Skip to Main Content Close
Call: 800-667-0097
  • Customer Service
    • Contact Us
    • Find a Rep

The Cities With the Highest- and Lowest-Paid Elementary School Teachers

Teaching can be a very stressful job, and depending on where you are in the country, the annual income may not quite make up for the stress that comes along with it. In fact, according to fourth-quarter data from 2019 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an American worker is $48,672, but the average salary for an American teacher doesn’t always approach that amount: The 25 metropolitan areas across America with the lowest average salaries for elementary school teachers all come in lower.

California has the highest average salaries for elementary school teachers: Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, seven of the top ten highest salaries can be found in metro areas in the Golden State. The highest salary, however, can be found in Kingston, New York, where elementary school teachers receive an average salary of $92,090. This is nearly triple the amount that an elementary school teacher would receive in the metropolitan area of Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona, which is just $37,880 annually. This analysis from reveals where the highest- and lowest-paid elementary school teachers are in the United States.

Click to view the full-size infographic

Here are the metropolitan areas in the United States with the highest salaries for elementary school teachers.

  1. Kingston, NY: $92,090
  2. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA: $90,270
  3. Merced, CA: $89,910
  4. El Centro, CA: $87,260
  5. Los Angeles-Long-Beach-Anaheim, CA: $87,120
  6. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $86,350
  7. Modesto, CA: $85,110
  8. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $84,040
  9. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ: $83,990
  10. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $83,590
  11. Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH: $83,460
  12. Visalia-Porterville, CA: $83,280
  13. Bakersfield, CA: $82,430
  14. New Bedford, MA: $81,500
  15. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA: $81,420
  16. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA: $81,420
  17. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA: $81,410
  18. Fresno, CA: $80,970
  19. California-Lexington-Park, MD: $80,940
  20. Napa, CA: $80,670
  21. Pittsfield, MA: $79,490
  22. New Haven, CT: $78,490
  23. Hanford-Corcoran, CA: $78,430
  24. Leominster-Gardner, MA: $78,110
  25. Bend-Redmond-OR: $77,780

However, while teachers in these areas are well-compensated, the same can’t be said for their peers in other parts of the country.

Out of the ten metropolitan areas with the lowest annual salaries for elementary school teachers, five of them are located in Arizona, including the lowest two, which are Sierra Vista-Douglas ($37,880) and Yuma ($40,370).

These are the 25 metropolitan areas across the United States that have the lowest average salaries for elementary school teachers.

  1. Coeur d’Alene, ID: $45,700
  2. New Bern, NC: $45,660
  3. Jacksonville, NC: $45,100
  4. Jonesboro, AR: $45,030
  5. Rapid City, SD: $44,990
  6. Hattiesburg, MS: $44,870
  7. Hammond, LA: $44,760
  8. Fayetteville, NC: $44,550
  9. Evansville, IN: $44,440
  10. St. Joseph, MO: $44,320
  11. Greenville, NC: $43,980
  12. Cape Girardeau, MO: $43,710
  13. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL: $43,410
  14. Jackson, MS: $43,150
  15. Lawton, OK: $43,140
  16. Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ: $43,090
  17. Prescott, AZ: $43,050
  18. Joplin, MO: $43,030
  19. Gainesville, FL: $42,760
  20. Tucson, AZ: $42,630
  21. Twin Falls, ID: $42,000
  22. Rocky Mount, NC: $41,990
  23. Idaho Falls, ID: $41,280
  24. Yuma, AZ: $40,370
  25. Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ: $37,880

Here are some more facts about elementary school teacher salaries in America:

  • Many first-year teachers can expect to earn less than $40,000 annually in the United States.
  • The average teacher spends nearly $500 on their own classroom supplies.
  • The United States ranks seventh in the world for teacher pay. At $124,000 annually, Luxembourg is the #1 country in the world when it comes to teacher salaries.
  • On average, Oklahoma is the lowest-paying state for teachers. There, teachers typically make less than $33,630 a year.
  • More than 20% of teachers in America need to work a second job.
  • According to a 2018 PDK poll, 71% of American citizens feel that teachers should be paid higher salaries.

Embed this image on your site: