a credit card immediately after arrival in the U.S. can be very difficult.
Most teachers live in a one- or two-bedroom apartment, and some live in houses. The cost for rent varies depending on the area in which you live. Approximately 40 percent of VIF teachers have roommates. Sharing an apartment with a roommate saves on expenses and allows for more social connections. We also encourage you to consider a living arrangement near U.S. citizens to enhance your cultural experience.
VIF works with U.S. banks to set up a bank account for you when you arrive in the United States. Many school districts pay teachers by direct deposit, which means your district will deposit your paycheck directly into your new bank account.
VIF provides first-year teachers in the international teacher program with an airline ticket, which will be used to transport you from a major airport in your home country to VIF Arrival Orientation in Chapel Hill, N.C. Additional travel to and from your home country for holidays, etc., must be purchased at your expense, including a return ticket at the end of program participation. All travel for family members is also at your own expense.
VIF offers a very competitive health benefits program for all program participants through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. VIF program participants and any accompanying J-2 family members are required by the U.S. Department of State to have health insurance at certain minimum coverage levels. To meet this requirement, all teachers are enrolled in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield health benefits program through the entirety of their program participation. VIF pays a large portion of the monthly premium cost for teachers. However, teachers are also responsible for paying a portion of the monthly premium per month.