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American teachers’ salaries will SHOCK you – how much are they paid?

South Dakota pays their teachers the lowest. What is your state paying you?
EdChron Desk on July 24, 2014 - 4:57 pm in Economy, EdNews, Featured, MAIN, U.S., World


U.S. – The Center of American Progress has released a report on teacher salaries and they found the results “deeply troubling”.

Mid- and late-career teacher base salaries are shockingly low.

In Colorado, teachers with a graduate degree and 10 years of experience make less than a trucker in the state. In Oklahoma, teachers with 15 years of experience and a master’s degree make less than sheet metal workers. Teachers in Georgia with 10 years of experience and a graduate degree make less than a flight attendant in the state.

South Dakota pays their teachers the lowest, at $33,100. The median household income in the state in $49,000.

The full list from the Center of American Progress’ press release:

all salaries

Teachers with 10 years experience eligible for financial support

The Washington-based CAP also found that mid-career teachers who head families of four or more in multiple states such as Arizona and North Dakota qualify for several benefit programs, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the School Breakfast and Lunch Program.

What’s more, teachers have fewer opportunities to grow their salaries compared to other professions.

Large percentages of teachers work second jobs

In 11 states, more than 20 percent of teachers rely on the financial support of a second job, and in some states such Maine, that number is as high as 25 percent.

In these 11 states, the average base salary for a teacher with 10 years of experience and a bachelor’s degree is merely $39,673—less than a carpenter’s national average salary.

North Carolina’s Teacher Of The Year candidate left teaching

Richie Brown, a North Carolina educator who was a candidate for teacher of the year, is the type of teacher that every principal should want. He was teaching in a high-demand subject area in a low-income school just outside of Wilmington, North Carolina. However, Brown decided to leave the profession in 2013 after six years of teaching, and the reason was simple: He did not earn enough money to support his family.

“I was about to be a seventh-year teacher, and I would be paid the same as I was as a second-year teacher,” Brown told a reporter with television station WWAY, which produced a segment on his departure. Brown and his wife, who is also a teacher, determined that they simply could not support another child with their current salaries.

“I will definitely miss being able to teach those kids,” continued Brown. “But one thing I’m looking forward to is being compensated fairly for one and having a chance to move up in the world.”

According to WWAY, the Brunswick County Board of Education isn’t taking the loss of one of its top educators lightly.”Some of our best and brightest teachers simply cannot afford to remain in the classroom,” said Charlie Miller, Chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Education.

“Many of the teachers leaving are those who since entering the profession are making the same salary they did 6-8 years ago. The loss of these teachers absolutely impacts the classroom. Serious consideration must be given as to how we can stop this epidemic.”

Brown says there is an easy solution to keep teachers from following his lead and that’s for school systems to pay more, but he knows that’s not possible without more support from the state and federal levels.

We recently covered an article on plans in some states not to reward teachers with a salary pegged to their qualifications for advanced degrees.


What do you think – should teachers be paid better, and show their salary be proportional to their qualifications?

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  • July 29, 2014

    Great article, thank for sharing.

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