What is the salary of a teacher in your State?

Teachers are the key to ensuring our society's future success. They instruct our children with the skills that they need to know to succeed in life. Many teachers put their own personal time and financing into designing lessons plans that make the information engaging and compelling for the students. Unlike other careers, teachers cannot simply leave their work at the office. They spend several hours after school assisting students, printing worksheets, and making lesson plans.

Are teachers paid enough? That is a topic that has been long debated. Salaries vary greatly from one state to another, as well as between school districts. Do you know what teachers in your state are being paid?

Here is a list of the average salary per year per state for teachers (for the 2005-2006 school years, as reported by the National Education Association):

  • Alabama - $38,186
  • Alaska - $54,424
  • Arizona - $42,905
  • Arkansas - $40,495
  • California - $57,876
  • Colorado - $43,949
  • Connecticut - $58,688
  • Delaware - $50,869
  • Florida - $41,587
  • Georgia - $46,526
  • Hawaii - $46,149
  • Idaho - $42,122
  • Illinois - $55,629
  • Indiana - $46,526
  • Iowa - $39,284
  • Kansas - $39,284
  • Kentucky - $40,522
  • Louisiana - $38, 880
  • Maine - $39,610
  • Maryland - $52,331
  • Massachusetts - $54,325
  • Michigan - $56,973
  • Minnesota - $46,906
  • Mississippi - $36,590
  • Missouri - $38,971
  • Montana - $38,485
  • Nebraska - $39,456
  • Nevada - $43,394
  • New Hampshire - $43,941
  • New Jersey - $56,682
  • New Mexico - $39,391
  • New York $56,200
  • North Carolina - $43,348
  • North Dakota - $36,449
  • Ohio - $48,692
  • Oklahoma - $37,879
  • Oregon - $48,330
  • Pennsylvania - $53,258
  • Rhode Island - $53,473
  • South Carolina - $42,207
  • South Dakota - $34,040
  • Tennessee - $42,072
  • Texas - $41,009
  • Utah - $39,965
  • Vermont - $44,535
  • Virginia - $44, 763
  • Washington - $45,724
  • West Virginia - $38,360
  • Wisconsin - $44,299
  • Wyoming - $40,392

Reviewing the information, there is a large range of average salaries when you compare state to state. Connecticut comes in at the highest average salary with $58,688, which is over $24,000 more per year than the state with the lowest average salary, South Dakota. This does not, however, factor in the average cost of living per state.

Some teachers are concerned about these numbers. The cost of living continues to rise in many communities, and like other professionals, many teachers have student loans to repay. The American Federation of Teachers estimated that to make teacher's pay competitive with other professions by 2010, teachers would need an average 30% raise. This increase would come with a national price tag of around $15 billion, which many taxpayers find difficult to finance. Others feel that the investment in our children's future is worth the cost, and thus, the debate is more than likely to continue.