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two educators walk down a school hallway

2024 Reports Educator Pay in America

NEA's 2024 review quantifies teacher salary, education support professional pay, and student spending in every state.
Published: April 18, 2024

Key Takeaways

  1. Even with record-level increases in some states, average teacher pay has failed to keep up with inflation over the past decade. Adjusted for inflation, on average, teachers are making 5% less than they did 10 years ago.
  2. At 3.9%, the increase in the average starting salary was the largest in the 14 years that NEA has been tracking teacher salary benchmarks. However, when adjusted for inflation, the starting teacher salaries are now $4,273 below the 2008-2009 levels.  
  3. The union advantage: Teachers earn 26% more, on average, in states with collective bargaining, and education support professionals earn 16% more.


National average starting teacher salary


National Average Teacher Salary

2024 Reports

Educator Pay in Your State

Annual reports from NEA examine educator pay and school funding from pre-K through college show that salaries continue to lag woefully behind inflation over the past decade.

Low pay limits the ability to attract and retain quality educators in the profession amid a looming educator shortage and sagging educator morale due chiefly to low pay and poor working conditions.

The data shows that a combination of elected leaders in some states stepping up and the tireless advocacy of educators and their unions has resulted in the largest year-over-year teacher pay increase in over a decade.

However, despite this progress, much work remains to close the teacher pay penalty and address inadequate pay for all educators, and finally make the investments necessary at the state and local levels to attract and retain quality educators into community public schools.

The Union Difference

Report Highlights