Public School Teacher Salary in United States 2024

Public School Teacher Salary in United States

Looking for the salary of a Public School Teacher in United States? The public school teacher salary in United States can range between $44,000-$66,000 annually. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. While defining a salary various factors come into consideration.

In this blog, we will include dependable statistics on the major reasons why people enter the teaching field. We will also talk about the public school teacher salary in United States, including insights into specialized roles such as Special Education Teacher Salary. So, keep reading to discover more information. You must be thinking about why it is important to evaluate all the factors.

If you are unsure of the field you would like to settle in but enjoy working with children, teaching could be the right field for you. Choosing what career to take is a big decision. Therefore, it is necessary to go deeper and consider all the factors involved. You will realize that education is not cheap and choosing the right one will matter to your life. So, let’s learn about this in a detailed manner. 

Why Should You Become a Teacher?

Sometimes, people make a choice in their field of work for unique causes. One group of people is always looking mainly at lucrative jobs, while others may wish to be employed close to home. Some people look to resolve inequities and improve their environment, while others try to make their community a better place.

If you ask yourself this question, what you get in the answer depends a lot on your own experience and perceptions. Here are five reasons why teaching might be the right path for you:

  1. This is a golden opportunity for you to mold young minds. You as a teacher spend a lot of time with children, at times more than any other adult apart from those in their family. Besides this, you will be able to be a model and influence their development.
  2. There is always a shortage of teachers. Many schools have teaching vacancies. Hence there are a lot of opportunities for job placement.
  3. Summers are free of schedules. You are likely to enjoy longer holidays during summer. This is the perfect time for you to further your education or participate in professional programs.
  4. Teaching is a way of demonstrating your creative skills. You get the flexibility to design your classroom ambiance and teaching techniques to enhance the learning process.
  5. You become knowledgeable about the topic. Teaching is not only being able to teach but also owning the subjects you teach. Therefore, you will perform both learning and applying your know-how in your job. This means that you will have to acquire and implement your skills every time in your daily work.

How Should You Become a Teacher?

If you have decided to become a teacher then you most likely would like to know how to teach.

  • Most jobs for teachers require at least a bachelor’s degree and only those who want to work in public school are obliged to have one. Almost all states in the U.S. offer a teacher preparation course.
  • You should ask your guidance counselor for assistance in identifying those regulations that apply in your domestic state. You should check whether your current teaching credentials are transferrable to the state you are thinking of relocating to.

Types of Teacher Preparation Programs

There are two types of programs in which you are trained in college or university. In many cases, the program consists of field experience. For example, as a public school teacher, you can apply theoretical knowledge by trying it in a real classroom.

There are two main types of teacher preparation programs: new and old. The common features of all conventional designs are a bachelor’s degree, student teaching, and passing the certification test.

Alternative routes are designed for graduates and those who would like to switch to teaching. This choice helps you to teach using your expertise about a certain field. You can start without obtaining an entirely new degree.

Also, there is a non-traditional route that does not take long for you to get a temporary certification. But, it requires you to pursue a full certification. This gives you a great chance and an opportunity to start teaching practice when you are still a student. You can balance your real-world experiences with learning.

Once you complete your teaching program, the last step would be to pass your final test to get your state credentials.

List of Some of the Top Public School Teacher Salary in United States

We are pretty sure that if you have plans to become a public school teacher, you are not doing this considering money at all. The question may still arise in your mind, “How much do public school teachers earn?” However, it is complex because the teachers’ salaries differ from state to state. 

Your education level and experience determine how much you can earn. The questions that get asked most often are “What is the average salary of a public school teacher in Florida?” and “What about in Texas?” 

The table below contains salary information for teachers based on education level including the starting salary as well as the average salary for each state.

Being a teacher may be difficult at times. If you know in which area you can get an appropriate salary, it will help you to know whether teaching is the right choice for you or not. 

If you want more detailed data on the nationwide teacher pay, you may want to check the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They have plenty of salary data for different positions, including teaching. The information below includes teacher salaries by state, starting from the lowest to the highest.

State10th Percentile Wage25th Percentile WageAnnual Median75th Percentile Wage90th Percentile WageAnnual Mean Salary
District of Columbia48,18061,21076,80099,860103,16076,540
New Hampshire47,29053,68064,44079,49093,03068,250
New Jersey60,15062,39077,96097,650103,49079,460
New Mexico46,91049,75061,14070,53081,15062,500
New York48,57062,89084,070126,440129,88091,290
North Carolina38,65046,44048,98059,25062,00051,570
North Dakota46,53047,89051,29061,51077,57056,510
Rhode Island47,54061,29080,79085,77096,75074,640
South Carolina39,04046,88058,09061,63075,20055,680
South Dakota38,62046,50048,01052,10059,84049,190
West Virginia37,59043,90048,17057,46062,71050,770

Factors That Impact Annual Salary of Public School Teachers 

When it comes to public school teacher salary in United States, several factors can make a difference. For example, whether you teach in a private or public school can affect how much you earn. 

Private School Teachers

On average, private school teachers make about $15,000 less per year than public school teachers. However, private school teachers might not need to pass certain tests required for public school teaching.

Experience and professional development also influence teacher salaries. The more experience you have and the more you invest in your professional growth, the higher your salary may be.

Substitute Teachers

Substitute teachers have a different pay scale. On average, short-term substitutes earn around $42,680 per year. But it is important to note that substitute work might not be consistent throughout the school year.

Special Education Teachers

Teaching in specialized areas like special education can also impact your salary. Special education teachers earn different salaries depending on the level they teach. For example, high school special education teachers earn around $71,290 per year, while elementary school special education teachers earn about $68,580 annually.

Highest-Paid States for Public School Teachers 

Some states pay teachers more than others. For example, in California, even the lowest-paid teachers earn more than the highest-paid teachers in South Dakota. The top five highest-paying states are:

  • California
  • New York
  • Washington
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut

Teachers in these states usually earn good money, especially when they are starting. But remember, the cost of living varies a lot from state to state. Living in places like California or Massachusetts is more expensive than in states like Mississippi or Arkansas. So, higher salaries do not always mean you will have more money left over. 

As teachers gain experience, their salaries usually go up. But salary can also vary based on where you live within a state and how much money your school district gets. The top five states paying the most to their highest-earning teachers are:

  • Virginia
  • New York
  • California
  • Oregon
  • Washington

Teachers in big cities with high incomes and lots of experience tend to make more. But these are just averages. In Virginia, for example, even though the highest-paid teachers make a lot, the median salary is much lower. So, not all teachers earn those big salaries.

Lowest-Paid States for Public School Teachers 

Teachers in some states earn less than others. For example, in South Dakota, Mississippi, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas, teachers make less money on average. 

Living and working in these states can be tough because schools often do not have enough money. This means teachers might have to be more creative with teaching methods since they do not have much support or funding. 

Low pay is especially hard for new teachers trying to start their careers. In South Dakota, for example, even the highest-paid teachers do not earn much more than the average. But living costs are often lower in these states too. Even experienced teachers might not earn much more. 

Some states, like South Dakota, North Carolina, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Louisiana, pay their top teachers less compared to other states. 

Being a teacher is not just about money. Many people become teachers because they want to help kids learn, not because of the salary. But, earning enough to live comfortably is important in any job. So, it is worth considering when choosing where to teach.

Education Loans for Teachers 

If you are a teacher then certainly you must have known that getting a college degree is necessary. However, did you know that the US Department of Education offers some terrific loan forgiveness programs to teachers?

There is a program that does not cost a penny because it simply covers your student loan payments over 10 years once you prove that you are getting a benefit from them. 

They have another program that will cancel max $17,500 of your loans if you spent at least 5 years teaching math or science in a participating high school. If any other subject has you teach, you still have a chance to get the $5,000 debt canceled.

The eligibility criteria are open for those teachers that have at least one year of experience in these districts after the year 1997-98 academic year.

Even when you teach in low-income parts of the country, you can federally have your Perkins Loans canceled.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which state has the highest teacher pay?

Here are the top five states that pay teachers the most based on yearly salary:

– California – $92,960
– New York – $91,290
– Washington – $88,530
– Massachusetts – $82,960
– Connecticut – $80,230

2. Which state has the lowest teacher salary?

The state with the lowest teacher salary is South Dakota. The teachers make about $49,190 a year. Across the entire United States, the average teacher salary is around $69,480.

3. Is it worth it to be a public school teacher?

Teaching is a career that offers stability, satisfaction, and plenty of opportunities. It is perfect if you enjoy thinking quickly, taking on challenges, and learning something new each day. As a teacher, you are an important and influential part of your community.


Teaching is a profession where you find endless satisfaction by shaping future generations. Those people will build the world. It helps develop yourself as a person and professional as well.

The public school teacher salary in the United States is low. They might not earn as much as in other jobs. But, they can still afford to live decently with enough time to rest for the summer. Not only this but there are chances for you to clear your student loans.

The positive side to this is that there are many great teaching positions available at the moment. There are schools in the whole USA that lack good public school teachers.

On the other hand, teaching is not as simple as just completing your degree and applying for jobs. The majority of states require you to be certified by completing an approved educational program.

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