Teachers’ salaries vary according to their levels of experience and education. Their locations also significantly impact their salaries. School districts offer more money to teachers with more education and professional experience. High school teachers typically earn more money than their elementary of middle school counterparts, although school districts don’t separate salaries by the level an employee teaches. In some cases, high school teachers may have earned higher educational degrees than their elementary and middle school counterparts.
The average high school teacher salary in the United States was $55,990 a year, as of May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 10th percentile earned up to $35,020 per year, and the 25th percentile made up to $42,670 per year. The median annual salary was $53,230, and the 75th percentile earned up to $67,210. The 90th percentile earned at least $83,230 per year.
Having a doctorate doesn’t automatically mean earning a significantly higher salary than a teacher with a master’s or bachelor’s degree with the same amount of experience as you. School districts typically only pay around $1,000 or so more per year for having a doctorate. For example, a teacher with a doctorate who taught at any level in Corsicana, Texas, a small city southeast of Dallas, earned $41,275 per year with no experience in the 2011 to 2012 school year. A teacher with a bachelor’s and no experience earned $40,275 annually, and a first year teacher with a master’s degree earned $40,775 per year.
Chicago Public Schools pay teachers with a doctorate who work 38.6 weeks per year between $61,087 and $66,560 as of the 2011 to 2012 school year. A new teacher in New York City with a doctorate earned $57,320 as of the collective bargaining agreement between teachers and the New York City Department of Education effective May 19, 2008. Los Angeles teachers with a doctorate earned $1,168 per year more per year than teachers with a bachelor’s degree in the 2010 to 2011 school year, according to the BLS.
The outlook for teachers in general is expected to be about the same as for other occupations through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who teach special education, bilingual education, mathematics or science can expect more favorable job opportunities than those who are not endorsed in these areas. Jobs in less-desirable urban or rural districts should be more plentiful than those in more desirable locations.