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On Average How Much Money Do Teachers Make?


Like any career, teaching can offer varying paychecks. Should you be considering a teaching career and have questions about how much money you can expect to make, here are some interesting facts to consider.

Salaries by Grade Level

As a new teacher with a Bachelor’s degree and questions about how much money do teachers make at various grade levels, the website EducationDegree.com shows that preschool teachers have the lowest average salaries at nearly $35,000 annually, while elementary and middle school teachers earn almost $64,000 per year. 

High School teachers have average yearly salaries of $66,000, while Special Education teachers at any level earn between $64,000-$67,000 annually.

Location and Taxes

Even though public schools receive funding from state, federal, and local sources, most funding is raised through local property taxes. Thus, if you teach in an area that has higher property values, larger amounts of taxes will be collected, meaning teachers will be paid more for their services. Also, consider the cost of living where you will live. For example, if you teach in Birmingham, AL, and earn $35,000 annually, this salary is equivalent to a teacher in Los Angeles who earns almost $87,000 per year.

Public vs. Private Schools

If you decide to teach in a private school, you may have smaller classes and more control over the curriculum. However, you’ll also likely have a much smaller salary. Since private schools rely mainly on tuition for their funding, they are limited as to how much they can pay their teachers.

Salaries by Work Environment

While you can earn a good salary being a teacher inside a classroom, there are other work environments within education that may allow you to earn even more. For example, if you choose to pursue a Master’s degree or perhaps even a Ph.D., you could take your skills to the area of educational support services. Should you do so, you may find yourself working for a school district or a state or local government, where you would spend your days performing course and curriculum design and evaluation.

Salaries by Region

In the U.S., the top salaries for teachers are those in northeastern states. In fact, New York leads the way in virtually all categories, followed closely by New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and others in the region. However, salaries are also high in western states such as Texas, California, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii. However, remember that while a salary might seem very high in a particular state, the cost of living may make it comparable to a much smaller salary elsewhere.

Salaries by Subject Area

Though data is not collected by the U.S. Labor Department on teacher salaries in subject areas, subjects that are in high demand by districts across the country tend to pay much more. Generally, subjects such as math, science, and foreign language almost always have excellent salaries.

No matter how much money you earn as a teacher, you cannot put a price tag on changing a child’s life for the better.

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