CANTON, Ohio (WJW) – Seth Goshorn taught for nearly six years, including at an elementary school in Canton, before deciding to change careers. It’s a decision he said that led to an increase in pay by about $20,000 after factoring in bonuses.
Dressed in his new Walmart uniform, Goshorn recorded a TikTok video acknowledging the dramatic pay gap. He said the video unexpectedly went viral.
“I didn’t think it would be this good. I might get a couple hundred likes, so just the fact that it blew up and I’ve only been on it for like a year,” said Goshorn. “It was really cool to see just the power of the internet.”
Goshorn, who has a degree in early childhood education, is now working as a “Walmart coach” on the management track. More than one month into his new job, he said the transition was smooth.
“Last year I made about $43k teaching so not anything terrible, but it also still left a lot to be desired,” said Goshorn.
He said he loved his time as a teacher and made lifelong friendships with families. However, he was searching for a job that would better fit financial needs while planning an upcoming wedding with his fiancée.
Goshorn said working at Walmart provides professional growth without requiring a second degree.
“My degree doesn’t exactly translate but the skills that a lot of teachers have and the leadership ability teachers have does correlate to a lot of companies,” he said. “So, find a company that’s willing to train you for a position that might pay better.”
Goshorn does not discourage anyone from becoming a teacher and said educators need additional support through increased salaries.
“Even though they’re scheduled for 40 hours, they’re working a lot more than that, whether it’s teaching, grading after school,” said Goshorn. “I coached football and track so those were other things on the weekends. I did summer school. We don’t have all the time off that they think.”
According to data referred to by the Ohio Department of Education, the median teacher assignment salary statewide is $64,427. Salaries can vary widely depending on which county and what school district a teacher works.
“There is a lot of change going on in education and laws and rules being passed by people that aren’t educators which makes it hard because they just don’t quite get it,” he said.
Goshorn said he hopes his story serves as a teaching moment about the power of the career pivot and the importance of supporting teachers.
“I’m going to be a lifelong teacher,” he said. “That will always be a part of my life, whether it’s at Walmart or on social media.”