Where to Earn More Money as a Teacher

Teachers deserve to earn more money. In many U.S. states, however, teachers make well below the estimated living wage for a family of four. The good news is that there are at least a few places in the United States where teachers and their families can reasonably expect to survive and thrive, even on a single income.  In these  states, teachers not only make higher than average wages but also enjoy a truly educator friendly cost of living. To find out where teachers and their families are most likely to make enough money to meet their basic needs, enjoy the good things in life, and save for the future, keep reading!

Dollarphotoclub_53247538-e1435936103123-mqr4kzhjgj_0b3b6e42da4e4831cebb17d29bd27554 Massachusetts

Massachusetts loves education and educators. It is not only home to some of the nation’s top schools, including Harvard, MIT and the prestigious Five Colleges (Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, Smith and UMass), but also to many of the nation’s top paid educators. While K-12 teachers make anywhere from $71,000 to $72,000 per year, college educators report wages of $93,00o on average. According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculation, however, a family with two children and one adult working only needs $52,868 to cover all their basic expenses in the state (with two adults working, the total is $68,026 due to the additional childcare cost and higher taxes). This means that whether you are a teacher in a single-income family or dual-income family, in Massachusetts, you can expect to earn enough money to survive and thrive. A K-12 teacher, for example, would have close to $20,000 to spare after covering his or her family’s basic needs and a college or university professor would have $40,000 or more. On this basis, ToBecomeATeacher.org ranks Massachusetts first on our list of best states to make money as a teacher. Explore the top destinations for teachers in Massachusetts.

Connecticut

If you’ve ever heard rumors (or complaints) about Connecticut’s well paid educators, you’re not alone. Connecticut’s teachers earn nearly twice as much as teachers in some U.S. states. On average Connecticut’s teachers make $75,00o to $76,000 annually, or more than $30,000 more than the average teacher in South Dakota. According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculation, a family with two children and one adult working needs $53,857 to cover all their basic expenses (with two adults working, the total is $70,267 due to additional childcare cost and higher taxes). This means that even on a single teacher’s income, one can easily meet a family of four’s basic needs. In fact, according to our calculations, Connecticut teachers should have over $20,000 left over to stash away or spend on the finer things in life after paying for their home, transportation, food, childcare and health care costs. While college and university professors do not do as well in Connecticut as they do in Massachusetts (taking home roughly the same amount as their K-12 counterparts), Connecticut’s robust salaries for K-12 teachers and reasonable cost of living still earns it second spot on ToBecomeATeacher.org’s list of top states to earn money as a teacher.  Find out where the very best places to live in work as a teacher in Connecticut are located and start applying today.

New Jersey

New Jersey is not only New York’s less glamorous cousin. When it comes to teacher’s earning potential, it is also one of the nation’s top destinations. Although a teacher in Jersey City does make less than their counterparts just across the Hudson River in New York City, on average, New Jersey’s teachers are much better off due to the state’s lower taxes and lower cost of living. In New Jersey, teachers wages range from $68,000 to over $74,000 on average. According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculation, a family with two children and one adult working needs $53,795 to cover all their basic expenses (with two adults working, the total is $66,906 due to additional childcare cost and higher taxes). This means that in New Jersey, a teacher can reasonably earn enough money to pay their rent or mortgage, car expenses, childcare cost, food and health care expenses on a single salary. A dual-income teacher family in New Jersey can expect to have substantial money left over to save for the future and even indulge in a few of the finer things in life. Combined with its robust job market and strong teacher’s union, New Jersey ranks third on ToBecomeATeacher.org’s list of best places to earn money as a teacher. Ready to move to New Jersey? Explore New Jersey’s best cities and towns for teachers and start applying now.

Wyoming

If you’ve never thought about buying a one-way ticket to Laramie, think again! Although Wyoming’s teachers do not make the most money in America and in fact, make much less than teachers in many areas of the Northeast, they still report a relatively high standard of living due to Wyoming’s exceptionally low cost of living. In Wyoming teachers wages range from $58,500 to just over $60,000. However, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculation, a family with two children and one adult working needs only just $46,983 to cover all their basic expenses (with two adults working, the total is $57,391 due to additional childcare cost and higher taxes). Either way, this means that in Wyoming, teacher’s families can expect to have more than enough money to cover their basic expenses and save for the future. For example, in a two-teacher household with two children, a couple both making closer to the top of the pay scale (approximately $60,000 annually) would have more than $60,000 left over to save for the future and even enjoy a few extravagant perks in the present. On this basis, Wyoming comes in a surprising fourth on ToBecomeATeacher.org’s survey of top states in which to earn a living as a teacher. Start exploring Wyoming job opportunities for teachers now!

Alaska

In Alaska teachers wages range from $73,000 to over $80,000 on average, depending on the level, but according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculation, a family with two children and one adult working needs only $52,233 to cover all their basic expenses (with two adults working, the total is $67,674 due to additional childcare cost and higher taxes). This means that in Alaska, teachers supporting a family of four on a single income can, on average, expect to have substantial money left over even after covering their housing, food, medical, childcare and transportation cost. Although finding a job in Alaska can be a challenge (there are limited jobs and one must complete special courses on subjects in Alaskan culture and language), the potential earnings can’t be ignored. On this basis, Alaska ranks fifth on ToBecomeATeacher.org’s list of top places to earn money as a teacher. Find your ideal teaching job in Alaska by exploring our Alaska job opportunities resource.

Contributor: Cait Etherington, Dec. 24, 2016

 

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