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Teacher Pay By State

Teacher Pay By State


As the adage goes, 'Knowledge is power.' In the United States, the responsibility of shaping the next generation into knowledgeable, responsible citizens largely falls on teachers. Yet, there exist substantial disparities in teachers' pay across the nation.

A review of the data reveals that:

  • New York state pays the highest average salary to its public school teachers at $92,222 per year, followed by Massachusetts and California, where teachers earn on average $88,903, and $87,275 respectively.
  • On the other end of the scale, Mississippi and South Dakota have the lowest average teacher salary, less than $50,000 annually, with teachers earning on average $47,162 and $49,761 respectively. 
  • There is a significant income disparity between the highest and lowest-paid teachers across the states. The average salary of a teacher in New York, the highest-paying state, is nearly double that of a teacher in Mississippi, the lowest-paying state.
  • Surprisingly, some states renowned for their high cost of living, such as Florida, pay comparatively lower salaries to their teachers. Florida sits at rank 47, with an average teacher salary of $51,230.

Highest Paying States for Teachers

The list of the ten highest paying states for teachers is led by New York, where the average annual teacher salary amounts to a notable $92,222. This is a considerable figure, notably above the national average K-12 teacher salary of $66,397. 

Following New York, Massachusetts and California are the second and third highest paying states for teachers, respectively. The average teacher salary in Massachusetts stands at $88,903 while California provides an average salary of $87,275 to its educators.

Washington and Connecticut take the fourth and fifth spots on the list, with the average teacher earning $81,586 and $81,185 respectively. New Jersey, known for its strong focus on quality education, features sixth on the list with an average teacher salary of $79,045, followed closely by Rhode Island at $76,852.

Maryland, where the average teacher earns $75,766 a year, nests at eighth on the list. Alaska, with its challenging geographical location, pays its teachers an average salary of $73,722, emerging ninth in the list. Lastly, Pennsylvania wraps up the top ten highest paying states for teachers with an average annual teacher salary of $72,428.

Highest Paying States for Teachers:

  1. New York - $92,222
  2. Massachusetts - $88,903
  3. California - $87,275
  4. Washington - $81,586
  5. Connecticut - $81,185
  6. New Jersey - $79,045
  7. Rhode Island - $76,852
  8. Maryland - $75,766
  9. Alaska - $73,722
  10. Pennsylvania - $72,428

Lowest Paying States for Teachers

Topping this list is Mississippi, with a marked low average teacher salary of $47,162. South Dakota is second from the bottom, with an average teacher salary of $49,761. Not far ahead is West Virginia, where teachers fetch an average compensation of $50,315 annually, placing it third from the bottom.

In some states with notably high living expenses, teacher salaries seem to detach from this trend. For instance, Florida ranks as the fourth-lowest state in terms of teacher remuneration, offering its tutors an average salary of $51,230 per year, significantly lower considering the state's cost of living.

Further down the scale, we see Louisiana, Missouri, and Arkansas, where teachers earn an average of $52,376, $52,481, and $52,486, respectively. South Carolina, Tennessee, and Montana follow with slightly higher averages ranging from $53,393 - $53,628.

Lowest Paying States for Teachers:

  1. Mississippi - $47,162
  2. South Dakota - $49,761
  3. West Virginia - $50,315
  4. Florida - $51,230
  5. Louisiana - $52,376
  6. Missouri - $52,481
  7. Arkansas - $52,486
  8. South Carolina - $53,393
  9. Tennessee - $53,619
  10. Montana - $53,628

By State

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