General Salary

Traditionally, teacher salaries are based on experience and education. In addition to raises tied to experience and coursework completion, districts also frequently give teachers cost of living adjustments. While states often determine the basic structure of teacher pay, the specifics of teacher salaries are set at the district level.

The Teacher Contract Database includes information on salaries for teacher throughout their careers, including starting, mid-career, and maximum salaries for teachers with a variety of education levels. It also tracks average annual salary increases.


For a more in-depth analysis of teacher salaries, read our report Smart Money or visit our salary page.

What the research shows

While the most common pay increases in teaching are associated with the attainment of advanced degrees and years of experience, research shows that neither advanced degrees nor experience are linked to student achievement, with the exception of the first few years of experience.

For example see:

Goldhaber, Dan D., and Dominic J. Brewer. "When should we reward degrees for teachers?." Phi Delta Kappan (1998): 134-138.
Rivkin, Steven G., Eric A. Hanushek, and John F. Kain. "Teachers, schools, and academic achievement."Econometrica 73.2 (2005): 417-458.

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Annual salary for a first year teacher with a bachelor's degree

Graph reflects data for 2018-2019 salaries. If there was a salary range, the graph reflects the lowest salary in the range.
Figure details

This graph represents the current data for all districts in the Teacher Contract Database, which includes the 100 largest districts in the country, the largest district in each state, and member districts of the Council of Great City Schools. The database is updated on a rolling basis as school districts reach new collective bargaining agreements and thus may not reflect information from the current school year. Run a custom report to see data for individual districts, including valid years and citation information.

Annual salary for a teacher with a bachelor's degree after 5 years of experience

Graph reflects data for 2018-2019 salaries. If there was a salary range, the graph reflects the lowest salary in the range. The "other" category captures districts where it's not possible to predict salary at 5 years.
Figure details

This graph represents the current data for all districts in the Teacher Contract Database, which includes the 100 largest districts in the country, the largest district in each state, and member districts of the Council of Great City Schools. The database is updated on a rolling basis as school districts reach new collective bargaining agreements and thus may not reflect information from the current school year. Run a custom report to see data for individual districts, including valid years and citation information.

Number of completed years of experience for a teacher with a bachelor's and/or master's degree to reach maximum salary

Graph reflects 2018-2019 salary data. The "other" category is comprised of districts without a salary schedule; where experience is only one factor in salary advancement; where years to maximum salary is different for BA and MA; etc.
Figure details

This graph represents the current data for all districts in the Teacher Contract Database, which includes the 100 largest districts in the country, the largest district in each state, and member districts of the Council of Great City Schools. The database is updated on a rolling basis as school districts reach new collective bargaining agreements and thus may not reflect information from the current school year. Run a custom report to see data for individual districts, including valid years and citation information.

Compare Multiple Districts or States

Delve into the NCTQ Teacher Contract Database and find out what is inside collective bargaining agreements and state policies for more than 145 of the largest school districts from all 50 states.

Choose to compare by district or state to start your search:
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