Home Jobs & Education How Much Do Teachers Make? + Infographic

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean wage for all teachers and educators is $24.02 per hour, which leads to about $50,000 per year. However, earnings vary a lot in terms of location, specialization, and experience.

Teachers prepare students for future schooling and careers by educating them on a wide range of subjects.

They are responsible for planning and delivering lessons, evaluating/grading student performance, working with individual students to overcome challenges, communicating effectively with parents, and preparing students for standardized tests.

a primary education teacher with her students

How Much Does a Teacher Make?

It is estimated there are over 3 million practicing teachers in the U.S. at the moment, which earn $49,959 per year on average. The best paid teachers are active in postsecondary schools and usually teach law, economics, or sciences. At the other end we have teachers who do not retain a permanent position: the 626,750 substitutes in the US earn $29,630 on average. The top 10% substitutes can go beyond $44,400 per year, but the bottom 10% earn as little as $17,980 per year. infographioc on how much does a teacher make

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How Much Does a Teacher Make by Educational Stage?

Preschool teachers have modest wages: The 370,190 professionals in charge of preparing children for primary education only earn $32,500 per year on average, but salaries can go as low as $19,000. The richest 10% preschool teachers can earn a little over $51,990. Special education preschool teachers earn considerably more, with a $58,210 mean annual wage. However, they start at about $33,400 an earn up to $91,280 with experience.

The 2,027,280 elementary school teachers in the U.S earn $57,730 per year on average. With experience and involvement, they can go beyond $85,550 per year. However, a teacher in his or her first years of practice can earn less than $36,190 per year. Similar to special ed preschool teachers, elementary teachers who educate children with special needs earn $58,640 on average. Although they can reach $70,000 over time, they start with less than $36,900 per year.

Middle school teachers earn a little more: an $58,760 mean annual wage is offered to most teachers who help children transition from primary to secondary education. If an experienced middle school teacher can earn more than $87,060 per year, young professionals can start at less than $37,350. Special education middle school teachers earn a little more, with an average of $60,300 per year; Even though a middle school teacher in special education can earn more than $89,820 per year, they start at about $38,000 in their first years.

High school teachers earn around $60,000, a little more than some middle school teachers. However, the variations in terms of experience and location are noteworthy: a novice high school teacher from Idaho earns less than $37,800, but experience and relocation could increase his or her wage to more than $91,190. A secondary school special ed teacher earns an $62,180 yearly median wage. They start with almost $40,000 per year and slowly but steadily reach $94,200 or more.

There are about 1,531,350 postsecondary teachers in the US. Even though a teacher who prepares high school graduates can start at $29,300 per year or less, experience will increase their annual wage to more than $140,720. The mean annual wage of a postsecondary teacher is $77,480.

How Much Does a Teacher Make by Specialization?

Postsecondary teachers have higher salaries than other educators. Law teachers make the most money, with a yearly mean wage of $126,230. However, the variations for postsecondary law teachers’ salaries are astonishing: the bottom 10 percent earns less than $42,150, while the top 10% can earn more than $170,000. They are followed by Health Specialties teachers, with a mean wage of $114,510 per year, and economics teachers with $106,980 yearly on average.teacher with computer science students

The 87,610 math and computer science teachers who activate in postsecondary education earn $80,140 per year on average and can go as high as $138,290. The starting point, however, could be lower than $36,790

How Much Does a Teacher Make by Location?

Massachusetts is the most generous state with its 230,430 teachers, with a mean pay of $34.26 per hour – which translates to $71,250 on average. Of course, salaries vary in terms of specialization and experience. The lowest-paid 10% teachers from Massachusetts earned less than $30,300 in 2018, while experienced postsecondary teachers’ income surpassed $119,010.

New York is the second best place for teachers to work in, with an hourly mean pay of $30.58 and $63,610 per year. The worst-paid 10% NY teachers earn less than $22,220 per year, but can surpass $117,550 when they become the top 10% of 684,170 teachers in New York.

Alaska gets the bronze medal when it comes to best paid teachers in the U.S. Its almost 21,500 educators earn a mean hourly wage of $30.34 and $63,110 per year. A beginner will earn about $30,840 per year, while an experienced teacher can earn close to $100,000 if he or she is one of the top 10% in the branch.

The lowest wages for teachers can be found in Idaho, Oklahoma, and Mississippi, with less than $20 per hour.

The yearly mean income of 40,540 teachers in Idaho revolves around $39,110, with a minimum of $17,500 for starting educators and more than $64,070 for experienced postsecondary teachers.

In Oklahoma, a teacher usually starts with less than $17,830 per year, reaches the median wage of $40,940, and can surpass $66,360 with the right specialization.

A bit more generous, Mississippi offers a median yearly wage of $41,310 to its almost 76,000 teachers; Beginners will have to settle for less than $17,400 until they gain enough experience to count themselves among the top 10% and earn more than $62,850 per year.

Hourly and yearly mean wages in every U.S. state are portrayed in the following table:


State Mean/Hour Mean/Year Number of Jobs
Alabama $22.26 $46,310 108,240
Alaska $30.34 $63,110 21,490
Arizona $21.71 $45,160 142,280
Arkansas $21.00 $43,680 72,400
California $28.58 $59,440 949,400
Colorado $24.77 $51,520 143,370
Connecticut $29.88 $62,140 124,410
Delaware $26.00 $54,070 25,600
Florida $22.48 $46,750 410,810
Georgia $22.74 $47,300 255,420
Hawaii $24.47 $50,900 42,900
Idaho $18.81 $39,110 40,540
Illinois $26.70 $55,550 385,700
Indiana $22.64 $47,100 155,830
Iowa $23.20 $48,250 98,630
Kansas $20.86 $43,400 88,450
Kentucky $23.93 $49,780 106,570
Louisiana $22.06 $45,890 108,990
Maine $22.87 $47,570 39,680
Maryland $29.30 $60,940 172,650
Massachusetts $30.63 $63,720 230,430
Michigan $25.43 $52,880 238,760
Minnesota $25.12 $52,250 162,330
Mississippi $19.86 $41,310 75,980
Missouri $22.76 $47,340 159,920
Montana $20.52 $42,680 28,120
Nebraska $22.72 $47,260 58,300
Nevada $23.18 $48,220 51,520
New Hampshire $24.36 $50,660 44,360
New Jersey $27.88 $58,000 299,890
New Mexico $23.67 $49,220 54,130
New York $30.58 $63,610 684,170
North Carolina $22.86 $47,540 260,330
North Dakota $23.47 $48,810 22,800
Ohio $26.11 $54,300 314,280
Oklahoma $19.68 $40,940 93,020
Oregon $25.90 $53,870 107,050
Pennsylvania $26.70 $55,550 343,160
Rhode Island $29.09 $60,500 32,250
South Carolina $22.29 $46,360 114,450
South Dakota $19.94 $41,470 24,190
Tennessee $21.97 $45,700 150,460
Texas $23.28 $48,430 718,400
Utah $24.66 $51,300 82,160
Vermont $22.34 $46,460 27,130
Virginia $25.93 $53,930 237,250
Washington $25.10 $52,200 177,430
West Virginia $21.68 $45,100 40,230
Wisconsin $24.03 $49,980 163,440
Wyoming $22.61 $47,030 19,980

Being a Teacher

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.

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

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 level, the middle school level, or the secondary school level. These stages often offer support for children with special needs, position that requires extra qualifications and a kind, patient personality.

Prospects for Teachers

Since overall student enrolled is predicted to grow, employment of teachers is expected to grow at the average rate of 6%. Even though schools will employ more teachers, the average classroom’s size will still increase – which means teachers will have to invest more effort during their day-to-day activities involving students. Young graduates in need of a teaching job are in luck this decade, since more teachers are expected to retire than usual.

Wage Inequality

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research 2011 study, teaching is among the top 10 most common occupations for women – in fact, 57% of teachers are female. However, they earn about 10% less than male teachers do.

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