Teachers are the driving force behind our educational system. They prepare our children for the workforce, for higher education, and for life in general. The profession is widely considered one of the most important and valuable services that contributes to the betterment of society.
Despite being so highly valued, teachers are paid significantly less than other college-educated workers. And though the importance of educating children cannot be overstated, public school funding is a major problem in many, mostly low income, communities across the country.
The recent and ongoing teacher strikes in states like Arizona and Oklahoma (two of the lowest-paying states for teachers) demonstrates that in some states pay structures for teachers may be a serious problem.
The median annual salary across all teaching professions is $57,949, about $3,000 below the median annual salary of $60,996 across all workers with a bachelor’s degree, and nearly $15,000 below the median annual salary of $72,852 across workers with a master’s degree. Approximately 56% of teachers have a master’s degree.
Using U.S. Labor Department data, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median annual salary for elementary, middle, and high school teachers in every state. Salary figures include private and public school teachers.