The Best-Paying States for Teachers

Krystal DeVille

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Teaching can be an emotionally and personally rewarding profession, but does it also pay the bills? The answer is most likely “yes” if you can land a job in one of these states. 

10. Alaska

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Alaska rounds out the top 10 highest teacher salaries in the U.S. with an average of $73,722. Things look even better if you pursue a position in administrative leadership — the median salary for a school principal in Alaska is up to $128,730 according to 

9. Maryland

John hopkins university in Baltimore Maryland
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Maryland is currently working through an education reform program called Blueprint, which proposes increased spending on education over the next 10 years. In addition to this, the state’s teachers are already earning around $75,766 on average.

8. Rhode Island

Hope College Building in Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island RI, USA.
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Though small, Rhode Island manages to shell out relatively big bucks for its educators. Rhode Island teachers earn an average salary of $76,852. Being so close to the ocean may also result in some surprising job perks. 

7. New Jersey

Princeton University. NJ, USA
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Teacher salaries in the Garden State average $79,045 per year. New Jersey also lands in the top 10 states to raise a family in 2023. A great option if you love beach vacations. 

6. Connecticut

Central Connecticut State University
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Connecticut teachers can expect to make somewhere around $81,185 per year with a bit of experience, which is good news since the cost of living in the Constitution State is 35% higher than the national average. 

5. Washington

George Washington statue in the University of George Washington
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In Washington state, teachers earn roughly $1,000 less than those in D.C., with an average salary of $81,586. Resignations in the northwestern state have recently hit a 30 year high. One veteran teacher shares, “It’s not about money at this point. It is about valuing the humans that know what they’re doing.” 

4. Washington, D.C.

Capitol in Washington DC
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Though teachers in our nation’s capital may be earning around $82,523 per year, the teacher retention rate in the District of Columbia is steadily falling. Nonetheless, administrators remain hopeful, citing fewer vacancies in most subject areas despite the turnover. 

3. California

los angeles
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California educators can expect to earn around $87,275 on average. Despite their ranking as the third highest-paid group of teachers in the country, teachers in California went on strike beginning March 21st with the goal of increasing their pay by 30%. 

2. Massachusetts

Fitchburg State University Percival Hall on Campus Quadrangle in Fitchburg, Massachusetts MA,
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Massachusetts is home to the second most highly paid teachers in the country, with an average salary of $88,903 per year. Teachers in the state’s lowest paying district, Hoosac Valley Regional School District, still make more than $42,000 as a starting rate — that’s almost as much as the average salary in Mississippi. 

1. New York

New York City
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If money is your main concern as an aspiring educator, then you can’t beat New York, where the average teacher salary is a whopping $92,222. If you’re a Black man, then your odds look pretty good in New York City, where Mayor Bill DeBlasio is working hard to diversify the teacher workforce by recruiting more Black male educators. 

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