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The career outlook for educators is promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average teacher salary for high school teachers has increased by 10% since 2010. Other teaching levels, such as primary school, middle school and at the college level have shown salary increases of around 6% over the past few years.
As with other industries, median teacher salary numbers can be affected by multiple factors. One of the biggest factors is location. States like California, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut have some of the highest annual salaries, whereas South Dakota, Mississippi and Oklahoma represent some of the lowest annual salaries.
For example, according to niche.com, if you’re an experienced teacher (defined as a teacher with up to four years of experience) working in Washington, DC that holds a Bachelor’s degree, your average salary is around $71,000. If you’re an experienced teacher working in Mississippi that holds a Bachelor’s degree, the average annual salary is closer to $42,000.
Teaching at a private school versus a public school also has an impact on salary. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school teachers on average earn $10,000 to $15,000 more than a comparable private school teacher.
Factors impacting teacher salaries:
Projections by the BLS estimate that the education field as a whole will grow 6-7% by 2026. Emerging technologies paving the way for better online and distance learning platforms and open-source based learning software like Sakai and Blackboard are a few of the reasons why projections look positive. Another key indicator is population growth in the United States. As the population continues to grow, so does the desire and need for teachers and educational support.
Between 2014 and 2024, the BLS projects nearly 1.9 million job openings for teachers of preschool through postsecondary school.
Projected Job Growth
Middle School Teacher
High School Teacher
Elementary-High School Principal
Post-Secondary Administrative Staff
Professional development, either by advanced degrees or certificates, have opened doors for teachers. They provide additional opportunities, both inside the classroom as teachers and outside the classroom as administrators. As noted above, the amount of jobs that are expected to open will be spread between preschool and collegiate positions.
Like all other professions, salary is an important criteria to consider for those contemplating a career in teaching; however, it’s also imperative to review what degrees are required to teach for each different level of education:
Kindergarten through High School
Master’s Degree (Doctorate Degree preferred)
According to niche.com, the national average salary for a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree is $56,383. This is for an experienced teacher in a public school. For those teachers just starting their careers in a public school, the national average salary is $36,141.
For those looking to get additional training, a Master’s degree might be the right path. For example, Drexel’s online MS in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum: Teacher Certification Track prepares educators for a specific area of study. Per teacher.org, most teachers who have a Master's Degree will see about a $7,000 increase yearly with a higher education degree.
Teachers looking to take on a larger leadership role within the teaching field can earn their Doctorate Degree in Education. Typically, educators with Doctorate Degrees are more likely to hold non-teaching positions so the pay varies greatly.
States with the highest average salary:
Source: Teacher Salaries in America – Niche Blog
States with the lowest average salary:
Source: Teacher Salaries in America – Niche Blog
Teacher salaries for science, math and other STEM-related classes are higher than subjects like art and foreign languages. For example, according to PayScale, a physics teacher makes 11% more than a language arts teacher.
Subjects that usually offer a higher salary:
Subjects that usually offer a lower salary:
At Drexel University, our mission is to develop students and leaders who are creative thinkers that can solve the complex problems in education. The School of Education gives students the opportunity to build skills and apply them in real world settings so they can take the knowledge of their studies and use them in their own classrooms.
Drexel University's School of Education is ranked among "America's Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News & World Report and Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
If you’re looking to get into teaching, or a current teacher looking for an additional degree or certificate, one of Drexel’s online programs might be the right fit for you. Earning an online degree from Drexel University positions teachers for success in the field of education.
Learn more about Drexel University’s online Education Degrees today!
Depending on your situation, additional factors could impact your net take-home pay.