The average salary of high school teachers varies by industry. Those working in educational support services earn the lowest average salary of $46,090, while those working for the state government earn the highest average salary of $100,310 (source: These figures change depending on factors like location, relevant work experience, licenses and certifications, and educational credentials. 

Teachers of Tomorrow is committed to supporting individuals who aspire to become educators by providing accurate and up-to-date information on salaries and other information on teaching positions and roles. 

High school is a critical stage in a student’s academic journey towards adulthood and higher learning. This stage can fill high school students with uncertainties about their future. This is why teaching in this phase requires a significant level of responsibility, patience, compassion, and motivation. As an aspiring educator, it is essential that you learn more about the steps and requirements necessary to become a high school teacher.

What is a High School Teacher?

A high school teacher is a professional who instructs students between the ages of 14 to 18 who typically encompass the latter part of junior high school and all of senior high school. It is a critical stage, as it marks the transition to young adulthood. As such, besides teaching, high school teachers also have the responsibility of imparting essential life skills and core values necessary for high school students to become responsible adults.

Skilled high school teachers possess the ability to evaluate their students’ strengths and weaknesses and provide the appropriate support necessary to prepare them to become productive members of society. This goal is also one of the main reasons why high school teachers must also possess empathy, compassion, patience, and encouragement.

Additionally, high school teachers also play a significant role in guiding students towards success in either higher education or the job market. This duty further underscores the need for high school teachers to have a passion for teaching and extensive knowledge of what they teach.

To become a high school teacher, you must fulfill the state-specific requirements of the state where you want to teach. This typically entails earning a bachelor’s degree and, in some states, a master’s degree. You may also need to pass a state-issued certification or license, especially if you plan to teach in public schools.

How Much Do High School Teachers Make?

How much a high school teacher makes varies by state and the industry they’re in, but on average, high school teachers make about $69,530 annually. Depending on the industry, a high school teacher’s salary can either be a fixed annual salary or an hourly salary.

Other factors that can affect this include your years of work experience, any special qualifications or credentials you may have, such as having a major in a key high school subject, like math or history, and your educational background.

Here’s a simple graph to show the lowest and highest ranges for high school teacher salaries:

high school teacher salary national average.


What is the Highest and Lowest Paying High School Job?

By industry, the lowest average salary for high school teachers is $46,090 for those who work in educational support services, while the highest average salary hovers around $100,310 for those employed by the local government.

Here’s a simple chart showing industries offer the highest possible average salary for high school teachers:

how much does a high school teacher make by industry.


High School Teacher Salaries By State

The salaries we’ve provided so far refer to the average for the entire country and by industry. To give you a better perspective, here’s a table showing the average annual salary by state, arranged from the highest to the lowest:

RankStateAverage Annual Salary
1California$ 94,600.00
2New York$ 92,660.00
3Massachusetts$ 85,360.00
4Washington$ 85,260.00
5Connecticut$ 79,530.00
6New Jersey$ 79,260.00
7Virginia$ 76,430.00
8Oregon$ 76,090.00
9Maryland$ 75,840.00
10Pennsylvania$ 73,800.00
11Alaska$ 73,730.00
12Rhode Island$ 72,270.00
13Illinois$ 71,690.00
14Ohio$ 71,180.00
15Georgia$ 69,430.00
16Delaware$ 68,780.00
17New Hampshire$ 65,770.00
18Vermont$ 64,920.00
19Hawaii$ 64,880.00
20Utah$ 64,350.00
21Florida$ 64,120.00
22Minnesota$ 63,970.00
23Wyoming$ 63,820.00
24Nevada$ 63,370.00
25Nebraska$ 63,370.00
26Michigan$ 63,120.00
27Colorado$ 61,970.00
28Wisconsin$ 61,440.00
29New Mexico$ 60,770.00
30Texas$ 60,470.00
31Iowa$ 57,890.00
32Maine$ 57,520.00
33Kentucky$ 57,300.00
34Kansas$ 56,320.00
35Tennessee$ 56,260.00
36South Carolina$ 56,120.00
37North Dakota$ 56,090.00
38Oklahoma$ 55,950.00
39Indiana$ 55,250.00
40Arizona$ 55,180.00
41Alabama$ 54,630.00
42Louisiana$ 53,950.00
43Idaho$ 53,820.00
44Montana$ 53,660.00
45Arkansas$ 53,570.00
46West Virginia$ 53,540.00
47North Carolina$ 52,280.00
48Missouri$ 48,900.00
49South Dakota$ 48,620.00
50Mississippi$ 48,030.00

Note that high school teacher salaries by state are a mix of hourly salaries and annual salaries regardless of hours of work. This makes calculating the data for average hourly salaries by state difficult.


How To Become a High School Teacher

High school is a critical phase in a student’s life. It is where they make further, mature developments academically, socially, and emotionally as they move closer to adulthood. For high school teachers, it is an opportunity to guide and impart necessary life lessons to these high school students and prepare them to become valuable members of society. This is one reason why being a high school teacher can be one of the most challenging jobs an aspiring teacher can have.

Each state has its own requirements for aspiring high school teachers, but all will certainly require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum. This degree may or may not be in education, but in some states, you may be required to have majored in at least one specific content area, such as history or science. There may also be some states that will require a master’s degree in addition to a bachelor’s.

Most states also have a state-required licensure exam for prospective high school teachers. The process for taking this exam can vary by state, with some requiring aspirants to undergo student-teaching internships prior to taking the exam.

You can learn more about your options by reaching out to an experienced and accredited organization that provides information and guidance on how to become a high school teacher.