Are Teachers Paid Hourly?

Teachers are usually paid a salary but may earn hourly wages tutoring.

Teachers are usually paid a salary but may earn hourly wages tutoring.

Teachers usually get paid an annual salary, which can be calculated on an hourly basis. The exception is if they perform duties outside their regular line of work, such as tutoring, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Your actual pay as a teacher would vary depending on whether you teach kindergarten and elementary, middle or high school.

Average Salary and Benefits

Your average annual salary as a kindergarten teacher would be $52,350, according to May 2011 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you taught elementary school, you'd make $55,270 per year. Your career as a middle school teacher would pay slightly more, $55,780 annually. And your average earnings as a high school teacher would be $56,760. On an hourly basis, for comparative purposes, $55,000 per year is about $26.44 per hour, based on a 40-hour workweek. A $56,000 salary equates to $26.92 per hour. As a salaried teacher, you'd also likely receive benefits such as paid holidays and vacations, summers off, medical insurance and a pension plan.

Salary by State

Rhode Island is the place to be as a kindergarten teacher. Teachers in this state earned the highest annual salaries of $71, 820, according to the BLS. Your earnings as a kindergarten teacher would also be relatively high in California at $61,150 per year. But you'd make considerably less in Florida at $49,580 annually. If you teach elementary school, you'd make the most in Alaska, $72,090 per year. Your earnings would also be above average in New York and Illinois: $69,380 and $57,820 per year, respectively. As a middle school teacher, your annual earnings would be highest in New York at $73,920. If you lived in Connecticut and Texas, you'd make $68,740 and $57,820 per year as a middle school teacher. And New York would also pay you the most as a high school teacher, $71,820 annually. You'd make closer to an average salary of $58,550 in Pennsylvania; and only $43,160 per year in Montana as a high school teacher.

Education & Training

You would be expected to have a bachelor's degree for any teaching position at any level, according to the BLS. It would be best to earn your bachelor's degree in education, but liberal arts and related programs may also be acceptable in your state, depending on the supply of teachers in your area. However, many school districts expect their teachers to earn master's degrees in education after being certified by their respective states. Your certification must be renewed each year.

Job Outlook

The number of jobs for teachers should be plentiful at the kindergarten, elementary and middle school levels. The BLS reports that jobs at these three levels will increase by 17 percent between 2010 and 2020, which compares to an average 14 percent national rate of growth for all occupations. If you want to be a high school teacher, expect growth to be somewhat slower at 7 percent over that decade. Your job opportunities will be best in areas with higher population increases. There is also a trend for lower teacher-to-student ratios, which will also spur jobs for teachers at all levels.

 

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