February 24, 2018

How Much Do Teachers Earn?

If you’re interested in becoming a teacher, you need to investigate teachers’ salaries.

One quick way to do this is to use a free online salary calculator tool.

However, you’ll need to know what type of teaching job you wish to pursue and where you plan to work. You’ll also need to tone down your expectations if you are new to teaching, since teachers with experience make more money than entry-level teachers.

In general, teachers’ salaries are influenced by the level of education you have, the type of teaching position you take (for example, preschool teacher or high school calculus teacher) and where you live. You may wish to look into what kinds of pay you can expect for the type of teaching job you wish to pursue before you get your teaching degree. This way you can set yourself up to make the amount of money you need to make in order to live the lifestyle you so desire.

Preschool Teachers Salaries

Preschools vary as to what education requirements they expect you to complete before you teach in the classroom. Some preschools require a bachelor’s degree, whereas some don’t require more than a high school education or associate’s degree. Some preschools will hire you on as a teaching assistant or will not give you the title of “class lead” or “preschool teacher” until you have completed a particular four-year college degree or taken specific classes.

Preschool teachers salaries vary across the nation. On average, they can expect to make $25,700, but the salary range is $17,750 to $48,080.

Elementary School Teachers Salaries

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average kindergarten teacher makes about $48,800 and the typical elementary school teacher makes around $51,660. The salary range for elementary school teachers is $34,910 to $81,230, dependent on experience, education-level and where you live.

You will make more as an elementary school teacher if you have a master’s degree in education and if you live in an area that pays teachers well. You can also increase your salary potential by specializing in something valued by the education system, such as literacy, speech, math or special education. If you have an extra skill you can bring to the table, schools may be willing to pay more.

If your skills lie more in music or art, you will have to negotiate a little extra to get a salary boost. Consider offering to run a before-school or after-school art program in addition to your classroom hours to add value. A school may pay you extra if you provide such a service.

Middle School Teachers Salaries

If you work as a middle school teacher, you will need to specialize in an area. You might teach science or a foreign language or dance, but whatever your specialty, that is what you’ll teach all day long. The only exception is if you work as a special education teacher; many special education teachers work help children with a range of subjects in addition to providing support.

The average middle school teacher makes $53,130, but the pay scale ranges from a low of $35,760 to a high of $81,620.

High School Teachers Salaries

High school teachers also specialize in one or two areas. They may also work as coaches or heads of school-sponsored clubs or organizations.

The average high school teacher makes $53,230, but the pay scale ranges from a low of $35,020 and a high of $83,230.

Post Secondary Teachers Salaries

If you want to teach at a college level, you’ll need to get a master’s degree and have a concentration in a particular area. Salaries for college professors vary considerably, dependent on the type of college (public or private, four-year or two-year, etc.)

As a college professor, you can expect to make somewhere between $30,720 and $130,510. The average salary for a college professor is $62,050.

Special Education Teachers Salaries

The average special education teacher makes $53,220, but the pay scale ranges from a low of $35,580 and a high of $83,410. In general, high school special education teachers make more than middle school or elementary school special education teachers. If you can land a job in an alternative teaching environment, you may be able to make even more, since such institutions often have a need for highly trained individuals who offers more intensive services.

Teachers Salaries Summary

As you can see, a lot of factors play into the pay range you can expect as a teacher.

If you live in an area that pays teachers well, you can expect to make more than the averages quoted here. You will probably be surprised at the tremendous difference in pay from one region to another.


For example, you can expect to make about $72,090 if you work as an elementary school teacher in Alaska, but you can only expect to make about $37,000 if you work as an elementary school teacher in North Carolina or Arizona. That means elementary school teachers in Alaska make double what the same teachers in North Carolina make!

You’ll also want to consider what kind of teacher you want to become. Are you okay with making less for the luxury of playing with kindergartners? Or is it important to you that you make a certain amount? Hopefully this information will help you decide what kind of teaching career you will pursue.

** All numbers for this article were extracted from the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics and are reliant on data collected and analyzed in 2010 or 2011.







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