College students considering an education career often wonder, “how much do teachers make?” Teacher salaries have become a hot topic since the nationwide Red for Ed strikes in 2018-19. Teachers have been notoriously paid low wages and underappreciated for decades. There’s a popular misconception that teachers have short workdays and ample vacation time. In reality, teachers devote many hours outside the six-hour school day to plan lessons and meet parents. Teachers are also responsible for equipping their classrooms with expensive school supplies. According to Education Week, U.S. residents feel teachers are underpaid by $7,500 on average. Teachers typically make less than college graduates in other professional industries. This article identifies the average teacher salary and explores the various factors that affect salaries for teachers.
Teacher Salaries By Grade Level
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculates a median annual wage of $50,790 for all education occupations. That’s higher than America’s average yearly salary of $39,810. However, teacher salaries vary greatly based on the grade level being taught. Elementary school teachers have a median pay of $59,420. Middle school or junior high teachers report mean earnings of $59,660. High school teachers bring home an average paycheck of $61,660 annually. Adult literacy and GED teachers reap median profits of $54,350. Career and technical education teachers have a mean yearly income of $58,110. Vocational education teachers at junior colleges collect median remuneration of $56,630. Preschool teachers have the lowest teaching salaries with a $30,520 average. College professors have the highest teaching salaries with a $79,540 average. As a general rule of thumb, teachers are paid more when the rigor of the class curriculum advances.
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Teacher Salaries By Work Environment
Answering how much do teachers make requires taking into account where teachers can work. Different school types have different pay structures for their teaching staff. For example, elementary and secondary schools have a standard annual mean wage of $63,980. Teachers employed by religious entities, including parochial schools, make $52,380 on average. Teachers at child daycare centers have median yearly earnings of $34,950. Teachers employed by local government agencies report mean pay of $64,340. Teachers who work at social advocacy organizations are given a $59,330 average annual paycheck. Mean teacher income at educational support services centers is $49,590. Colleges and universities present a median teacher salary of $75,750. Technical trade schools deliver a mean wage of $57,680. Medical schools provide the highest teacher salaries worth $126,890 on average.
Teacher Salaries By Subject Area
The Department of Labor doesn’t collect salary data for PreK-12 teachers in different subject areas. One exception is for special education teachers who earn median annual compensation of $61,030. Nonetheless, prospective teachers can guess which academic subjects pay the most. High-need shortage areas, including math, science, and foreign language, are the most lucrative. Teachers can also predict top-paying subjects by looking at salary figures for college professors. Postsecondary English teachers receive a mean yearly wage of $80,180. History professors report an $84,210 average income. Art faculty receive median earnings of $82,360. Physical education teachers make a mean $73,720 salary. Biological sciences professors earn an average payment of $98,700. Engineering faculty are given median pay of $110,040. College health specialties teachers have a $121,620 mean wage. Law teachers have the biggest $129,950 average. STEM and professional subjects are more profitable than liberal arts.
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Teacher Salaries By Region
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) charts the salaries for teachers in all 50 states. The database’s average teacher salary is $58,950 per year. The three top-paying states for teachers are New York, California, and Massachusetts. Their average teacher salaries are $79,637, $78,711, and $77,804 respectively. Connecticut comes in fourth with a $72,561 mean teacher income. New Jersey ranks fifth with median teacher earnings of $69,623. Alaska surprisingly has one of the highest teacher salaries at $68,138 too. On the flip side, the three lowest teaching salaries are found in South Dakota, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. Their mean teacher wages are $42,668, $42,925, and $45,245 respectively. West Virginia is the fourth worst-paying state at $45,701. Colorado comes in fifth with a $46,506 average salary. The Midwest and South typically pay less than the Northeast and West.
Besides by state, the Bureau of Labor Statistics records which U.S. cities compensate teachers the best. Bakersfield, California is the #1 top-paying metropolitan area with a $97,680 average teacher salary. Fresno and San Francisco follow closely behind at $93,410 and $93,350 respectively. New York City gives its 72,360 secondary school teachers $90,050 on average. Kingston, New York has the best-paid elementary school teachers making $92,090. Riverside and San Bernardino have 22,860 teachers in grades K-6 earning a mean $90,270. Los Angeles is a high-paying metropolitan area with a median $87,120 income. Populous cities with more students to teach often provide the best salary outlook. Yet, certain suburban and rural areas rank well too. The Connecticut nonmetropolitan area has a $77,850 annual mean wage for teachers. California’s North Coast has an average $79,450 teaching salary.
Teacher Salaries By Education Degree
Teachers bring a slew of different skills, backgrounds, and degrees to their classrooms. Teacher salaries can be greatly impacted by the professional’s academic history. Teachers with more advanced degrees may negotiate better contracts with higher pay and benefits. The U.S. Department of Labor records median weekly earnings of $836 with an associate degree. At the bachelor’s level, the average weekly income is $1,173. Master’s degree graduates have a $1,401 mean weekly wage. Doctorates garner the biggest weekly average of $1,743. Educational attainment similarly helps to increase a teacher’s salary. The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) found that 88 percent of K-12 school districts increase pay for master’s degrees. Starting teacher salaries for master’s graduates are $2,760 higher on average. In five years, the annual master’s degree salary bump expands to $7,358.
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Teacher Salaries By Experience Level
Young, bright-eyed teachers who recently finished their college degree start on the bottom rung of the salary ladder. Teacher salaries tend to gradually increase with promotions as educators get more experienced. The National Education Association (NEA) lists a $39,249 national average salary for new teachers. The District of Columbia has the highest mean starting salary of $55,209. New York ranks second with a $51,443 median starting wage. California has the third-best average $46,992 salary for new teachers. The worst states for starting teachers are Montana and Missouri at $31,418 and $32,226 respectively. At that rate, teachers with dependent children may fall below the poverty line. Conversely, teachers with years of education experience can make six figures. The BLS shows the top 10 percent of teachers are bringing home over $99,660 each year. Tenured college professors can receive $179,230 or more. Average base salaries for teachers with more than 20 years of experience reach $85,460.
How Teacher Salaries Compare to Other School Staff
Teachers are only one component of the active school community. How does teacher pay compare to the salaries of other non-teaching staff? The U.S. Labor Department estimates an average annual income of $61,920 for library media specialists. Instructional coordinators earn a mean wage of $69,180. Teaching assistants have a $30,280 median salary. Substitute teachers are compensated $32,460 on average. English as a Second Language instructors make a mean yearly paycheck of $58,980. School social workers report median pay of $51,030. Guidance counselors have average earnings of $61,000. School psychologists reap a mean salary of $87,450. Speech-language pathologists have an average salary of $82,000. Education administrators at K-12 schools collect a median income of $100,340. Childcare administrators in pre-kindergarten settings make an average $98,270. Postsecondary administrators, including college deans and presidents, enjoy a high median payment of $112,400.
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How U.S. Teacher Pay Measures Up to Foreign Countries
Graduates of U.S. teacher preparation programs sometimes head overseas. Teaching abroad can provide a bigger or smaller salary sum depending on the country. Business Insider declared America the seventh-best nation for teacher funding. Which country leads the top 10 countries for teachers? Luxembourg has the highest average salary of $124,000 for veteran teachers. Switzerland has a top teacher pay scale of $86,000. Korea comes in third with an $85,000 teacher salary potential. Germany and Austria finish the five top-paying countries at $75,000 and $74,000 respectively. Based on salary, the Slovak Republic is the worst nation for teachers making $22,000 on average. Its neighbor, the Czech Republic, has an equally bad $25,000 mean teacher wage. Poland and Hungary share the third spot with a $27,000 median income. Top-qualified teachers in Turkey have an average pay of $33,000.
What It Takes to Become a Licensed Teacher
Teachers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree. The subject in which teachers earn a bachelor’s degree depends on the state. Typically, elementary school teachers major in education or child psychology. Middle and high school teachers major in the content area in which they’ll teach. Secondary teachers declare an education minor to take additional teacher preparation courses.
Upon completing the course curriculum, aspiring teachers must spend time in the classroom under the instruction of an established teacher. Student teaching semesters last 14 to 16 weeks with placements in real PreK-12 classrooms. Passing all fieldwork requirements with satisfactory supervisor marks qualifies students for graduation. If planning to teach in public schools, post-grads must become certified and licensed in the state where they’ll teach. The U.S. Department of Education has a directory for finding certification requirements by state. The checklist using includes passing the academic skills and subject-specific Praxis tests.
So, how much does becoming a teacher cost? The NCES reports that the average full-time undergraduate cost of attendance is $23,091 per year. All four-year institutions have an average annual price tag of $26,593 for tuition and fees plus room and board. Public, in-state universities charge slightly less at $19,488 on average. Mean annual attendance expenses climb to $41,468 at private nonprofit and for-profit colleges. The average timeline for bachelor’s degree completion is currently 5.2 years. Future educators may spend up to 160 months finishing a bachelor’s program part-time. Meeting the 120-credit mark takes a minimum of four years with student teaching included. Therefore, the total average cost of bachelor’s preparation is $92,364. At private colleges, four-year education can easily surpass $165,872. Students incur an average student loan debt of $31,172. America has a whopping $1.6 trillion student loan crisis. Paying off borrowed loans can be difficult when they equal more than the starting teacher salary.
Getting the highest teaching salaries may require attending graduate school. Certain states, such as New York and Maryland, mandate a master’s degree in five years for an advanced license. Master’s degrees, such as the Master of Education or Master of Arts in Teaching, could be needed for specialized niches. For instance, reading specialists need an added K-12 endorsement at the master’s level to lead literacy programs. Master’s programs qualify teachers for progressing into administrative roles like principal and superintendent too. Education doctorates are generally only required for postsecondary professors. Getting a Ph.D. or an Ed.D. degree takes about three to four years beyond the 30-48 master’s credits. Affording master’s or doctoral tuition is difficult on a tight teacher salary. The NCES prices average yearly graduate attendance costs at $10,408 for public and $21,955 for private schools.
Hidden Costs of Having a Teaching Job
The average teacher salary doesn’t account for how much teachers spend out of pocket. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found that 95.1 percent of teachers pay for their own supplies. Teachers fork over cash from their already modest paychecks to buy pencils, notebooks, folders, posters, and more. Many teachers don’t have their purchases reimbursed by the school district. America’s public school educators spend $459 on average for supplies. Mean out-of-pocket supply costs range from $327 to $664 by state. Overall classroom teacher spending surpasses $1billion annually. Further, teachers need to pay fees for licensing exams and recertification forms. Each Praxis Core test comes with a $90 value. Membership fees for teacher organizations like Kappa Delta Pi incur $50 or more each year. Attending teacher conferences, such as the $617 Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Conference, also costs a pretty penny. Extra expenses shrink how much money the average teacher brings home.
Job Outlook for Teachers
Job opportunities for teachers are expected to increase by five percent from through 2028. This job growth rate is on par with other non-teaching occupations. The number of new education jobs will jump by 512,900. High school teachers will see 38,200 new positions. About 53,100 jobs will be created in elementary education. The United States will see 21,400 more middle school teaching jobs. Career and technical educators should brace for a decline of 1,800 jobs. The demand for preschool teachers will stimulate 36,900 new jobs with the lowest teaching salaries. Special education teachers can count on a hiring uptick of 13,600. Postsecondary professors have the highest teaching salaries and best 10-year outlook for 155,000 new faculty positions. School principals will compete for 11,200 new jobs established by 2028. Community health educators are also in high demand for 14,100 openings.
Teacher job growth will be driven by the decrease in student-teacher ratios and many existing teachers leaving the profession. The average U.S. teacher is 42.4 years old. Thirty percent of teachers are over age 50 and reaching retirement. CNBC found that 61 percent of teachers have considered changing careers. Teaching is a tough, stressful job track where professionals get burned out regularly. Teachers can get discouraged by inadequate pay and benefits as well as a lack of appreciation. Resignations leave openings for enthusiastic new teachers to snag. Growth for teaching jobs will largely be regional. Many new opportunities are expected in the South and Midwest. Teachers can quickly find jobs in subjects where there’s a shortage. Qualified teachers are needed in high-need fields like bilingual education, special education, English language acquisition, and STEM education. College students who love helping children or teens and are willing to work hard should consider teaching.
Is there hope for the average teacher salary to increase? The Washington Post reported that teachers make less than 60 percent of what similarly educated professionals do. Recent teacher strikes and protests over unfair wages have started sparking change though. Activism during the Red for Ed movement made American teacher pay rise to $61,730. For example, teachers in Denver received a 15.7 percent pay jump for 2019-20. The League of Education Voters Foundation found only 56 of the 295 striking school districts earned a pay increase over 4 percent though. Progress is left to be made and earn hard-working teachers suitable compensation. While there are regions and grade levels where pay is meager, teaching can be a very lucrative field. There’s a wide range for the average annual teacher salary. The highest paying jobs normally go to teachers with advanced degrees and experience. How much money the average teacher makes combines with the intrinsic rewards of nurturing young minds.
What is the average US teacher salary? ›
The average public school teacher salary in the US during the 2021 school year was $65,090, an increase of 1.49% or $957 from 2020.What is a teacher's highest salary? ›
In 2021, the average K-12 public school teacher nationwide was paid $65,090. Average teacher pay was the highest in New York at $87,738, followed by Massachusetts and California. In three states — Mississippi, Florida, and South Dakota — teachers made less than $50,000 on average.How much do teachers in GA make? ›
The average Public School Teacher salary in Georgia is $54,057 as of December 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $45,145 and $65,922.How to make 6 figures as a teacher? ›
- Find opportunities to earn supplemental money at your school. ...
- Do research on your location's pay rates. ...
- Earn an advanced degree. ...
- Take advantage of professional development opportunities. ...
- Transition to an administrative career. ...
- Offer tutoring options.
Teachers with a master's degree or higher can also expect higher wages due to their level of training. Elementary school teachers earn a national average salary of $64,606 per year , while high school teachers make an average salary of $47,510 per year .Which state has the lowest teacher pay? ›
Teacher Pay by State 2022.
The average salary for teachers was $49,583 in Florida—the second lowest in the country after Mississippi. All other occupations averaged $51,950, a 4.6 percent difference. In Colorado, teachers earn on average $60,611, about 3 percent less than the $62,900 of other occupations.At what age do most teachers retire? ›
Average Retirement Age
University professors retire later than teachers, for example. The average retirement age for teachers hovers around 59.
- New York, New York. New York City Department of Education is the largest school district in the U.S., serving 1.1 million students in more than 1,800 schools. ...
- Los Angeles, California. ...
- Houston, Texas. ...
- Dallas, Texas. ...
- Chicago, Illinois. ...
- Atlanta, Georgia. ...
- Phoenix, Arizona.
As of Nov 18, 2022, the average monthly pay for a Teacher in the United States is $2,728 a month. While ZipRecruiter is seeing monthly salaries as high as $4,500 and as low as $1,292, the majority of Teacher salaries currently range between $1,958 (25th percentile) to $3,083 (75th percentile) across the United States.
Do teachers get paid weekly? ›
Teachers are paid monthly .What is the highest paying occupation? ›
- Anesthesiologist: $208,000.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon: $208,000.
- Obstetrician and Gynecologist: $208,000.
- Surgeon: $208,000.
- Orthodontist: $208,000.
- Physician: $208,000.
- Psychiatrist: $208,000.
Living on a teacher salary is more than possible and it doesn't necessarily mean you can't have any fun. As long as you know what money is coming in monthly, what needs to go out to bills monthly, and use what's left responsibly, you will not have to stress about money (as much).Can a teacher have a second job? ›
Secondary schools are full of people with many different subject-related talents, which means teachers often have jobs outside of school that gel with their specialisms. Nearly one in three arts and design teachers earn extra money outside teaching, along with around a quarter of PE teachers.Can you make a living off teachers pay teachers? ›
The first question everyone asks is: “can I really make money selling on Teachers Pay Teachers?” The answer is YES. It is a great way to start up a small business and earn extra income for teachers. I won't sugarcoat it though, you will have to put a lot of hard work into it.Why do teachers make so little money? ›
Teachers get paid so little because education is underfunded in the United States. This equation has other factors, but this is the prime reason. The professional group of teachers has not experienced a salary increase in quite a long time.How many hours do teachers work? ›
92% of teachers are teaching full-time. This means that they teach 21 hours 20 mins per week which comprises of 32 class periods of 40 minutes duration. In addition to their teaching hours, second-level teachers typically spend 20 hours 7 minutes per week on non- teaching activities.Do school teachers get paid in the summer? ›
It's also worth noting that when teachers pay scales are set, the fact that we have good holidays will be factored in to that to some extent. However, none of that changes the fact that teachers pay is not pro-rata and then spread across the year: we are paid all year round, including receiving 13 weeks paid holidays.Why teachers are quitting? ›
The survey points to multiple reasons for unhappiness, and those teachers who are considering leaving the profession cited burnout from stress (57%) and political attacks on teachers (40%), followed by a heavy workload compounded by staff shortages.How many days do teachers work? ›
Directed time is when teachers are directed by their head teacher to be at work and available for work. This is a maximum of 1,265* hours per academic year, spread over 195 days.
What state has the highest teacher shortage? ›
Mississippi saw the highest teacher-to-student vacancy rate in the 2021-22 school year. The state reported having nearly 69 missing teachers per 10,000 students.How much money does a teacher make an hour? ›
As of Nov 4, 2022, the average hourly pay for a Teacher in the United States is $15.71 an hour. While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $25.96 and as low as $7.45, the majority of Teacher wages currently range between $11.30 (25th percentile) to $17.55 (75th percentile) across the United States.How many years of college do you need to be a teacher? ›
Prospective teachers must earn, at minimum, a bachelor's degree in order to be eligible for certification. Traditional bachelor's degrees take four years to complete, meaning that at the very least, it takes four years of schooling to become a teacher.What is the most in demand teaching job? ›
Which teaching subject is most in demand? While specific needs vary by institution, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are subjects that are always in high demand.How long do teachers live on average? ›
However, research from the Office of National Statistics shows that male and female teachers are likely to live to 83 and 86 respectively. With average life expectancy increasing all the time, it is reasonable to assume that we are likely to live even longer than this.How old are teachers on average? ›
|State||Average age of teachers||Less than 30 years|
Teachers' eligibility for social security coverage depends on what state and school district they work in. Some states provide coverage to teachers while others do not, and a small number of states have a mixed landscape where some districts in the state have coverage and others do not.What is the best state to be a teacher? ›
- Washington. Washington's overall score of 56.28 makes it the best state in the U.S. for teachers, ranking second for Opportunity & Competition and tenth for Academic & Work Environment. ...
- Utah. ...
- New Jersey. ...
- Delaware. ...
- Pennsylvania. ...
- North Dakota. ...
- Virginia. ...
|Overall Rank||State||Total Score|
The pay awards vary by profession. The new pay scales for teachers and school leaders for 2022-2023 have been confirmed by the Department for Education. Teachers across the country will benefit from pay increases of between 5% and 8.9% which will be backdated from 1st September 2022.
How can a teacher earn more money? ›
Coaching. Coaching is one of the most popular options for making extra money in teaching profession. Coaches help students from all over the world realize their dreams and ambitions through various high-impact methods: offering classes, workshops, webinars, personal 1 to 1 sessions and so on.Do teachers have 13th month pay? ›
Private school teachers, including faculty members of universities and colleges, are entitled to the required 13th month pay, regardless of the number of months they teach or are paid within a year, if they have rendered service for at least one month within a year and also resigned or separated employee is also ...How much do nurses earn per month? ›
Average R 18 076 per month.How many hours in a week do teachers work? ›
“In general, teachers work more than 40 hours a week during normal times, and this is anything but normal,” said Lynn Holdheide, senior adviser for the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at the American Institutes for Research, which provides technical assistance and consultation to states and districts to best ...What do teachers do in the summer? ›
Work. It's true: Many teachers use their summer breaks to revamp curriculum, update classroom activities, or attend classes for their certification. Some even have summer jobs; online teaching, tutoring, and counseling are some of the best summer side hustles, The Balance Careers says.What qualifications do I need to be a teacher? ›
You'll usually need: 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths. 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree. a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course.
|1||Anesthesiologists||Doctoral or professional degree|
|1||Cardiologists||Doctoral or professional degree|
|1||Dermatologists||Doctoral or professional degree|
Here are the best jobs of 2023:
Software Developer. Nurse Practitioner. Medical and Health Services Manager. Physician Assistant.
- General and Operations Managers. Number of employees: 2,289,770.
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How much does a Teacher make in India? The average teacher salary in India is ₹ 334,875 per year or ₹ 134 per hour. Entry-level positions start at ₹ 240,000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to ₹ 721,500 per year.
Is teaching a stable job? ›
Teaching is recession-proof and provides a sense of job security. It's also a great career choice for anyone who loves working with people.Would teaching be a good career for me? ›
Also, if you are motivated to succeed, teaching can be a profoundly satisfying profession, as you can have a huge positive impact on the lives of individual children and the community around the school. Flexibility and a willingness to adapt and get to grips with new developments.What is the hardest job of a teacher? ›
Teachers work long hours for low pay, grading papers at night and planning lessons on weekends. They're faced with instructing large classrooms of kids who can smell fear, and the arguably more daunting task of dealing with their parents if things go wrong.What side jobs can a teacher do? ›
- Tutoring. ...
- Standardized Test Administrator. ...
- Teach English Abroad. ...
- Adjunct Community College Professor. ...
- Babysitting or Nannying.
Professors are the highest-level of educators and usually specialize in a specific academic subject or field. They are critical faculty at a college. Teachers on the other hand are charged with teaching younger students, focusing on kindergarten through high school.How much does a garbage man make in us? ›
How Much Does a Garbage Collector Make? Garbage Collectors made a median salary of $38,500 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $48,870 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $30,270.Are teachers in the US underpaid? ›
Over these nearly two decades, a picture of increasingly alarming trends has emerged. 1 Simply put, teachers are paid less (in weekly wages and total compensation) than their nonteacher college-educated counterparts, and the situation has worsened considerably over time.What is a teacher salary in Wisconsin? ›
The average Public School Teacher salary in Wisconsin is $55,035 as of December 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $45,962 and $67,114.Do teachers get paid more in UK or USA? ›
Although this is less than the UK average, which is currently £27,000, this is among the highest teacher salaries in Europe and only fractionally lower than teachers in the United States, who get paid an average of $41,000 per year.