I’m going to post the source first (date: October 2015).

Click to access Teacher-Salary-Chart.pdf

But I’ll save you the trouble of looking it up:

tchr salary

Here at the bottom we see the usual suspects: Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia. Remember this is a ranking of average salary adjusted for the cost of living in the state.

Let’s run the same analysis with starting teachers’ salaries. (Source: https://articles.niche.com/teacher-salaries-in-america/) In case you’re wondering where they got their data, here are the sources the website cites:


NEA 2016-2017 Average Starting Salaries by State
NCES Estimated average salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state, 2016-2017
NCES Average salaries for full-time teachers in public and private elementary and secondary schools, 2011-2012, which is the most current data available for both the public and private sector

For comparison, I combined the data for average teacher salary with that for beginning teacher salary. Feast your eyes on this:


Just for funsies, let’s subtract the purchasing power of the beginning salary from that of the average salary to see where one might best invest a teaching career:


My fellow Floridian teachers will not be surprised to learn that our state is one of the worst for potential earnings gains during a teacher career. We start in the middle, but fall to the bottom.

But Georgia, I live in Duval County so Georgia is a ‘meh,’ for getting started, but on the whole, with a some hours devoted to driving … South Florida teachers are not so lucky. They will have to uproot their families to improve their lot.

Do they need to? The devil is in the details as the saying goes. This data needs refinement and a breakdown into school district by school district, something beyond the abilities of one blogger sitting at home while on summer vacation.

Also, I looked for a report of the number of years it would take a beginning teacher to reach the average salary. No luck for that, nor for an attempt to find estimates of where a teacher would maximize career earnings.

But it is clear that Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, New York, and Georgia are the best places for raises despite the starting salary while North Dakota, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, and South Dakota are the worst places to expect anything to get better.

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