Teacher salaries tend to differ depending on various factors, which is why it is often difficult to determine an average income for this profession. One of the most important details is the level of education that the teacher has, as higher levels of education often lead to the ability to teach older students. Of course, the number of years of experience also often matters, as a starting teacher salary is usually much lower than that of a seasoned educator. Finally, teacher salaries tend to vary by location, as cost of living and the wealth of the school district can influence them.
The majority of teaching jobs require at least a bachelor's degree, which usually takes an average of four years to get. This type of education usually allows teachers to get a job at an elementary, middle, or high school. Of course, those who pursue a master's degree in a particular subject can typically start out at a higher teacher salary since they are thought of as more knowledgeable about the topic. Perhaps not surprisingly, becoming a college professor tends to be the highest paying teaching position, but it also requires more schooling. For example, entry-level jobs alone require a master's degree, while becoming a tenured professor typically requires a Ph.D.
Regardless of the level of education acquired by teachers, those without any experience usually get the lowest salary. Of course, the more educated teachers tend to get promoted faster, or at least offered incremental pay raises sooner than those with the basic college education. Either way, though, the average teacher salary typically increases every few years, which may offer hope to those wondering whether to stay in this profession despite an often low starting salary.
One of the biggest factors in determining teacher salary is the location of the job. This is because some school districts, as well as specific colleges or universities, have more money than others, especially if they get private funding, such as from parents or local businesses. Of course, wealthier districts tend to expect their teachers to be more experienced and educated than the typical districts do, which can make the competition fierce when it comes to getting these positions. An additional factor is the cost of living in the area, as the average teacher salary tends to be higher in cities that are expensive to live in. Thus, it is often helpful to compare the income to the costs associated with the area before taking a teaching job based solely on the higher salary.