Home Jobs & Education How Much Do Teachers Make?

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elementary-school-teacherTeachers prepare students for future schooling and careers by educating them on a wide range of subjects, including mathematics, reading, writing, social studies, science, foreign language, and more. Teachers are responsible for planning lessons, delivering these lessons, evaluating/grading student performance, working with individual students to overcome challenges, communicating effectively with parents, and preparing students for standardized tests.

Teachers are facilitators of learning, enabling students to develop proper problem solving skills, critical thinking strategies, and knowledge of curriculum concepts.

Salary
So how much does a teacher make? According to the May 2012 records of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual elementary school teacher salary is $56,130. Of the 1,360,380 elementary school teachers nationwide, the lowest ten percent earned $35,630 and the top ten percent brought home an average $83,160 each year. The 620,900 middle, intermediate, or junior high level teachers earn a mean annual salary of $56,280. The bottom ten percent makes $36,740, while the top ten percent earns $82,190 annually. For the 959,770 secondary or high school level teachers, the mean annual salary is slightly higher at $57,770. The lowest ten percent make $36,930 and the top ten percent are compensated with a sizeable $85,690 each year.

Industry of employment plays a prominent role in the annual salary of teachers at all levels. Teachers that hold positions as educational support only earn an average of $48,730, while those employed by state governments make an average of $59,070. Another factor that impacts salary for teachers is location. The top-paying states are New York at $74,130, Rhode Island at $69,780, and California at $69,330.

Elementary School Teachers

State Hourly Wage Average Salary Number of Jobs
Alabama - $48,450 18,830
Alaska - $67,110 3,620
Arizona - $42,800 24,140
Arkansas - $44,810 12,330
California - $69,690 132,560
Colorado - $49,780 23,360
Connecticut - $67,070 16,150
Delaware - $57,620 4,780
Florida - $48,900 69,310
Georgia - $53,320 42,760
Hawaii - $53,490 5,910
Idaho - $48,130 6,900
Illinois - $59,270 80,580
Indiana - $51,670 24,180
Iowa - $47,640 16,010
Kansas - $45,400 14,000
Kentucky - $49,470 20,130
Louisiana - $48,070 12,740
Maine - $47,870 6,910
Maryland - $61,710 25,810
Massachusetts - $65,850 26,570
Michigan - $61,570 35,910
Minnesota - $60,230 25,780
Mississippi - $41,740 13,490
Missouri - $47,290 23,380
Montana - $45,650 5,190
Nebraska - $47,700 9,610
Nevada - $53,100 10,570
New Hampshire - $53,340 6,730
New Jersey - $66,240 42,310
New Mexico - $51,610 9,390
New York - $71,270 82,580
North Carolina - $43,140 39,770
North Dakota - $46,000 5,390
Ohio - $58,470 49,760
Oklahoma - $42,120 16,350
Oregon - $54,990 11,980
Pennsylvania - $57,230 57,460
Rhode Island - $74,310 3,730
South Carolina - $48,620 19,760
South Dakota - $39,900 3,930
Tennessee - $46,740 28,530
Texas - $50,110 150,440
Utah - $49,440 15,730
Vermont - $52,490 3,240
Virginia - $58,510 36,220
Washington - $59,390 26,160
West Virginia - $43,350 6,970
Wisconsin - $58,320 26,200
Wyoming - $58,680 2,810
Data courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

High School Teachers

State Hourly Wage Average Salary Number of Jobs
Alabama - $49,500 13,350
Alaska - $67,990 2,470
Arizona - $43,420 15,040
Arkansas - $47,270 9,820
California - $69,330 90,470
Colorado - $51,500 15,820
Connecticut - $67,370 14,230
Delaware - $55,610 2,980
Florida - $51,080 40,020
Georgia - $53,770 22,910
Hawaii - $55,550 4,040
Idaho - $45,540 4,210
Illinois - $66,020 53,500
Indiana - $51,930 17,510
Iowa - $46,120 12,440
Kansas - $46,850 9,770
Kentucky - $51,090 12,340
Louisiana - $48,790 16,970
Maine - $48,530 5,330
Maryland - $63,180 21,010
Massachusetts - $66,550 22,510
Michigan - $60,940 22,430
Minnesota - $58,210 15,070
Mississippi - $42,710 10,610
Missouri - $45,810 20,480
Montana - $46,630 3,730
Nebraska - $48,540 6,860
Nevada - $52,730 5,840
New Hampshire - $53,160 5,090
New Jersey - $69,640 34,780
New Mexico - $50,780 6,030
New York - $74,130 66,740
North Carolina - $44,400 24,450
North Dakota - $44,780 2,850
Ohio - $58,590 41,250
Oklahoma - $44,030 12,070
Oregon - $54,950 8,570
Pennsylvania - $59,640 52,640
Rhode Island - $69,780 4,880
South Carolina - $50,370 13,120
South Dakota - $40,070 3,480
Tennessee - $48,330 18,360
Texas - $52,010 102,070
Utah - $51,070 5,300
Vermont - $53,450 2,690
Virginia - $60,180 23,640
Washington - $60,600 14,210
West Virginia - $44,350 4,430
Wisconsin - $54,470 16,930
Wyoming - $60,100 1,980
Data courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work Environment
Teachers work mostly in both public and private schools, while others may be employed in day care programs, individual family services, residential care facilities, local government programs, or educational support services. Teachers can be employed at the elementary school (Kindergarten through 5th grade) level, the middle school (6th through 8th grade level), or the secondary school (9th through 12th grade) level. Teachers can also be in positions for special education and substitution.

Teachers generally work full-time school hours when the students are present. In addition, teachers may spend time before school for meetings, as well as after school or on weekend to prepare lessons and grade assignments. Most teachers work a traditional 10-month school year, before a 2-month vacation for summer recess. Since overall student enrolled is predicted to grow, employment of teachers is expected to grow by an average 17 percent from 2010 to 2020.

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