The Average Salary of Elementary Education Teachers

The Average Salary of Elementary Education Teachers
  • Opening Intro -

    Millions of people are employed as teachers, working at public, private and religious institutions to educate our young.


Where the jobs are!

As of 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 1.66 million people are employed as kindergarten and elementary school teachers. Moreover, the job outlook is a bright one with more than 280,000 new jobs or open positions expected to be added by 2020.

Average Salaries

Median annual pay for elementary education teachers is $51,380 as of 2011. Teachers in the 10th percentile averaged $34,900 per year; those in the 25th percentile made $42,900 annually. Those in the 50th percentile earned $52,800 per year. Salaries for teachers in the 75th percentile averaged $66,300 per year, while those in the 90th percentile averaged more than $81,200 per year.

The pay scale for teachers varies widely across the country with some districts paying much higher or lower than the national mean. In California, the median salary for elementary education teachers was $66.600. In New Jersey the average salary was $60,000 per year. On the other end of the spectrum, teachers in Idaho average $45,500 per year and those in Mississippi earned $40,300 per year.

Job Duties

Elementary education teachers instruct students individually and corporately, using essential academic and development skills to instruct their students. Teachers will adapt their teaching methods to meet the needs of their class and individual students. Teachers establish objectives for each subject including lessons, projects and units.

Teachers meet with parents to assess the child’s progress and to establish priorities to help that child thrive. Such professionals read books, teach reading skills, prepare materials and outlines for class, help students maintain grade level progress for each subject and prepare students to move up to the next grade.


Elementary education teachers typically have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. About one-quarter of such professionals also have at least a master’s degree.

Teachers that work in a public school also most possess a state-issued license and achieve certification. Requirements for private schools are set by each school.


College students that choose an elementary education career path should possess good verbal skills, be excellent listeners and enjoy working with children. Such students are well organized and are comfortable receiving instruction from superiors and liaising with parents.

Elementary education majors may also minor in other areas of study or specialize in kindergarten, special education or remedial study.


Tougher teaching standards as advocated by the federal government through its Race to the Top program has led to school reform across the nation. New teachers can expect to be held to tougher academic standards and should expect further reforms going forward. Elementary education teachers possessing a master’s degree may find improved teaching opportunities with better pay available.


O*Net OnLine: Summary Report for: 25-2021.00 – Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers


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Categories: Career Planning