Teachers in public elementary/secondary schools - average salary 1980-2017

During the academic year of 2016-17, secondary school teachers in the United States made an average of 58,978 U.S. dollars, while elementary school teachers made an average of 58,773 U.S. dollars. This is a significant increase from the 1979-80 school year, when secondary and elementary school teachers made 16,459 U.S. dollars and 15,569 U.S. dollars respectively.

Stagnating wages

While the American economy is doing well, wages have been stagnating in recent years. The federal minimum wage, which currently stands at 7.25 U.S. dollars per hour, has not been raised since July 2009, meaning that minimum wage has not increased with inflation. Although minimum wage varies by state, the federal minimum wage prevails in many states. Additionally, median hourly earnings for workers, while increasing steadily, have not seen any significant jumps in recent years.

Fair pay for teachers

The majority of Americans believe that teachers are not paid fairly for the work that they do. Full-time public elementary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. have the highest salary in New York state, but the lowest salary in Mississippi. On average, teachers countrywide make about 60,483 U.S. dollars annually.
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Average salary of classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools in the U.S. from 1980 to 2017
(in U.S. dollars)
2014-15 57,09257,678
2013-14 56,39556,886
2012-13 55,34457,077
2011-12 54,70456,226
2010-11 55,21756,225
2009-10 54,91855,595
2008-09 53,99854,552
2007-08 52,38553,262
2006-07 50,74051,529
2005-06 48,57349,496
2004-05 47,12247,688
2003-04 46,18746,976
2002-03 45,40846,106
2001-02 44,17745,310
2000-01 42,91044,053
1999-00 41,30642,546
1998-99 40,16541,203
1997-98 39,00239,944
1996-97 38,03939,184
1995-96 37,13838,397
1994-95 36,08837,523
1993-94 35,23336,566
1992-93 34,35035,880
1991-92 33,47934,827
1990-91 32,49033,896
1989-90 30,83232,049
1988-89 29,02230,218
1987-88 27,51928,798
1986-87 26,05727,244
1985-86 24,71825,846
1984-85 23,20024,187
1983-84 21,48722,554
1982-83 20,22721,291
1981-82 18,85319,805
1980-81 17,23018,142
1979-80 15,56916,459
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