Maps of school teacher salary averages for 2024

FILE - View from behind classmates as teacher points to the room. Getty Images

As schools across the country struggle to find teachers to hire, more governors are pushing for pay increases, bonuses and other perks for the beleaguered profession.

Meanwhile, teacher salaries have fallen further and further behind those of their college-educated peers in other fields.

Besides fewer teachers getting certified, the "teacher pay penalty" — the gap between teacher salaries and their college-educated peers in other professions — is growing.

Here’s how teacher salaries vary across the country, and how they measure up to each state’s minimum living wage threshold.  

School teacher salary

Even with record-level increases in some states, average teacher pay has failed to keep up with inflation over the past decade. 

Adjusted for inflation, on average, teachers are making 5% less than they did 10 years ago, the National Education Association (NEA) said in April 2024

The NEA is the nation’s largest teachers union.

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Teacher salary average

The national average starting teacher salary in 2024 was $44,530, according to the NEA. 

The national average teacher salary in 2024 was $69,544, according to the NEA. 

Here’s how that compares across the country:

States with the highest average teacher salaries: 

  • California ($95,160)
  • New York ($92,696)
  • Massachusetts ($92,307)
  • Washington ($86,804)
  • District of Columbia ($84,882)

States with the lowest average teacher salaries: 

  • West Virginia ($52,870)
  • Florida ($53,098)
  • South Dakota ($53,153)
  • Mississippi ($53,354)
  • Missouri ($53,999)

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Teacher minimum living wage

The Economic Policy Institute says the minimum living wage is the income needed for a family of one adult and one child to have a modest but adequate standard of living in the most affordable metro area.

Here’s how average teacher salaries measure up to each state’s minimum living wage threshold: 

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.