Top 10 States With The Highest and Lowest Teacher’s Salaries In The US
Top 10 States With The Highest and Lowest Teacher’s Salary In The US

If you had made a list of high-paying careers when you planned your future, "teacher" was probably the first one you crossed off. With a median annual pay of little over $61,000, teachers are infamously underpaid in the United States, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Economic Policy Institute claims that two major causes of the countrywide teacher shortage that has grown and gotten worse since the start of the Great Recession are low pay and high levels of stress. Currently, a few Congressmen are trying to solve the pay issue.

In what ways does state-by-state teacher compensation vary?

The average cost-of-living-adjusted K–12 public teacher salary in the country for the 2021–2022 academic year was $64,300. Thirteen states paid less than the national average, while nineteen states and Washington, DC paid more.

At $50,508, Florida had the lowest average adjusted income.

When compared to other states that had lower teacher compensation, Florida stood out. The average teacher income in the following three states—Mississippi, South Dakota, and West Virginia—was roughly $5000 higher than the average teacher salary in Florida, with adjusted salaries that were comparable to that state.

An adjusted average of less than $60,000 was paid to teachers in more than one-third of the states.

When adjusted for cost of living, New York paid the highest teacher compensation, $84,218. Massachusetts ranked second, earning $83,434 on average as a teacher. The difference between these two and the third-highest teacher income in Connecticut, which is $79,125, was about $5,000.

The cost-of-living adjustment had the biggest influence on teacher salaries in Hawaii. Hawaii has the 15th-highest unadjusted teacher compensation in the US, but when cost of living is taken into consideration, it ranks 35th. Compared to a state like Minnesota, where the average unadjusted teacher pay is $68,491, which has a similar nominal teacher salary, its unadjusted teacher salary of $67,000 makes it far harder to make ends meet.

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What is the pay gap between teaching and other college-educated jobs?

To work as a K–12 educator, teachers normally need to complete a four-year bachelor's degree. Over half of teachers in the country also hold a master's degree. Teachers often make less money than other workers with a bachelor's or master's degree in 48 states plus Washington, DC.

The average unadjusted teacher income in two states (New York and Rhode Island) is higher than the average bachelor's degree earner's wage, which is likewise not adjusted for cost of living.

Since salaries within the same state do not require nationwide adjustments, salaries are left unadjusted for this comparison.

Top 10 States With The Highest Teacher’s Salary In The US

In addition to receiving comparatively high pay, educators in the Empire State also benefit from one of the greatest working environments in the country when it comes to factors like class sizes, availability of instructional resources, and the standard of educational systems.

1. Alaska: $77,843

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Alaska is one of the states that pays the highest salaries for teachers. Elementary school teachers make an average of $75,860, while secondary school teachers get an average of $77,920.

The district and numerous other significant elements, such as education, certifications, supplementary talents, and years of experience in your field, might affect salary ranges.

55 school districts house the roughly 500 public schools in Alaska. These consist of Regional Educational Attendance Areas and school districts located in cities and boroughs. Every district has a different salary scale. A statewide wage scale does not exist. Every district engages in negotiations with the union representing teachers and/or administrators, and then releases the pay scale as part of their "Negotiated Agreement."

2. New York: $76,593

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that New York teachers earn the highest average yearly pay when compared to educators in other states.

According to study, teachers in the state made an anticipated $87,738 on average per year for the 2020–2021 school year, the highest income among educators nationwide. Compared to the national average teacher income of $65,090 for the same year, it is 26% more.

3. Connecticut: $75,867

4. California: $72,050

5. Massachusetts: $71,587

6. New Jersey: $70,700

7. Rhode Island: $67,533

8. Maryland: $65,257

9. Illinois: $65,153

10. Virginia: $63,493

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Top 10 States With The Lowest Teacher’s Salary In The US

1. Mississippi: $42,043

A recent review of pay rates around the area shows that beginning salaries for K–12 public school teachers in Mississippi are lower than those of their colleagues in 15 other Southern states.

The Southern Regional Education Board, a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta that conducts research on how to enhance education, released the Teacher Compensation Dashboard, which indicates that the average beginning salary for a first-year teacher in Mississippi for the 2019–20 school year was approximately $36,500.

2. Oklahoma: $42,647

3. South Dakota: $43,200

4. North Carolina: $43,587

5. Arizona: $43,800

6. West Virginia: $45,477

7. Arkansas: $47,053

8. Idaho: $47,063

9. Kansas: $47,127

10. Louisiana: $48,587

In summary

Mississippi has the lowest average teacher wage in the US, paying about $48,000 annually. But $48,000 in Mississippi might not seem like $48,000 in New York. In many states, starting teacher wages are far less than the living wage. The only states where beginning teacher wages exceed $50,000 are New Jersey and the District of Columbia, with $51,443 and $55,209, respectively. Regretfully, D.C.'s and New Jersey's livable wages are $68,000 and $56,000, respectively. The lowest beginning income is $31,418 in Montana, which is still less than the state's living wage of $47,000. In thirty-four states in the union, the beginning salary for teachers is less than $40,000.

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