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three educators in a school hallway, two women and one man.

The State of Educator Pay in America

NEA's 2023 review quantifies teacher salary, education support professional pay, and student spending in every state.
Published: April 24, 2023

Key Takeaways

  1. Average educator pay has failed to keep up with inflation. Teachers are making $3,644 less, on average, than they did 10 years ago, adjusted for inflation.
  2. Nearly 40% of all education support professionals working full-time in K-12 schools earn less than $25,000 per year. More than a third of all education support professionals (K-12 and higher education combined) working full-time earn less than $25,000 annually.
  3. Teachers earn 25% more, on average, in states with collective bargaining, and school support staff earn 15% more. In addition, higher education faculty in unions earn about $4,000 more than non-union faculty in the same states.


Average starting teacher salary, a 2.5% increase from the year prior.


Average public school teacher salary, a 2% increase from the previous year

2023 Reports

Annual reports from NEA examine educator pay and school funding from pre-K through college. They reveal an alarming trend of decreased educator pay and inadequate investment in public schools and universities as teacher turnover has hit historic highs.

The reports, released by the National Education Association, show a perfect storm brewing as educator shortages continue to grip schools nationwide. 

Educator Pay in Your State