Special Report

States Where Teachers Are Paid the Most and Least


To identify the states where teachers are paid the most and the least, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the weighted cost of living adjusted average for elementary, middle, and secondary schools teachers in every state from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produced by the U.S. Labor Department. Average salaries for all workers in each state are also from the OES.

We calculated the weighted average for teacher pay using the percentage of primary, middle, and secondary teacher employment, then adjusted for cost of living using the 2018 Regional Price Parity (RPP) from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Data are as of the latest years for which this data is available.

Statewide per-pupil expenditures in every state as of 2017 are for public schools only, and came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s survey of school finances.

Of the different high school graduation rates, we chose the newer adjusted cohort graduation rate, which measures the percentage of public school students who attain a regular high school diploma within four years of starting ninth grade. The cohort is adjusted by adding students who transfer in during those four years and by subtracting students who transfer out. The average cohort graduation rate (ACGR) for the 2017-2018 school year is from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Cost of living figures and came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and are for 2018, the latest year for which data is available.