How Much Does an Elementary School Teacher Make

How Much Does an Elementary School Teacher Make

If you want to teach young children, you may wonder how much does an elementary school teacher make. If this has crossed your mind, don’t worry; you are not alone. Financial considerations are influencing factors in many career choices.

As with many professions, salary considerations are based on several factors: Experience, education and performance are only three. Also included might be geographic location, whether you teach in a public or private school, average class size and the languages involved—if you have a student base with differing primary languages.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report that the median wage for elementary school teachers reaches $51,660 per year, which means that 50 percent of these teachers earn this amount. However, the average wage is a bit higher at $54,330. The second figure takes into account several diverse factors, none the least of which is education level.


New teachers in the same school system, teaching the same grade range, may make vastly different wages. Those who hold baccalaureate degrees from top online universities will almost uniformly receive less pay than those who hold an online masters degree or an online PhD.

Because education is so influential in the answer to the question, ‘how much does an elementary school teacher make,’ many teachers obtain their base degree and certification, gain employment and go back to school for postgraduate degrees in specialized fields, such as school administration or advanced childhood development.

The second major influence in the answer to how much does an elementary school teacher make lies in geographic location. For example, elementary teachers in Texas earn on average $2,000 less per year than those in California but approximately $2,500 more annually than those in Florida. Elementary school teachers in Illinois earn more than those but not nearly the amount teachers in Alaska, Connecticut, New York and other northeastern states do. Elementary teachers in Alaska earned an average wage of $69,130 in 2009.

Not just state designation plays a part in how much does an elementary school teacher make but also the actual city or town. Elementary teachers in the New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan division earn an average of $69,040 per year, but the state average wage for New York is $67,940 and the New Jersey average is only slightly below that.


If location and education level are equal, experience is the next determining factor in pay. Those elementary school teachers with more experience will usually earn more per year than new elementary teachers. Because this factor applies to almost every occupation, the experience factor should not be a surprise.

Private schools often pay teachers more than public schools due because of the public funding involved in the latter.

Private schools are funded by contributions, donations and tuition fees. Public schools are funded by contributions, donations and taxes. When public funds are reduced, arts, optional programs and teachers’ wages compose the most targeted areas for budget reduction cuts.

Private schools and religious schools may have different credentialing requirements than public school teachers. Be sure to comply with the licensing and continuing education requirements for the stricter set of regulations to be fully adaptable to any elementary school environment now that you know the answer to the oft-asked question, ‘How much does an elementary school teacher make?’

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