The 10 States With The Highest Teacher Salaries For 2019

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 2 months ago

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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do teachers get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for teachers by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

To better understand how salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for teachers by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for teachers after this adjustment? That would be Secondary School Teachers, Except Special And Career/technical Education.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for salaries:

  1. Illinois
  2. Michigan
  3. Virginia
  4. Wyoming
  5. Ohio
  6. New York
  7. Washington
  8. Texas
  9. Delaware
  10. Minnesota

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

How we determined pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for teachers from the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics.’

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $80510, so our index value would be:

$80,510 * (100 / 135.9) = $59,242

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for teachers.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Teacher Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 Illinois $76,501 $72,370 94.6
2 Michigan $70,730 $62,950 89.0
3 Virginia $68,224 $68,770 100.8
4 Wyoming $66,034 $60,620 91.8
5 Ohio $66,023 $61,930 93.8
6 New York $65,114 $85,300 131.0
7 Washington $64,211 $67,550 105.2
8 Texas $64,156 $58,190 90.7
9 Delaware $64,142 $65,040 101.4
10 Minnesota $64,097 $64,610 100.8
11 Pennsylvania $63,934 $64,830 101.4
12 Utah $63,516 $59,070 93.0
13 Georgia $63,512 $58,050 91.4
14 Oregon $62,837 $72,640 115.6
15 Nebraska $62,772 $57,500 91.6
16 New Jersey $62,666 $76,390 121.9
17 Kentucky $62,099 $56,200 90.5
18 Iowa $62,098 $56,510 91.0
19 Wisconsin $60,289 $58,360 96.8
20 Connecticut $60,281 $76,980 127.7
21 Missouri $60,044 $54,280 90.4
22 Massachusetts $59,985 $80,020 133.4
23 Tennessee $59,977 $53,620 89.4
24 Arkansas $59,448 $51,780 87.1
25 Alaska $59,435 $77,920 131.1
26 Indiana $59,251 $53,030 89.5
27 California $59,242 $80,510 135.9
28 Rhode Island $59,188 $71,440 120.7
29 Maryland $57,856 $72,610 125.5
30 New Mexico $57,388 $55,380 96.5
31 Kansas $57,274 $51,490 89.9
32 Alabama $56,118 $51,180 91.2
33 Nevada $56,060 $57,910 103.3
34 North Dakota $55,734 $55,400 99.4
35 Idaho $55,559 $51,170 92.1
36 Florida $55,055 $54,120 98.3
37 Mississippi $54,935 $47,190 85.9
38 South Carolina $54,838 $54,400 99.2
39 Louisiana $54,651 $51,810 94.8
40 Vermont $54,376 $65,850 121.1
41 Colorado $53,092 $55,110 103.8
42 New Hampshire $52,572 $61,510 117.0
43 North Carolina $50,670 $47,580 93.9
44 West Virginia $50,374 $47,050 93.4
45 Montana $50,267 $50,670 100.8
46 Arizona $49,602 $48,610 98.0
47 Maine $48,953 $54,240 110.8
48 Oklahoma $47,690 $42,540 89.2
49 South Dakota $41,427 $42,960 103.7
50 Hawaii $36,217 $60,810 167.9
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