Depending on the level of education, a teacher salary can range from around $50,000 to $70,000 per year. Postsecondary teachers earn the most since they typically have doctoral degrees, although the amount they earn depends on the subject they teach and whether or not they have tenure. High school, middle school, elementary and kindergarten teachers all share a median annual salary range, with high school teachers at the upper end and kindergarten teachers at the lower end.
While most teachers earn a similar amount, the need for certain teachers is greater than for others. High school teachers currently have the slowest job growth, and postsecondary teachers have the fastest. All teaching jobs are expected to increase over the next ten years, but high schools will be adding new positions at a slower rate than average, as most openings will be due to older teachers retiring. Positions teaching certain subjects will be harder to obtain than others as supply in the job market has been met or exceeded.
Salary Range and Job Prospects for All Teaching Positions
The need for English and other liberal arts teachers is low. High school teachers will have difficulty finding English or history teaching positions without relocating and possibly needing to be licensed in another state. Middle school, elementary school and kindergarten teachers will experience average job growth over the next decade, and the need for teachers at these grade levels in all subjects is stronger than in high school. Primary, secondary and postsecondary teachers with Spanish-speaking, math or science skills will have the best prospects and salaries.
The median annual salary for kindergarten teachers is $53,090, and for middle school teachers, it’s $53,430. For high school teachers, the median annual salary is $55,050, and for postsecondary teachers, it’s $68,970. However, postsecondary teachers have the greatest variation in salary because many colleges hire part-time professors without the possibility of tenure. Postsecondary teachers may also teach at community colleges or online universities. The need for professors in business and computer-related subjects is greatest, and as in other grade levels, the need for professors in English and other liberal arts subjects is lowest.
How to Get a High-Paying Job as a Teacher
As in other occupations, your level of education largely determines your salary. Some states require a master’s degree to become a high school teacher, and these states typically have a higher average teacher salary. Salary level is also determined by the demand for teachers in a particular subject. For example, math or business professors usually earn more than sociology or communications professors.
The institution that employs you affects your salary, as does the state in which you teach. All states require primary and secondary teachers to become certified in the state. While colleges don’t require teacher certification, they almost always require professors to have a Ph.D. Community colleges usually only require professors to have a master’s degree.
When it comes to finding work, teachers face particular challenges and should be ready to change their plans to suit the shifting job market. If you truly love making a difference in the lives of others, continue researching teacher salary and job requirements in order to find the best fit for you.
Related Resource: What area of teaching has the highest demand?