Best & Worst States For Teacher Pay In USA

by Bamidele Ogunberu Posted on May 9th, 2018

Houston, Texas, USA: National Teacher Appreciation Week is set aside to thank the educators who support, nurture, and inspire students across the United States. This week, thousands of teachers in Arizona and Colorado descended on statehouses to demand better pay and school funding.

Since the 2009-10 school year, teachers’ salaries dipped an average of 5 percent, to $58,950 in 2016-2017, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

During the last decade, 29 states reduced state funding of schools below 2008 levels, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Years of cuts to classroom funding, along with subpar pay, have inspired the latest revolt among teachers, beginning in West Virginia, where a nine-day strike resulted in a $2,000 pay raise. The fervor spread to red states like Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona, eventually turning to Colorado, where teachers rallied on Friday for a second day outside the state capitol.

It appears many Americans agree with them—and support their efforts to shut down schools to make their case to lawmakers. An AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released earlier this week found that 78 percent of Americans thought teachers needed a raise

In May 2017, there were nearly 4.2 million preschool, primary, secondary, and special education teachers in the United States. Their average annual wage was $58,780. Among these, there were about 1 million secondary school teachers with an average annual wage of $62,860, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

By state, average annual wages of secondary school teachers ranged from around $42,000 in Oklahoma and South Dakota to over $80,000 in Alaska and New York.

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, the highest paid area for secondary school teachers was New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA, with an average annual wage of $87,260. The lowest paid area for secondary school teachers was Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with an average annual wage of $42,970.

Average annual wages for secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education, May 2017

State Ranking Average annual wage
Alaska 1 $85,420
New York 2 83,360
Connecticut 3 78,810
California 4 77,390
New Jersey 5 76,430
Massachusetts 6 76,170
Virginia 7 69,890
Oregon 8 69,660
Maryland 9 69,070
Illinois 10 68,380
Rhode Island 11 67,620
Pennsylvania 12 66,020
Minnesota 13 65,290
Washington 14 64,760
District of Columbia 15 64,420
Delaware 16 63,640
Michigan 17 62,910
Vermont 18 61,590
Ohio 19 60,810
New Hampshire 20 60,070
Wyoming 21 59,780
Hawaii 22 59,250
Texas 23 57,830
Wisconsin 24 57,320
Nevada 25 57,210
Georgia 26 56,850
New Mexico 27 56,060
Nebraska 28 55,870
Utah 29 55,540
Kentucky 30 55,300
Iowa 31 54,490
Colorado 32 54,460
South Carolina 33 53,960
Maine 34 52,940
Indiana 35 52,670
Florida 36 51,800
Missouri 37 51,720
North Dakota 38 51,400
Tennessee 39 51,390
Montana 40 51,290
Arkansas 41 50,990
Louisiana 42 50,700
Kansas 43 50,470
Alabama 44 49,790
Idaho 45 48,540
Arizona 46 48,050
West Virginia 47 46,560
Mississippi 48 46,370
North Carolina 49 46,370
South Dakota 50 41,980
Oklahoma 51 41,880

 

Author

Bamidele Ogunberu

Bamidele Ogunberu

A prolific writer, Bamidele has worked in generalist and public relations capacities for an energy company before making the cross over into journalism and has never looked back
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