10 States That Pay Teachers the Highest (and Lowest) Salaries

States with the highest teacher salaries

Desktop with books, red apple, reading glasses

Teacher’s desk | iStock.com/tab1962

Each year the National Education Association (NEA) — the largest teacher’s union in the country — releases a comprehensive report about how states use their money for education. A part of this report includes information about teacher salaries broken down by state. The most recent report, released by the union in May 2016, includes salary estimates for the 2015-16 school year. The average salary for that year is estimated to be $58,064 for all public school teachers.

The highest-paying states all had average salaries that were higher than the national average. Though the rankings change from year to year slightly, the highest-paying states for teachers stay roughly the same. Here are the top 10 states for teacher salaries, based on the 2016 estimates. 

10. Pennsylvania

liberty bell

Visitors at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Average teacher salary: $64,991

Pennsylvania has been the 10th-highest paying state for teachers for three years running. According to the EPI report, teachers in the state earn 87.1% of the salary that other college graduates do, the 7th best in the nation. When adjusted for the cost of living, Pennsylvania teachers also make the third-highest salary, according to a WalletHub analysis. From the 2013-14 school year to the estimates for the 2015-16 year, teachers in Pennsylvania saw an average wage increase of 2.03%, just below the 2.53% average increase among the top 10 best-paying states.

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