Here’s How Much Teachers Are Paid in Every State

A teacher helps a student with face masks on during the coronavirus crsis
Halfpoint / Shutterstock.com

As the pandemic continues to weigh on the entire country, many have wondered whether asking teachers (and students) to return to the classroom is fair, safe or practical.

School districts and local leaders soon will answer those questions. But one way or another, teachers will be doing their jobs this fall.

Elementary school teachers in the U.S. earned an average annual wage of $63,930 as of 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Middle school teachers earned an average of $63,550 at that same time. High school teachers averaged $65,930 per year.

But teacher pay varies considerably by state. States also vary as to which level pays best. Often, elementary school teachers make less than their middle school and high school counterparts, but not always.

Following are the average annual wages for elementary, middle and high school teachers in each state. The states are ranked based on elementary-school pay.

50. Mississippi

Mississippi road sign
Peek Creative Collective / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $44,060
  • Employment: 12,340

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $48,170
  • Employment: 6,180

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $46,580
  • Employment: 8,850

49. South Dakota

Teacher in a face mask explaining math
Deliris / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $44,110
  • Employment: 4,070

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $44,990
  • Employment: 1,920

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $44,610
  • Employment: 3,500

48. West Virginia

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $45,390
  • Employment: 5,330

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $47,570
  • Employment: 5,160

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $47,610
  • Employment: 4,460

47. Arizona

Asia Images Group / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $45,600
  • Employment: 23,290

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $45,120
  • Employment: 12,330

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $50,320
  • Employment: 16,990

46. Oklahoma

sevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $45,970
  • Employment: 17,980

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $46,360
  • Employment: 8,320

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $47,320
  • Employment: 11,680

45. Louisiana

stockfour / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $48,630
  • Employment: 23,670

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $49,790
  • Employment: 7,600

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $52,090
  • Employment: 14,810

44. Arkansas

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $48,800
  • Employment: 13,010

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $50,720
  • Employment: 6,450

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $51,870
  • Employment: 11,940

43. Idaho

Teach online
Agenturfotografin / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $48,880
  • Employment: 8,380

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $53,970
  • Employment: 1,820

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $50,640
  • Employment: 6,210

42. Alabama

Young teacher using internet to remotely teach during the coronavirus crisis
Timothy Kuiper / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $50,270
  • Employment: 23,650

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $51,600
  • Employment: 10,310

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $51,950
  • Employment: 15,230

41. Kansas

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $50,650
  • Employment: 16,340

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $53,500
  • Employment: 6,630

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $52,050
  • Employment: 12,310

40. Missouri

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $50,920
  • Employment: 22,850

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $51,930
  • Employment: 11,080

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $50,980
  • Employment: 30,640

39. Montana

DGLImages / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $52,160
  • Employment: 4,920

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $58,710
  • Employment: 2,070

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $52,360
  • Employment: 3,670

38. Indiana

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $52,570
  • Employment: 25,530

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $52,450
  • Employment: 11,320

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $53,150
  • Employment: 21,180

37. Kentucky

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $52,660
  • Employment: 19,270

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $53,830
  • Employment: 8,160

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $55,100
  • Employment: 12,280

36. Maine

Young girl in online class with geometry teacher on her laptop
Aleksandra Suzi / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $52,860
  • Employment: 5,780

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $56,740
  • Employment: 3,230

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $55,260
  • Employment: 5,400

35. South Carolina

DGLImages / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $53,450
  • Employment: 22,550

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $55,180
  • Employment: 9,790

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $56,730
  • Employment: 14,050

34. Tennessee

Undrey / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $53,540
  • Employment: 30,620

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $53,880
  • Employment: 13,240

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $55,060
  • Employment: 20,690

33. Iowa

iofoto / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $53,950
  • Employment: 18,720

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $55,250
  • Employment: 7,920

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $56,570
  • Employment: 11,950

32. Colorado

Asian woman teacher checking homework at her desk.
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $54,670
  • Employment: 25,740

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $54,940
  • Employment: 12,980

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $56,370
  • Employment: 17,580

31. Florida

child reading
KK Tan / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $55,210
  • Employment: 77,170

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $56,640
  • Employment: 33,600

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $57,880
  • Employment: 50,640

29. North Carolina (tie)

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $48,560
  • Employment: 42,520

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $49,620
  • Employment: 18,770

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $49,930
  • Employment: 24,030

29. North Dakota (tie)

Older teach wearing a face mask in an empty classroom
vladaphotowiz / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $55,630
  • Employment: 4,450

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $59,700
  • Employment: 1,380

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $56,250
  • Employment: 2,800

28. Texas

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $56,280
  • Employment: 131,880

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $56,290
  • Employment: 64,340

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $58,000
  • Employment: 107,190

27. Nevada

A female teacher in an empty classroom during the pandemic
POP-THAILAND / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $56,980
  • Employment: 10,480

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $59,150
  • Employment: 4,000

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $58,090
  • Employment: 5,760

26. New Mexico

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $57,330
  • Employment: 7,650

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $49,570
  • Employment: 3,250

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $57,410
  • Employment: 6,880

25. Wisconsin

GagliardiImages / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $57,980
  • Employment: 28,240

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $58,940
  • Employment: 13,800

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $59,180
  • Employment: 17,880

24. Georgia

Oksana Kuzmina / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $58,190
  • Employment: 50,250

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $58,830
  • Employment: 28,440

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $59,860
  • Employment: 26,500

23. Wyoming

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $58,940
  • Employment: 2,550

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $61,340
  • Employment: 1,090

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $61,400
  • Employment: 1,690

22. New Hampshire

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $59,930
  • Employment: 6,070

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $60,290
  • Employment: 3,100

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $60,720
  • Employment: 5,000

21. Nebraska

Pressmaster / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $60,390
  • Employment: 9,810

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $62,130
  • Employment: 4,310

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $60,500
  • Employment: 6,890

20. Utah

Students in a classroom during the pandemic
saravutpics / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $60,660
  • Employment: 13,110

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $63,720
  • Employment: 6,540

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $61,050
  • Employment: 8,920

19. Minnesota

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $63,250
  • Employment: 22,420

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $64,790
  • Employment: 9,730

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $64,960
  • Employment: 20,130

18. Illinois

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $63,280
  • Employment: 64,270

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $63,630
  • Employment: 21,700

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $74,340
  • Employment: 44,810

17. Hawaii

Poznyakov / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $63,360
  • Employment: 5,780

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $63,520
  • Employment: 2,090

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $62,580
  • Employment: 4,320

16. Vermont

Student in face mask raising hand
Halfpoint / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $63,480
  • Employment: 3,770

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $61,470
  • Employment: 1,030

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $66,660
  • Employment: 2,770

15. Delaware

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $63,970
  • Employment: 3,800

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $64,800
  • Employment: 2,200

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $66,920
  • Employment: 3,330

14. Ohio

Ohio roadway sign
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $64,090
  • Employment: 57,220

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $63,510
  • Employment: 30,880

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $64,410
  • Employment: 47,510

13. Michigan

Teacher writing on blackboard
l i g h t p o e t / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $69,050
  • Employment: 37,130

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $64,920
  • Employment: 13,910

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $63,000
  • Employment: 22,820

12. Washington

Kids working with robotics.
Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $69,390
  • Employment: 30,440

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $70,970
  • Employment: 9,430

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $71,690
  • Employment: 14,810

11. Pennsylvania

Hurst Photo / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $69,630
  • Employment: 57,100

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $69,330
  • Employment: 26,460

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $66,920
  • Employment: 46,130

10. Virginia

Parent and child use hand sanitizer and face masks at school
1641857584 / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $69,690
  • Employment: 38,700

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $71,920
  • Employment: 18,300

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $69,070
  • Employment: 25,620

9. Oregon

Hurst Photo / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $69,980
  • Employment: 15,950

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $70,660
  • Employment: 6,250

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $71,780
  • Employment: 8,840

8. New Jersey

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $71,880
  • Employment: 40,640

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $73,380
  • Employment: 26,590

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $78,090
  • Employment: 30,230

7. Rhode Island

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $72,310
  • Employment: 4,100

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $75,130
  • Employment: 1,670

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $75,950
  • Employment: 4,840

6. Maryland

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $75,380
  • Employment: 28,610

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $74,400
  • Employment: 14,890

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $77,050
  • Employment: 17,150

5. Alaska

Schoolboy with backpack in snow.
Romrodphoto / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $75,860
  • Employment: 3,820

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $80,730
  • Employment: 1,160

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $75,820
  • Employment: 2,790

4. Connecticut

Teacher on camera during the pandemic
Hananeko_Studio / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $78,070
  • Employment: 15,930

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $79,510
  • Employment: 8,320

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $78,540
  • Employment: 15,820

3. Massachusetts

racorn / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $82,450
  • Employment: 31,430

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $80,520
  • Employment: 15,910

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $81,070
  • Employment: 27,120

2. California

African American woman with grade school students wearing red caps.
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $82,560
  • Employment: 164,910

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $80,160
  • Employment: 39,780

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $85,080
  • Employment: 109,840

1. New York

iofoto / Shutterstock.com

Elementary school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $82,830
  • Employment: 92,560

Middle school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $87,050
  • Employment: 42,010

High school teachers:

  • Average annual wage: $87,240
  • Employment: 75,360

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