The Chicago teacher strike has resurrected the question at the center of much edupontificating: Are American teachers underpaid or overpaid?
For some perspective, we’ve compiled data on the average wages of elementary-school, middle-school, and high school teachers in more than 300 metropolitan areas. As you’ll see, most teachers make more than $45,320, the average yearly wage for all occupations tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet the range of what they earn varies widely: Elementary-school teachers in Jefferson City, Missouri, earn an average of $37,090; their colleagues in Long Island, New York, earn an average of $90,560.
Click on a city on the map below for more information on teachers’ average wages within its greater metropolitan area. Note: Earnings do not include benefits.