If you’ve decided to enter the field of teaching, questions about teacher salary will play a prominent role in your decision about where you would like to teach. The salary figures for teacher pay by state will vary.
If you are concerned about how much do teachers make per year in your particular state, this article will help you find the information you need to make an informed decision about where to teach.
The US Department of Labor, through its Bureau of Labor Statistics, maintains a wide data base on income figures for teacher pay by state. The BLS prefers to utilize a method of calculation of salary based upon the ‘mean’ in their determination of teacher salary.
The ‘mean’ is calculated by taking all the salaries of a given segment and finding the salary in the very middle, where the number of teachers making less than that amount equals the number of teachers making more than that amount.
How Much Do Teachers Make
The national ‘mean’ annual salary for elementary and secondary school teachers is $57,810, with the top 10% of teachers earning $85,690 or more per year.
The teacher salary amounts vary by state. For example, teachers in New York earned some of the highest annual salary amounts, with teachers in Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division earning a salary of $91, 460. Teachers in Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division came in second, earning $78,980 annually. Illinois comes in at 15th with the middle-ground for Illinois teacher salaries being around $59,000.
Contrast this with some figures of the lowest annual salaries. Educators in the state of Mississippi earn a mean annual salary of $ 31,890. Teachers in some areas of Georgia, Arizona and Maine are among the lowest salary earners as well; North Carolina comes in at 46th out of 50.
Other state salary information: Texas
Contributing Factors to Salary Figures
Teacher salaries vary due to a variety of reasons. In part, the cost of living in a particular state will drive salary figures for the most part. A state like New York, where the annual cost of living is very high in comparison to other areas of the United States, creates a need for higher salary figures for teachers.
Even though the salary for a teacher in another area of the United States may be much lower, if the cost of living in that state is also much lower, the salaries may actually be more comparable than it first appears.
Another factor that plays a major role in teacher salary is the concentration of teachers competing for jobs in the area, as well as the number of jobs available for teachers in that same area. If the competition for jobs is very high, such competition will actually drive the salary figures offered down substantially.
Ways that Teachers Can Earn Salary Increases
There are several ways teachers may increase their chances to earn a higher salary. Among these are to pursue higher education within their field, such as completing their Master’s degree. In some states, teachers receive raises based upon merit; this means that a teacher whose students have achieved high test scores due to the teacher’s efforts may earn that teacher a salary increase.
In states with areas of critical need for teachers, there may be bonuses offered for teachers willing to teach in those areas where there is a teacher shortage.
If you are in the planning stages for a career as a teacher, all of these factors should be taken into account as you choose the location for your teaching career. The location for your education and teacher licensing may prove to be one of the most critical decisions you will make as you begin a rewarding career as a teacher. Check out our article on how to become a teacher for more information.