Salary differentials are pay increases granted to teachers for credits earned beyond a bachelor's degree, including through CLEP exams. Other pedagogues or administrative titles may also receive differentials and should refer to their contracts for details. Each differential can add thousands of dollars to your annual earnings — permanently — and cumulative differentials can make a big difference in your earning power.
You must apply in order to receive differentials. To ensure that you receive pay retroactively from the date you earned the additional credits, you must apply within six months of earning the credit.
Qualifying for differentials
Differentials are included in the Teachers' Salary Schedule. Here is a brief summary of the differentials as they appear on the chart:
- C1: This is the basic salary for those who have only a bachelor’s degree.
- C1+PD: This column applies only to teachers hired before 1970.
- C2: This is called the first differential. It requires 30 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree requirement. These may be all excess undergraduate credits, all graduate credits, or a combination of both.
- C2+ID: This column, the intermediate differential (ID), applies to people who have earned their first differential and in addition have 60 credits beyond the bachelor’s.
- C2+PD: This is called the promotional differential or PD. It requires 36 credits in an approved subject matter area; those 36 credits may be undergraduate, graduate, or a combination. Generally speaking, you qualify when you get your master’s degree.
- C2+ID+PD: This is for people who have met the requirements for the first differential, the intermediate differential and the promotional differential.
- C6+PD: This is the second differential. It can be achieved in several ways:
- With a master’s degree plus another 30 credits that were taken after the date of your bachelor’s but not as part of your master’s credits. The credits can be from undergraduate or graduate courses.
- With professional development courses and/or activities approved by the chancellor.
- By getting National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification.
PLEASE NOTE: Non-degree career and technical education teachers follow a different path for obtaining differentials. This chart shows the salary differential eligibility requirements for CTE teachers.
Applying for differentials
Differentials are not automatically awarded. You must apply for them in order to recieve a salary raise. To ensure you receive your differential from the date you earn the additional credits, you must apply within six months of earning the credit.
- Differentials are paid as of Feb. 1, July 1 and Sept. 1, respectively, for work you’ve completed in the previous fall, spring and summer semesters.
- For example, if you complete your coursework by Jan. 31 and file by July 31, the DOE will pay your differential in the fall semester with arrears back to Feb. 1.
The DOE’s differential application process
The DOE’s Office of Salary Services (OSS), uses an online salary differential application process for all teachers.
You must have a DOE email address to access the online application.
Once the online application is completed, the application must be printed. A tracking number is assigned to the application. Transcripts still must be submitted to the DOE.
Original transcripts along with the application are to be submitted to 65 Court Street, Room 102, Brooklyn, New York 11201. Members who hand-deliver their application will get a receipt. The DOE strongly suggests that members send their applications return receipt if they cannot hand-deliver them.
Members will electronically receive a Certificate of Salary Status when the differential is processed.
With this new online process, members no longer need to resubmit their transcript each time they apply for another differential.
Get help applying
The UFT provides assistance to members in completing salary differential applications. As a first step, you should speak with your school’s chapter leader. If you still have questions after you speak with your chapter leader, the UFT has five borough offices, which are open on school days between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.