Teachers living in Alaska and New York can make nearly twice as much as those living in Mississippi and Oklahoma.

Aside from being known for its scenic mountain views and the northern lights; Alaska is also the state with the highest-earning teachers.

A new study from personal finance website GoBankingRates reveals the highest and lowest paying states for teachers in the United States.

Their study was based off of the average elementary, middle and high school teacher salaries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“While no one enters the teaching industry for the money, our study findings reveal some rather large income discrepancies depending on where in the country teachers live,” said Kristen Bonner, lead researcher on the study. “For those in the education industry who might be considering a relocation; a state’s job opportunity and competition ratings are also important factors to keep in mind.”

The Numbers


  10 States with best paid teachers


  10 States with worst paid teachers

Alaska: $77,843Mississippi: $42,043
New York: $76,593Oklahoma: $42,647
Connecticut: $75,867South Dakota: $43,200
California: $72,050North Carolina: $43,587
Massachusetts: $71,587Arizona: $43,800
New Jersey : $70,700West Virginia: $45,477
Rhode Island: $67,533Arkansas: $47,053
Maryland: $65,257Idaho: $47,063
Illinois: $65,153Kansas: $47,127
Virginia: $63,493Louisiana: $48,587

These states may have the highest paid teachers, but moving there for a pay increase isn’t necessarily simple. Throughout the country, homeownership isn’t affordable on the average teacher’s salary.

For instance, California may have the fourth-highest paid teachers in the U.S., but only 17 percent of homes for sale are affordable for a teacher.

Of course this does vary by what city you move to. Your best bet would be to move to Riverside-San Bernardino, CA. A teacher has a 33 percent chance of affording a home for $320,000 on a salary of $76,000 a year.

Maybe the East Coast is more to your liking. In Edison, NJ the average teacher earns $71,000, with a 24 percent chance to buy a home for $290,000.

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Joe Pye

Joe Pye

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Pye is the associate editor of Debt.com.

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Article last modified on March 8, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Ten States With Best Paid Teachers - AMP.