Teaching is one of the most challenging professions in the United States. Giving a presentation to NASA about electrical insulation of a spacecraft is a piece of cake when compared to getting 20 children or teenagers to be excited about logarithms. The ever-changing curriculum and best practices has only made the situation worse. Teachers deserve good salaries to complement their hard work.
How Much Does a Teacher Earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who teach in high school earn an average salary of $57,200 per year while their kindergarten and elementary schools counterparts get $54,550. This means that half of the teachers earn more than these numbers while the other half earn less. Those who teach beyond the high school level earn $72,470 per year. This special category of teachers must gain additional skills in a wide variety of technical and academic subjects.
Teacher Salary by Region
New York is the highest-paying state, according to the National Education Association. Teachers in New York get an average salary of $7,708. The state also has the best working conditions for teachers. The second best-paying state is Massachusetts with an average salary of $71,017. California follows closely with $69,434. New Jersey and Connecticut complete the list with an average of $66,985 and $65,571 respectively.
The top five worst-paying states are South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Utah and Florida. Teachers in South Dakota earn as low as $35,201. Teachers in private institutions earn less than those in public schools.
Job Outlook for Teachers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job opportunities in teaching to increase by 6 percent over the next 10 years. This growth rate is as fast as the average. More than 87,000 new job opportunities will be created across the private and public schools. This will add to the already existing three million positions all over the country. These new positions will be driven by the retirement of the existing teachers and the ongoing reforms in the education sector. The student-teacher ratio is also expected to decrease significantly.
Many states have begun several initiatives to address the current shortage of teachers in the country. One of their key strategies is to increase the amount teachers earn to attract more people into this profession. Oklahoma is already at an advanced stage to allocate over $170 billion to support a $3,000 raise for every teacher. If others states follow suit, we will see teachers earn an average of $60,000 per year, which is slightly fair.
Becoming a Teacher in the United States
According to federal regulations, teachers must have a bachelor’s degree in education to qualify for a position in any private and public school. They must also be certified and licensed in the state where they want to teach. The area in which someone specializes depends on the state he will work in. Elementary teachers typically specialize in education and child psychology. Middle and high school teachers major in the subject they want to teach and take additional preparation courses. Teachers are also required to spend some time in the classroom with a supervisor.
If you love to interact with children and oversee their development, you might consider a teaching profession. The job outlook reveals many new positions and an impending teacher salary increase across all states.