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Teaching Career Center

A career in education is uniquely challenging, yet especially rewarding. Teachers are tasked with preparing their students with the knowledge that will see them through into adulthood. Teachers are patient, calm and detail-oriented, with an ability to clearly communicate information in the classroom. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, teacher salaries averaged about $53,000 in 2008-2009 and for the most part, they have maintained pace with inflation since the early 1990s. All public school teachers must have a degree, and be certified or licensed by the state in which they teach. Our Teaching Degrees Center, Teacher Certification Center, and Best Colleges for Education Majors page provide a wealth of information on specific degrees, state certification requirements, and the best schools across the country.

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Popular Teaching Careers:

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Teaching Careers Outlook

The National Center for Education Statistics predicts increases in the annual numbers of new school teacher hires, both in public and private schools, through 2019. Specifically, the NCES expects that in public schools, the number of new teacher hires will jump 40 percent. In private schools, that number is predicted to increase by 19 percent in 2017. Although school enrollments are expected to grow in the next decade, the NCES reports that student/teacher ratios will actually go down, primarily because the number of school teachers is rising faster than the number of students. Math and science teachers are in high demand, as well as ESL teachers and those who speak a foreign language.

There are a wide range of teaching careers to choose from in education, from school counselor to special education teacher. Preschool teachers are one of the many types of educators that are expected to be in high demand over the next decade. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that preschool teacher employment will grow faster than average through 2018.

Before selecting the type of degree you intend to pursue, you may wish to consider the type of education job you envision for yourself. Teacher Certification Degrees provides detailed information on some of the most popular and in-demand education and teaching careers; browse through our listing and find specific salary information, degree and certification requirements and job outlook details.

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50+ Teacher Career Interviews

Our teacher interviews feature over 50 teachers who share the lessons they have learned and advice for new teachers who are entering the teaching profession.

Top 50 Teacher Blogs

Our Top 50 Teacher Blogs by Innovative Educators page provides a resource for prospective teachers to find the best blogs written by teachers to learn about what it is like to work as a teacher, the top education issues being discussed by the teaching community, and the latest trends and ideas in effective teaching. Teachers from various areas of teaching share their experiences and ideas on providing the best education for young people.

Education Degrees for a Teaching Career:

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Best States to Be a Teacher Index

The sortable table below will help you learn about average salaries, the hiring outlook, and our view of the best states to be a K-12 teacher. Our table leverages government information on the total number of all types of K-12 teachers including kindergarten, elementary, middle school, and secondary (high) school, along with special education and career specialties. All of those positions were summed in the table below to create the total and projected K-12 teacher counts for the US and by state. We used the real estate value from Zillow for each state and for salary, we used government-sourced information for elementary school teachers, who are the most common type. We then took what that average salary would buy in terms of median house value in a state, as well as the growth rate in the total number of teachers from 2012 to 2022, to ultimately derive the ranking of the best states in which to be a teacher. Sort any column in descending or ascending order by clicking on the header. At the top of the table in a gray box below the top row, the US average can be found as a broad point of comparison.

Rank StateUS Average 2014 Avg.
Elementary
Teacher
Salary*$56,830
2015
Zillow
Home Value
Index**$182,800
% of Median
Home Avg.
Salary Buys
(Higher =
Better)31%
2012 Total
K-12 Teachers
(all categories)
Employed***4,636,300
Projected
K-12 Teachers
(all categories)
employment
in 2022***5,061,700
10-year
growth
(2022 versus
2012)***9%
Best States
for K-12
Teachers
(Avg=1)1
Georgia $54,030 $141,200 38% 156,020 198,540 27% 1.61
Ohio $58,490 $118,600 49% 147,440 162,120 10% 1.46
Texas $51,100 $150,500 34% 425,880 529,960 24% 1.44
Michigan $63,640 $120,800 53% 121,930 125,800 3% 1.38
New Mexico $51,220 $164,600 31% 28,460 35,110 23% 1.34
West Virginia $45,730 $92,700 49% 23,471 24,413 4% 1.31
Indiana $50,350 $114,900 44% 79,420 86,940 9% 1.31
Arkansas $44,810 $114,600 39% 39,340 44,270 13% 1.27
Kentucky $51,160 $127,200 40% 53,790 59,820 11% 1.27
Utah $54,200 $220,000 25% 39,690 49,660 25% 1.23
Alabama $49,410 $122,600 40% 50,750 55,460 9% 1.22
Mississippi $41,010 $113,400 36% 42,320 47,870 13% 1.21
Kansas $45,010 $123,100 37% 48,890 54,710 12% 1.19
Iowa $49,910 $130,300 38% 64,300 70,140 9% 1.17
South Carolina $48,380 $135,100 36% 60,480 67,300 11% 1.16
Nebraska $49,540 $138,500 36% 33,860 37,220 10% 1.13
Florida $47,730 $179,300 27% 236,530 280,160 18% 1.11
Oklahoma $41,880 $113,300 37% 53,210 57,460 8% 1.11
Missouri $50,240 $132,700 38% 89,490 95,330 7% 1.09
Pennsylvania $60,580 $152,200 40% 177,120 181,190 2% 1.04
North Carolina $42,440 $148,200 29% 102,230 115,930 13% 1.04
Illinois $57,950 $156,800 37% 245,370 257,250 5% 1.03
Wyoming $58,190 $192,000 30% 10,460 11,570 11% 1.01
Virginia $60,430 $230,800 26% 135,900 155,620 15% 1
Connecticut $70,820 $238,600 30% 59,770 66,150 11% 0.99
Arizona $43,050 $200,300 21% 69,900 82,780 18% 0.98
Washington $60,190 $280,800 21% 91,700 107,810 18% 0.96
Louisiana $47,780 $166,200 29% 52,570 57,940 10% 0.96
Wisconsin $54,560 $156,100 35% 66,200 68,480 3% 0.95
Idaho $47,060 $170,600 28% 21,980 24,270 10% 0.94
Tennessee $48,970 $129,400 38% 100,670 100,670 0% 0.93
North Dakota $47,710 $194,500 25% 35,410 39,860 13% 0.91
Alaska $71,460 $262,400 27% 10,000 10,970 10% 0.91
Delaware $58,680 $205,200 29% 13,470 14,400 7% 0.87
Minnesota $60,140 $183,300 33% 76,090 77,840 2% 0.86
Colorado $50,180 $284,700 18% 67,400 79,120 17% 0.86
Oregon $56,890 $259,400 22% 42,330 47,720 13% 0.85
Nevada $52,900 $209,400 25% 28,270 30,810 9% 0.84
New York $74,830 $264,500 28% 327,480 344,840 5% 0.83
Rhode Island $69,450 $226,600 31% 15,390 15,830 3% 0.83
Maryland $63,050 $249,000 25% 91,580 99,030 8% 0.82
New Hampshire $54,780 $223,000 25% 23,240 25,070 8% 0.8
Montana $46,720 $186,100 25% 14,760 15,750 7% 0.78
South Dakota $41,490 $172,700 24% 11,940 12,660 6% 0.74
Massachusetts $69,890 $337,600 21% 99,730 107,890 8% 0.71
New Jersey $67,100 $286,000 23% 178,550 185,180 4% 0.67
California $69,990 $449,500 16% 483,600 532,300 10% 0.63
Vermont $54,260 $219,000 25% 9,250 9,240 0% 0.61
Maine $48,770 $195,200 25% 20,720 20,210 -2% 0.55
Washington D.C. $67,010 $500,300 13% 10,470 11,350 8% 0.54
Hawaii $54,690 $545,800 10% 23,270 25,010 7% 0.43

Table Footnotes:
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm
**Zillow, US Home Prices & Values (all home type composites), November 2015: http://www.zillow.com/home-values/
***Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

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