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Money Lessons: Highest Teacher Salaries in the USA, Part 3 – Middle School

Updated on July 7, 2011

This article continues a series that begins with Money Lessons: Highest Teacher Salaries in the USA, Part 1 – Kindergarten.

Middle school teachers instruct students from grades 5 through 8, or from ages 10 through 13, which is between elementary and high school. These instructors typically concentrate on specialized subjects such as history, Spanish or English, so they can cover in detail the topics introduced in elementary school. Wages differ according to employer and location of job. All information is from the US Department of Labor, and does not include vocational or special education teachers.

© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin

Salaries and Employers

Teacher salaries for middle school have the following ranges:

  • The mean salaries for the 655,090 US teachers are $54,880 per year, with an annual median low of $34,990 and median high of $80,940.
  • The biggest group of 651,040 works for elementary and secondary schools, where pay runs a mean $54,900 per year. The second largest group of 2,490 work for employment services, with unspecified means. The third group consist of the 380 under local government, where wages are $51,460 annually.
  • The highest paying employers are elementary and secondary schools, and local government. Third for pay are other residential care facilities, with yearly salaries of $48,870 for 80 middle school teachers.

Locations of the Best Teacher Salaries

Job location affects teacher salaries as follows:

  • The states with the most teachers are Texas, with 80,990 earning a mean annual $51,230 per year; California, where 54,650 receive $62,970 annually; and New York, with 40,750 getting $70,670 yearly.
  • For salaries, New York shows the highest, followed by Connecticut, where 10,570 positions get a mean $68,420 per year. Third is Alaska, where 1,320 teachers make $66,890 yearly.
  • Because of their population concentrations, cities have high teacher employment. First on the list is New York City, where teacher salaries where 21,280 workers get a mean $73,710 per year. Chicago follows, with 19,210 positions making $68,520 annually. Third is Houston, with 19,190 jobs earning a mean $53,080 yearly.
  • Metropolitan areas also have the highest salaries, with Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York, paying $83,700 annually to its 7,460 teachers. Second-ranked Waterbury, Connecticut, shows an annual $79,250 for its 610 professionals, and Bethesda, Maryland, has wages of $77,050 per year for its 3,800 workers.
  • Rural areas suffer from fewer job opportunities but can offer higher-than-average wages. For example, the nonmetropolitan area of Eastern Texas has the best employment, but only 2,950 jobs for a mean yearly salary of $45,720. The highest rural teacher salaries are in Northeastern Wyoming, where 210 high school teachers get $69,510 per year.


The US Department of Labor sees jobs for middle school teachers growing at 15 percent for 2008 to 2018, which is above average. This is because of an increasing US population. Many openings will also come from the many baby boomer teachers expected to retire during that decade, and from those who quit the profession after only a year or two of experience.


Check out the other articles in the teacher salaries series:

If you’re a teacher, feel free to add more information about teacher salaries in the Comments box below.


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    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      But I have a feeling the kids respect you more there, than they do in the U.S.

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      I work as a teacher an in Europe our salaries are way less then these figures you are quoting. Maybe I should move!