Teachers In These States Earn More Than $58,000 a Year

It’s no secret why school teachers are walking out on the job across America. In a word, it’s about the money. Teachers simply don’t get paid enough to work in those states.

However, the issue goes beyond that. Teachers around the country are often forced to deal with crumbling classrooms, minuscule budgets for school supplies, and generally poor working conditions. (Arizona, where teachers went on strike in April 2018, ranks among the worst work environments in America.)

But not every place in America fails to pay its teachers, a 2018 report by the National Education Association showed. Here are 15 states where the average public educator’s salary tops $58,000 per year —  and stretches beyond $80,000 in one state.

15. Ohio

Portrait of teacher assisting schoolboy on whiteboard in classroom

Ohio teachers earn less than the national average. | Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $58,202

Teachers in The Buckeye State averaged just over $58,000 in 2017, landing educators here in 15th place. Still, though Ohio teachers are paid reasonably well, they still earn less than the national average ($59,660).

Also worthy of note: Teachers here saw a pay increase of 3.1% over the 2016 numbers.

Next: Just one of 14 states where teacher salaries average more than $60K

14. Delaware

The public schools in Delaware are doing well in terms of safety. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $60,214

There are many things going for teachers in Delaware. For starters, the state’s public school system ranks at No. 2 in America for safety.

Meanwhile, teachers have a decent work environment and average just over $60,000 per year in salary.

Next: In Oregon, the schools may not be great, but the pay is. 

13. Oregon

Teacher At Montessori School Helping Children in Art Class

Teacher salaries are rising in Oregon. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $61,862

While Oregon schools land close to the bottom for students and teachers, compensation packages are solid. In 2017, teachers here earned an average of $61,682.

The numbers are trending in the right direction, too. In 2017, teachers in Oregon got a 2.4% raise.

Next: This state, once famous for its labor unions, still offers a living wage for teachers.

12. Michigan

professor, teacher

The number of unionized teachers in Michigan has been declining. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $62,287

In a state where auto unions have lost large chunks of membership, teachers unions have also seen a decline in membership following right-to-work legislation passing in 2012.  Nonetheless, average salaries for educators here remain relatively high.

In 2017, the figure stood at $62,287, which was barely unchanged from the prior year.

Next: Teachers in Illinois average nearly $65K per year.

11. Illinois

Teacher Helping Boy To Use Digital Tablet

Taxes are high in Illinois, but salaries are pretty good. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $64,933

Teachers can find a living wage working in Illinois, where the average salary neared $65,000 in 2017. That represented a 2.3% increase over the 2016 numbers.

Though Illinois is a high-tax state, teachers won’t complain about the base salary.

Next: In Pennsylvania, a quality work environment and high salary await teachers.

10. Pennsylvania

Senior teacher while teaching

Pennsylvaia ranks well for work environment. | IPGGutenbergUKLtd/ Getty Images

  • Average salary: $66,265

Teachers have it pretty good in The Keystone State. The overall work environment ranks fourth in America here.

Meanwhile, the average salary inched above $66,000 for the first time in 2017 after a 1.7% increase.

Next: Another state in the Northeast checks in at No. 9.

9. Rhode Island

Teachers in Rhode Island earn a little more than $66,000 a year, on average. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $66,477

Nearly two thirds of states with the top teacher salaries are located in the Mid-Atlantic region or above. In Rhode Island, an average salary close to $66,500 landed it in ninth place.

Next: School quality pales in comparison to teachers’ earning potential in Alaska.

8. Alaska

Many hands of volunteers during Maths class

Alaskan teachers face challenges, but at least the pay is good. | gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $68,138

The academic and work environment may be poor in Alaska schools, but the pay is good. Teachers here earned an average of $68,138 in 2017.

According to WalletHub data, there is real opportunity for educators in Alaska.

Next: Another Mid-Atlantic state took No. 7 for the average teacher salary.

7. Maryland

two kids with a teacher in a kindergarten class

Maryland teachers earned nearly 3% more in 2017. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $68,357

Maryland teachers saw a big (2.9%) pay hike on average between 2016-17. That bump left the salary over $68,000 for the year.

Compared to the poorest-paying state (South Dakota), Maryland teachers earned over $20,000 more per year.

Next: It pays to teach in Jersey.

6. New Jersey

College Student Has Individual Tuition From Teacher In Classroom

The state ranked first for teacher work environment. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $69,623

While the average teacher wage barely budged in New Jersey from 2016-17, the state still ranked sixth at $69,623. Not only is the pay good here; The Garden State ranked first for work environment as well.

Add it up and you have a very good place for teachers to make a life. Now if they could only do something about those property taxes

Next: One of five states at $70K or above

5. Connecticut

Teacher with tablet in front of elementary school class

Connecticut teachers earned a small pay increase in 2017. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $73,147

The Northeastern corridor continues its run with Connecticut landing at No. 5 with an average teacher salary of $73,147 in 2017. That included a small (1.6%) hike since 2016.

Meanwhile, the state’s work environment for teachers ranked second only to New Jersey.

Next: In the nation’s capital, teachers can definitely make a living.

4. District of Columbia

Female Teacher Working With College Students In Library

D.C. is a good place to earn a living as an educator. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $75,692

With teachers averaging close to $76,000 in annual salary in D.C., it’s certainly a place to earn a living as an educator. Teachers here got a 2.3% wage hike in 2017.

According to a May 2018 study, the capital city is also a place where working moms live a good life.

Next: A minor pay bump pushed Massachusetts teacher salaries to an average above $78K.

3. Massachusetts

Portrait of happy teacher using laptop in classroom

Massachusetts has the best public school system in the U.S. | Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $78,100

In Massachusetts, teachers get to work in the nation’s overall best public school system — one that’s a great work environment for teachers, too. For 2017, the average teacher’s salary topped $78,000.

A 2.1% pay increase after 2016 pushed salaries to this new height.

Next: Golden State salaries are among the best for teachers.

2. California

Asian female teacher teaching mixed race kids reading book in classroom,Kindergarten pre school concept.

Teacher salaries are high in California, but conditions are difficult. | Weedezign/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $79,128

Working conditions can be a bit rough for teachers in California, America’s most populous state. On the bright side, average salaries are high.

After a 2.5% increase in 2017, the average wage in this line of work topped $79,000.

Next: Only New York boasts an average teacher salary higher than $80K.

1. New York

Attentive students with teacher in the classroom

New York teachers are well-compensated. | Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average salary: $81,902

You’ll work in one of the busiest public school systems if you teach classes in New York, but you’ll also get a solid work environment. (New York ranked 10th overall in that department.).

Meanwhile, the average salary for teachers came near $82,000 in 2017. That was a 3.5% increase over 2016.

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