Teacher Salary in the United States of America

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As a teacher myself, I believe we are underpaid. as we constantly are asked to do more for less compensation, our pay may go up a couple of percent’s. Still, our benefits are increasing, so over the past years, I have yet to see a raise that kept my salary up with inflation.

While the national average for K-12 teachers is $64,524, it varies significantly by state. So, unfortunately, as this is the average many of us don’t make anything close to this number, even with years of experience and multiple advanced degrees. While some states Provide good Raises for advanced degrees, Like New York and Massachusetts, some states or Counties don’t give you any raises or are so tiny that it doesn’t make sense to get a master’s or even a doctorate.

In the united states of America, we have a significant teacher shortage; some states, including texas & Florida, have raised the starting salary to make it more appealing for a new teacher to join the profession. However, most School districts in Florida give very little or no increase in salary with years of experience. This results in teachers leaving after a couple of years because their compensation is falling behind the cost of living.

I have made salary schedules for lots of counties below, and are sorted by state. Please check your state to find your county. I also included the difference in pay when you get further degrees and if it would make sense to get your master’s or Doctorate.

United States of America Average Teacher Salary Chart 2022:

State

Teacher Salary

New York

$92,222

Massachusetts

$88,903

California

$87,275

Washington

$81,586

Connecticut

$71,185

New Jersey

$69,045

Rhode Island

$76,852

Maryland

$75,766

Alaska

$73,722

Pennsylvania

$72,428

Illinois

$72,301

Oregon

$69,671

Minnesota

$68,491

Hawaii

$67,000

Delaware

$65,647

Michigan

$65,198

Ohio

$63,153

Vermont

$62,866

New Hampshire

$62,783

Georgia

$61,249

Wyoming

$60,820

Wisconsin

$60,453

Virginia

$59,965

Iowa

$59,262

Texas

$68,887

Maine

$58,757

Utah

$58,619

Colorado

$58,481

Nevada

$57,804

Nebraska

$57,420

Alabama

$55,834

North Dakota

$55,769

Kansas

$54,815

Oklahoma

$54,804

Arizona

$54,580

Kentucky

$54,574

New Mexico

$54,272

Idaho

$54,232

Indiana

$54,126

North Carolina

$53,644

Montana

$53,628

Tennessee

$53,619

South Carolina

$53,393

Arkansas

$52,486

Missouri

$52,481

Louisiana

$52,376

Florida

$51,230

West Virginia

$50,315

South Dakota

$49,761

Mississippi

$47,162

 Highest-Paid States for Teachers

Here are the ten states with the highest teacher pay:

  1. New York
  2. Massachusetts
  3. California
  4. Washington
  5. Connecticut
  6. New Jersey
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Maryland
  9. Alaska
  10. Pennsylvania

Teachers in these states are more likely to earn relatively high salaries early in their careers. However, when looking at state-specific salary data, it’s important to remember that the cost of living in some states is significantly higher than in others. For example, living in the District of Columbia or California is generally much more expensive than living in states such as Mississippi or Arkansas.

Higher wages do not benefit teachers in states with higher living costs; it simply means that numbers alone do not always tell the whole story. When considering potential places to live and work as a teacher, it is critical to consider several factors.

Teacher salaries rise over time as teachers improve their skills and become master educators. However, there is also variation in pay levels based on where teachers live in a state, how much funding a particular school district receives, and other factors.

Teachers are more likely to be paid more if they live in high-income urban areas and have extensive teaching experience. However, living and working in these states is not a guarantee that you will make a certain amount of money as a teacher; these are averages based on various factors.

Lowest-Paid States for Teachers

How much do teachers earn per year in less prosperous states? Teachers who live and work in states with lower average pay may encounter issues caused and exacerbated by a lack of funds. Places where teachers are underpaid, are frequently also places where schools have limited funding to begin with, which can impact students’ education and teachers’ livelihoods.

Low wages can be particularly challenging for teachers trying to launch their careers.

The five lowest-paying states based on starting salary are

  1. Montana
  2. Missouri
  3. Arkansas
  4. Colorado
  5. Nebraska

Although teachers in these states do not earn as much as teachers elsewhere in the country, they have a lower cost of living. There is also variation in each condition that affects how much money a single teacher can make. Nonetheless, even for experienced teachers, some states pay less. The five lowest-paying conditions regarding top teacher salaries are

  1. Arkansas
  2. Missouri
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Louisiana
  5. Idaho

Of course, there is more to being a teacher than money. Teachers are needed everywhere, and many people choose to become teachers for reasons that have little to do with monetary compensation and much more to do with assisting a younger generation to learn. However, earning a living wage is an essential part of any career, so there are numerous factors to consider when deciding where to become a teacher.

How has teacher pay changed over time?

From 2010 to 2021, national teacher salaries fell by about 3%. However, six states saw significant reductions in teacher pay of more than 10%: Indiana, Florida, Wyoming, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

However, in some states, such as South Dakota, Vermont, and California, teacher salaries increased by less than 7%. And Washington State stands out for having increased teacher pay by nearly 23.5% between 2010 and 2021.

Teachers in the United States can find comparatively good-paying jobs in most states, but with salary pay shifting downward, will it be enough to retain a stable teaching population in the future? That is a separate question that depends on various factors.

Factors Impacting Teachers’ Annual Salary

Aside from location, numerous other factors influence teacher salary that must be considered. For example, how do elementary teacher salaries compare to the average middle school or high school teacher salaries?

There is also a difference between the salaries of private school teachers and public school teachers. However, this distinction is much hazier because private schools’ educational approaches vary widely across the country.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has data on this, and it turns out that private school teachers earn significantly less than public school teachers: private school teachers make just over $36,000 per year compared to the $40,000 to $50,000 range we’ve detailed here for public school teachers.

However, public school teachers are frequently required to pass additional tests such as the Praxis, TeXeS, or CSET/CBEST. Private school teachers may be exempt from these tests depending on the school where they work.

Teachers’ experience levels and personal approaches to professional development also play a role. Experienced teachers have different pay structures as compared to inexperienced teachers.

Concluding thoughts:

The average teacher’s pay varies from state to state, but several other factors play a role. For example, teachers’ levels of experience, background education, education sector (public or private), etc., also play a significant role in designing the pay structure of a particular teacher.

 

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  • I am Teacher Catalina.

  • I am a Spanish Teacher, a native Spanish speaker, and have been teaching Spanish in the USA for over 16 years, always teaching in a fun and engaging way. My passion ❤️ is to teach Spanish, share my expertise as an educator, and collaborate with people around the world 🌍.

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