Major Factors Impacting the Average Teacher Salary

When researching average teacher salary levels, you will find that the numbers vary quite broadly from one position to the next and from region to region. There are a number of factors which can have a direct impact on the teacher salary and in this article, we’ll take a brief look at a few of these. Understanding how these elements influence the salary which teachers are paid can be tremendously helpful in helping you to chart your teaching career course.

Variances by State

One of the most significant factors which can influence the teacher salary is the state in which one is employed. Generally, salaries for teachers are set at the state level and then at the local district level. However, in most cases, districts will follow guidelines set out by the state board of education. As such, teacher pay can range greatly from one state to the next. Much of this has to do with the supply and demand for teaching jobs in a particular state since states with a shortage of teachers will generally increase the average teacher salary to attract more qualified candidates. However, states do set their own education budgets and the amount of funding available for teaching salaries can often override the need to pay teachers a higher wage to find suitable employees within districts.

Level of Experience

As with most jobs managed by local and state authorities, the teacher salary will increase throughout the course of one’s career. Typically, a school district will outline the pay scales associated with various teaching positions within the district. However, in most states, as long as an individual teaches within the same state school system continuously, they move up the pay scale as school years go by.

Education Level

There is perhaps no other profession where the level of an employee’s education has such a direct impact on earnings. In most states, each incremental advancement in the education of the teacher merits an increase in salary. Most advanced degree programs for educators are relatively short as compared to other post-bachelor’s programs, and as such, it can be well worthwhile to complete a master’s level program in teaching.

While this is not a comprehensive list of factors which directly influence the average teacher salary, these aspects can be helpful as you plan your own career in education.