School’s in! What’s your teacher’s salary?

For kids, a typical school day is about six to eight hours. Not so for teachers, whose work load includes additional hours for grading tests and papers, preparing lessons, gathering materials, making classroom displays, and meeting with students, parents and administrators. [And I’m probably leaving out a lot of other things, like contorting learning opportunities into preparation for standardized tests, and attending classes for the extra credits that earn higher pay.] So, how much is all of this effort worth in salary dollars? The answer depends a great deal on geography. States may fund schools, but local districts generally determine salaries, and they vary widely from state to state, and even within states.

At a helpful website called Teacher Salary Info, you can click on a state and find out salary ranges, plus information about median household income and home prices [to help prospective teachers get a handle on how well or poorly one might live on an educator’s income in that state], and state expenditures per pupil. Created by a teacher for other teachers, the website offers, on each state’s page, an extended description of the ins and outs of the state’s educational structure and funding, and other tips about the overall teaching environment. The website also includes graphs depicting, state by state: average teacher salary compared to median house price; and average teacher salary compared to median household income.

Designed to help both new and experienced teachers make informed decisions about where to work, Teacher Salary Info clearly believes in the value and satisfaction of teaching, but it presents a realistic picture of the world in which teachers work.

“Teachers… love to teach, but hate how little [they] are paid.” That’s both the opening and the bottom line of Teacher Salary Info. By way of explanation, the site says:

A 2006 study done by the National Education Association [found that] 50% of teachers leave the profession within five years because of poor working conditions and low salaries. Yet, according to the 2006 General Social Survey, teaching ranks among the Top 10 most gratifying jobs with 69% of teachers reporting they were very satisfied with their jobs.

So, would you be satisfied to teach if your salary range fell into one of the categories in the chart? Just asking. And, by the way, study this chart carefully, because if you live in almost any US state, there may be a test on this information later.

Teachers’ Salary Ranges by State

StateFromTo
Alabama$33, 737$56,774
Alaska$24,100$70,704
Arizona$33, 152$70,875
Arkansas$20,416$69,021
California$44,337$102,348
Colorado$31,675$73,437
Connecticut$40,973$90,998
Delaware$31,978$54,646
District of Columbia$42,370$68,396
Florida$32,870$59,138
Georgia$29,918$68,700
Hawaii$43,157$79,170
Idaho$31,000$64,442
Illinois$22,079$118,963
Indiana$31,095$65,858
Iowa$29,414$61,152
Kansas$33,580$50,395
Kentucky$32,981$62,171
Louisiana$33,665$60,729
Maine$31,152$63,861
Maryland$36,500$74,134
Massachusetts$41,385$69,076
Michigan$38,297$71,046
Minnesota$20,141$68,612
Mississippi$35,020$44,840
Missouri$34,345$76,349
Montana$28,546$60,064
Nebraska$32,487$52,400
Nevada$30,905$64,805
New Hampshire$25,600$76,097
New Jersey$44,450$93,412
New Mexico$23,528$58,289
New York$43,362$95, 285
North Carolina$29,750$64,160
North Dakota$26,800$51,912
Ohio$24,051$60,800
Oklahoma$31,600$47,135
Oregon$27,764$62,534
Pennsylvania$38,751$71,234
Rhode Island$35,563$70,190
South Carolina$26,975$68,817
South Dakota$26,750$42,470
Tennessee$22,645$55,710
Texas$40,800$66,231
Utah$31,604$63,770
Vermont$36,548$65,654
Virginia$32,303$74,883
Washington$32,746$61,720
West Virginia$25,832$54,632
Wisconsin$32,364$70,948
Wyoming$42,000$79,000

[Originally posted Aug. 24, 2010 on Occasional Planet]

  • Takefivein5_4

    Montana’s lower end base salary is incorrect.  On a reservation in the western portion of the state, our base salary pay is $23,850.