May 5 was National Teacher Appreciation Day, and to mark the occasion, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data that shows just where elementary school teachers are appreciated the most. And by “appreciated,” we mean, “paid the most money.”
And the answer is New York.
The report also found huge gaps between teachers’ average income state-to-state. Not including special education teachers, there were about 1.4 million elementary school teachers employed in May 2014 (the most recent data available to the BLS). Their average annual salary was $56,830 in 2014, but there was a more than $30,000 difference in average wages between teachers in the highest- and lowest-paid state. New York elementary school teachers were paid an average annual salary of $74,830—Mississippi paid its elementary school teachers the lowest average salary: $41,010.
This isn’t the first time New York education professionals have made headlines for their higher-than-average salaries—just take a look how much Westchester school administrators are paid—but that money does seem to be associated with quality, as evidenced by the numbers you can find in our 2015 High School Chart.
Courtesy of Business Insider, below is a map depicting average annual teacher wages per state in May 2014:
Here is a table with the average teacher salaries by state, also courtesy of Business Insider: