How Much Do Elementary Teachers Get Paid?

If you’re in it for the money, teaching is the wrong profession. However, you certainly will be taken care of with a respectable salary.

There is much debate about teacher pay, those that believe teachers are paid too little and those who think that teachers are overpaid. According to this article in Forbes, both are wrong in some way. Now, in regards to elementary teachers pay, there is variation from source to source and state to state regarding teacher pay.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “the median annual wage for elementary teachers, except special education, was $55,800 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,560, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $88,590.”

Payscale has an elementary school teacher’s average salary at $43,591 per year. A closer look reveals that elementary school teachers with master’s degree earn an average salary of $50,868 per year and that most people in this job have more than five years' experience in related jobs. The range for elementary school teachers is $30,922 - $90,260.

What is the job forecast for elementary school teachers?

As for job growth, the BLS reports a six percent growth for elementary school teachers from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. This also varies much according to the state, and can also be affected by budget cuts, policy changes, and other factors.

The top five states regarding hiring are:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. New York
  4. Florida
  5. Illinois

The top five highest paying (average) states for elementary teachers are:

  1. New York, $77,330
  2. Connecticut, $76,740
  3. District of Columbia, $74,710
  4. Massachusetts, $74,470
  5. California, $74,270

The top five cities with the highest pay (average) for elementary teachers are:

  1. Fairbanks, AK, $106,110
  2. Kingston, NY, $90,860
  3. Waterbury, CT $84,660
  4. San Rafael, CA, $83,320
  5. Danbury, CT, $81,840

All in all, the elementary teacher won’t become independently wealthy, and odds are you didn’t decide to teach to roll in the Benjamins. It is nice to know, though, that with a master’s degree you will be making a reliable income. This article put out by The Council for State Governments contains a state by state record of the “master’s bump” regarding salary. Click here and scroll down to page four.

The top states concerning “master’s bumps” as the difference between a Bachelor’s with no experience and a Master’s with no experience are:

  1. District of Columbia, $8,300
  2. Washington, $6,800
  3. Delaware, $6,300
  4. Alabama, $5,400
  5. Nevada, $4,900

Lastly, the average benefits package is respectable. In general, you can count on insurance for yourself and your family, including medical, dental and vision coverage. On top of healthcare, districts offer retirement and pension plans, which vary from state to state, but many are among the best you can find. In addition to sick and paid leave teachers observe national holidays, Christmas Break, Spring Break, and of course, summer break. All in all, when taken in perspective a teacher's compensation, that is salary, benefits, pension, and work schedule is excellent.