How To Compare School Teacher Salaries by State: Teacher Pay

Find the Average Teacher Salary in Your State

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Teaching, while a noble profession, is hardly a high-paying career. It is no surprise that teaching is one of the jobs with the highest turnover rate. Many educators even switch careers due to higher salaries in another field. 

If you are a teacher and are searching for a place to settle down, or if you are trying to choose a career, you may want to use your potential salary as a deciding factor. These tips will help you find the average teacher salary in any state:

  1. Find the average teacher salary for the state of your choice. There are many resources on the Internet that have lists of states in order of teacher pay. Some reports you may find are older, so you need to make sure you are looking at the most up-to-date data. The sidebar of this article has some sites that will have those lists.
  2. See if the website has a list of startingteacher salaries by state teacher salaries. Most compiled data is for the average salary of all teachers in the state. It does not mean this is the starting salary if you are a new teacher. The average includes first-year teachers all the way up to multi-year veterans. It may be important to try to find the average salary that is at the same level of experience as you are. Often, you can find the state minimum mandated salary on that state's Board of Education website to give you an indication of the bare minimum for that state.
  3. Remember the lists include ALL schools in the state. School districts set their own salaries, so be aware that a school you choose may or may not have the same starting salaries. Some inner city schools may pay more to try to recruit teachers and keep them in their schools, or they may not have the budget to offer as much as an affluent suburban school. The general rule is the bigger the school district, the higher the salaries--but this is not always true. Contact the school district administration or check out their website for average pay rates in particular schools.

Chances are you are not interested in becoming a teacher for the money, and there is much more to consider than salary when choosing a state in which to live. Of course, without the financial means, it is hard to live anywhere!  Teachers with advanced degrees can command higher pay -- you can always increase your chances of getting a higher salary by pursuing a higher degree online.


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