In West Virginia, teachers must be paid at a state minimum defined by the West Virginia Education Association salary schedule, although counties may pay their employees at different rates if they see fit. Because of this, teacher salaries vary by location, education level and tenure in their position, so teachers should consult their county pay scale for specific information.
Teacher's Minimum Salary Schedule
Under the West Virginia Education Association minimum standards, teachers’ annual minimum salaries vary by the time spent in their position and the amount of education they received. First-year teachers with no classroom experience and a bachelor’s degree earn $30,187 as of 2010, while a 25-year veteran who holds a doctorate earns $51,533 a year.
Although a teacher’s salary is determined by placement on her county’s salary schedule, most make salaries in the low $40,000s. Average earnings for a kindergarten teacher in West Virginia is $44,710 as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statisitics. Elementary school teachers earn average salaries of $44,340, middle school teachers earn on average $41,630 annually and high school teachers' average yearly earnings are $43,140. Special education teachers' median salary level ranges from $36,860 to $41,140 depending upon the level at which they teach.
Average Salaries in Largest Districts
Average salaries among teachers employed by the largest counties in West Virginia vary only slightly. Teachers in the state’s largest school district, Kanawha County, earn average annual salaries of $45,592 as of the 2009-2010 school year, according to the West Virginia Department of Education. Those in Berkeley County earn average salaries of $44,359.98, Wood County teachers’ annual salary is $45,820, while those in Cabell County earn $44,914,40 each year.
Teachers in West Virginia are among the most poorly paid in the nation. Their average salary ranks 48th of all states, and starting salaries teachers are 43rd in the nation, according to Teacher Portal. When teachers’ salaries are indexed against cost of living data for state, teachers in West Virginia rank 40th among those from all states in real earning power.