February 24, 2018

What is the Average High School Teacher Salary?

Have you wondered what the average high school teacher salary is? If you plan to become a high school teacher, it’s important that you look into the expected salary range and ways you can improve your salary range.

High school teachers typically work long hours during the school year and have summers off. You will be expected to arrive at your high school about an hour before students arrive and to stay after school, offering office hours and performing support roles.

That means you might coach a sport, lead clubs, oversee detention or tutor students who need extra support. You also may be asked to monitor parking and drop off car lanes in the early mornings or to monitor the halls. You will be given a free period a few times a week for planning purposes, but you should plan on spending a lot of late nights and weekend hours planning and grading papers and projects. You will also need to factor in the time required for meeting with parents, emailing and calling parents and answering questions from students and parents about assignments and grades.

In the summer, you may wish to take the time off, or you may choose to work a summer job. Many high school teachers use their credentials to land substantial tutoring or coaching positions each summer. You may wish to look into working for summer camps, summer school, tutoring services or SAT and ACT prep classes. These are all excellent ways to supplement your summer income.

The numbers quoted here reflect average base salaries offered to high school teachers around the nation for the typical school year. They do not include summer job income.

Average High School Teacher Salary Range

The average high school teacher makes (as of May 2010) $53,230. High school teachers making the lowest 10% (in that same time frame) made less than $35,020 and teachers making the highest 10% made over $83,230.

The average high school teacher has a bachelor’s degree in education and may have a master’s degree in education or a specialized subject such as math, physics, social studies, etc.

High School Teacher Salary Range by Region

In general, high school teachers make more in the Northeastern states or Alaska than in the South or Southwest. Teachers in rural areas also tend to make less than teachers in urban areas.

To see how much you can make in your area, check out this free online high school teacher salary calculator.

What You Can Do to Improve Your Salary

Some schools will pay extra for coaching, tutoring and other support roles, but many high schools consider this type of work just part of the job. You can improve your salary by getting nationally certified, getting your master’s degree or specializing in one subject. You can also offer additional services on the side such as tutoring or leading youth projects or helping students apply for college or prep for standardized tests.

If you want to advance, you can pursue an advanced degree while working as a high school teacher and move into an assistant principal or principal position. Eventually you can work your way up to a superintendent position. School principals make about 20% more than high school teachers, and superintendents make over twice as much as high school teachers. Your experience in the classroom will prepare you for the challenging role of leading an entire school or managing a school district.

High School Teacher Position Outlook

As of May 2010, approximately 1,037,600 Americans worked as high school teachers. While the job market is expected to continue to expand, job growth is expected to be relatively slow, increasing the number of jobs available at a 7% job growth rate. That’s a slower rate than the average predicted job market growth overall, but it is good news that the market should still keep growing. You’ll want to look into your local job market, since demand for teachers varies considerably by region, and even by city.

If you want to improve your chances of getting a high school teaching position, you will want to concentrate in mathematics or sciences. High schools report vacancies in these two subject areas more than in any others.

High School Teacher Salary Summary

In general, high school teachers make more than preschool, elementary school and middle school teachers, but less than college professors, principals and superintendents. If you work as a high school teacher, you can work towards an advanced degree and one of those higher paying jobs if you wish to, but you may also find ways to substantially supplement your income just by offering tutoring or coaching services to students. You may also decide to work in the summer if you feel the need to increase your income.

You can also relocate to a region that pays a higher salary, should you wish to increase your salary range. You may also want to compare local private and public high school teacher salary ranges to make sure you are making the most you can.

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