How Much Money Does a Teacher Make?


Quick Answer

As of May 2012, elementary and middle school teachers make an average of $53,000 annually, and high school teachers make roughly $55,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kindergarten teachers make slightly less with a median income of approximately $50,000 a year. At all grade levels, the top 10 percent of earners had incomes between $78,000 and $86,000, while the lowest 10 percent earned between $32,000 and $37,000.

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Full Answer

Traditionally, teachers work a five-day week for 10 months of the year and have a two-month summer break. In a year-round schedule, teachers work eight-week sessions with a one-week break and have an additional five-week break during the winter. Supervising summer programs or working at higher-paying private schools can increase a teacher's annual income.

To teach at public schools, educators must earn a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college and pass certification tests for the states where they plan to work. Depending on their regions and grade levels, prospective teachers may be required to choose a subject major, such as science or history, and complete child psychology courses to prepare them for daily interaction with young students.

Districts across the United States continually work to lower the student-teacher ratio, producing a stable increase in teaching jobs. For example, approximately 1,519,700 kindergarten and elementary level jobs were reported in 2012, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 12-percent increase over the following decade.

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