Beyond the Classroom

The 5 Best States for Teachers

A few states stood above the rest for top places to be a teacher in the Unites States.

No one said teaching was easy (and those who did have probably never taught). But as educators, there are other factors besides student success that can influence the teaching experience. Like any working professional, factors like average starting salary, income growth potential, attrition rate, safety and commute time are important job considerations, too.

WalletHub recently rounded up its list of the best (and worst) states for teachers in 2015. Here are their top five:

  1. Massachusetts. Opportunity and Competition Rank: 9 of 51; Academic and Work Environment Rank: 3 of 51
    Take a well-deserved bow, Massachusetts, on your first place overall ranking. The state ranked first in what WalletHub called “best school system ranking.” Massachusetts’ average per-pupil spending is about $15,000.
  2. Virginia. Opportunity and Competition Rank: 2 of 51; Academic and Work Environment Rank: 14 of 51
    Coming in second overall is Virginia, where there are plenty of opportunities for teachers to grow their careers. According to state data, the median teacher salary in 2014 was nearly $54,000.
  3. Minnesota. Opportunity and Competition Rank: 3 of 51; Academic and Work Environment Rank: 10 of 51
    With higher-than-normal annual salaries and public school spending per capita, Minnesota leads the Midwest in best overall state’s to teach. Minnesota is still working to diversify its 96 percent white teacher workforce as well as fill positions in subjects like science, math, and Spanish.
  4. Wyoming. Opportunity and Competition Rank: 4 of 51; Academic and Work Environment Rank: 13 of 51
    Although Wyoming dropped from its No. 1 slot in 2014, it still leads the West as best overall place to teach. Boasting a low pupil to teacher ratio and one of the highest annual salaries (adjusted for cost of living), Wyoming also slides into first as the best in the nation for teaching underprivileged students (who qualify for the National School Lunch Program) to read.
  5. New Jersey.Opportunity and Competition Rank: 20 of 51; Academic and Work Environment Rank: 2 of 51
    Rounding out the top five states to be an educator is another East Coast state — New Jersey. It has one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratios in the country, some of the highest public school spending, and one of the best school system ranks.

Check out Forbes’ full list for more information.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you agree with WalletHub’s findings? What factors matter most when deciding where to teach?


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