Here’s How Much Teachers Earn in Every State

Teaching the nation's grade school students may be a higher calling, but for the most part is not a high-paying occupation. See where your state ranks in teacher pay.

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Have you ever found yourself musing idealistically, “Gee, maybe I should become a teacher,” and then immediately wondered if you could live on what that job paid?

The average annual wage for elementary school teachers (not including special education teachers) in the United States was $60,830 in May 2017 — enough for one person, perhaps two, depending on where you live. Enough anywhere if you’ve married a hedge fund manager. Teaching our youngest students is definitely a valuable role, but the path to fortunes, it is not.

But teacher pay varies considerably by state.

For example, states like New York and Connecticut pay grade school teachers nearly double the average wage of educators in Oklahoma and Mississippi. That’s according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How does your state rank based on what it pays its elementary school teachers? Here’s the rundown, beginning with the lowest paid:

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