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Facts and Data

Did you know…

✔ Teachers in the United States rate their lives better than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians.

✔ Mid-career teacher salaries range between $60,000 and $100,000.

✔ Most teaching jobs have better retirement benefits than other jobs you can get with the same degree.

✔ There are student loan forgiveness programs and scholarships for math and science teachers.

✔ You can get a job almost anywhere in the U.S. or abroad as a science or math teacher.

✔ Over 78% of high school science teachers are still in the classroom after 5 years of teaching.

✔ About half of all science and math majors report an interest in becoming a teacher.

✔ Grade 7-12 science and math teachers get paid more than most college teaching faculty.

Research shows that the classroom teacher has a greater impact on student learning than all other aspects of schools (i.e. class size and funding per student).

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Did you know… Teachers in the United States rate their lives better than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians?

Percentage shown is the % of people ranking their lives at the top of the ladder* minus the % of people ranking their lives at the bottom of the ladder.*

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*The Cantril Self-Anchoring Scale

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Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey with a random sample of 172,286 workers, aged 18 or over, from Jan. 2-Dec. 30, 2012. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3.5 percentage points for the smallest group (physicians) but less than ±1 for larger groups such as professionals, service workers, or managers/executives.

From Cantril, H. The pattern of human concerns. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1965.

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Did you know… Mid-career teacher salaries typically range between $60,000 and $100,000?

DistrictBachelor's degree
Year 1
Bachelor's degree
Year 5
Master's degree
Year 5
Master's degree
Year 15
Visalia Unified Schools, California [1]$55,227$61,055$65,908$92,523
Jackson Public Schools (Jackson, MS)$38,112$39,832$44,818$55,439
Billings Public Schools, Montana [3]$39,780$47,288 - 52,609$54,109 - 60,188$80,857
Boulder Valley Schools, Colorado [4]$47,587 - $55,087$51,006 - 59,046$65,470 - 84,729$105,845
Long Beach Unified School District [5]$59,439$62,645 - 74,598$65,803 - 74,598$100,963
  1. Visalia Unified School District – 2019–2020 Teacher Salary Schedule
  2. Jackson Public Schools – 2020-2021 Teacher Salary Scale
  3. Billings Public Schools – Salary Schedule
  4. Boulder Valley Schools – 2020-2021 Pay Schedule
  5. Long Beach Unified Schools – Certified non-management 2019-2020 salary schedule 

The above table contains a sampling of salaries from across the nation. Visalia, CA represents an average district in a small city with a median household income of $51,980. Jackson Public Schools are located in the South where the median household income is $46,300. Billings median household income is $57,403. Boulder Public Schools, represents a large urban district where the median household income is $74,256. Finally Long Beach Public Schools represent a West coast large urban district where the median household income is $69,316.

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Did you know… Grade 7-12 science and math teachers get paid more than most college teaching faculty?

Below is a comparison of college teaching faculty with grade 7-12 teachers. College teaching jobs require at least an MS and most a PhD. Grade 7-12 teachers typically begin with a BS and most have earned an MS* by mid-career.

  • Year 1
  • Year 15

Teaching faculty typically spend 80% of their time teaching and the remaining helping out in the department. They do not have research requirements and are evaluated on their teaching.

American Institute of Physics Physics Faculty Calculator
Note: Tenure-track professors were not included since that job looks very different. They have limited teaching responsibilities and are primarily research-focused. This type of faculty in BS granting departments have similar salaries to grade 7-12 teachers, but those in PhD granting departments tend to make more.

* There are degree programs across the country designed for practicing teachers to earn their advanced degree while teaching full time.

Teaching: The Best Kept Secret!

The Problem:

  • Nearly half of STEM majors have an interest in becoming a teacher.
  • Yet, our nation has a severe shortage of math and science teachers.
  • Research shows that faculty and students have deeply held but often misinformed perceptions about the teaching profession.

Relative demand by field

The 2018 American Association of Employment in Education Educator Supply and Demand in the United States Report provides data showing that physics, chemistry, and math teachers are in the top five highest shortage areas in our nation.

  • Spec. Ed. – Severe/Profound Disability 4.68
  • Spec. Ed. – Visually Impaired 4.64
  • Physics 4.51
  • Mathematics 4.39
  • Chemistry 4.37

Considerable shortage defined as (5.00 – 4.21)

Teacher supply and demand by subject area

teacher shortage chart

Each dot on this graph represents a teaching profession with (M) Math, (C) Chemistry, and (P) Physics highlighted in red.

How interested are you in being a middle or high school teacher?

A recent report from the American Physical Society contains survey data from over 7000 U.S. STEM majors demonstrating that nearly half of all STEM majors have an interest in teaching.

POPA interest chart

You may ask, how do we have a shortage of math and science teachers If half of STEM majors are interested in becoming teachers?

Because teaching is the best kept secret!

Teachers rate their lives better than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians; yet, our research shows that faculty and students are not aware of the benefits of the profession, both intellectual and financial.

Data to Back Up the Facts

To learn more and dive deeper into the facts about the profession and the data to back up the facts, check out the following page: Our Research and Publications