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Do Texas Teachers Make More Money?

Teaching Jobs

Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on November 29, 2017

Is Texas a great state for teachers?

Will I receive a fair salary for my work as a teacher?

How do Texas teachers stack up to the competition in terms of treatment and compensation?

A recent survey conducted by financial website, WalletHub, sought to answer these questions and more to help prospective teacher candidates determine which states provide the best opportunities for job growth and satisfaction.

Here is the study criteria:

“WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 21 key indicators of teacher-friendliness. Our data set ranges from teachers’ income growth potential to pupil-teacher ratio to teacher safety.”

You can review the methodology HERE: 2017 WalletHub Teacher Study


The Results: How Does Texas Stack Up To The Competition?


Texas-teachersWhen evaluated against its peers, Texas was slightly above average at number 20. It received high marks in the following categories:

  • Teacher-effectiveness requirements (No. 1)
  • Average starting salary for teachers (No. 2, adjusted for cost of living)
  • Average teacher pension (No. 2, adjusted for cost of living)
  • Projected teacher tenure (No. 6)
  • Growth in public school enrollment (No. 7)

But the state ranking was dropped down because of low rankings in the following categories:

  • Strength of teachers’ union (No. 44)
  • Income growth potential for teachers (No. 43)
  • Projected teacher turnover (No. 43)

While there is definitely room for improvement, when compared to our direct neighbors, Texas is doing substantially better. Here are the rankings for the adjacent states:

  • Arkansas (No. 34)
  • Oklahoma (No. 42)
  • New Mexico (No. 44)
  • Louisiana (No. 46)


Show Me The Money


One of the most important questions that we get asked by prospective teaching candidates is……..How much can I expect to earn as a Texas teacher?

The study does a good job of breaking down the different elements that factor into the financial aspect of becoming a teacher. Texas does an excellent job at the beginning and end of a teacher’s career in terms of financial competitiveness, ranking #2 in the survey for both Average Starting Salary and Average Teacher Pension.

texas-teachers-salaryStarting salary can be boosted if you are qualified for the “Most In Demand Teaching Positions,” like STEM, bilingual or special education.

That’s the Great News!!

The Bad News……...Texas ranks near the bottom for Income Growth Potential, meaning that while our teachers get a head start over the competition, most other states do a better job of keeping up with inflation and salary growth.

Texas is still recovering from the Great Recession of 2008, and lawmakers are being pressured to increase funding and investment in our schools.  If you would like to get a better understanding of the challenges, this recent Statesman article sheds light on the challenges facing our state.

On a brighter note, our pension is one of the best in the U.S. when adjusted for cost of living and inflation.

For more information on the financial side of becoming a Texas teacher, read our recent article: How Much Can I Expect To Earn When Becoming a Teacher in Texas.

The Bottom Line


No honest discussion of becoming a teacher would be complete without a discussion of the challenges that teachers face.

As a teacher, you can often expect heavy workloads during the school year with large class sizes and potential issues with classroom behavior. These are two of the major reasons listed for those that start and then choose to leave teaching.

All of these are areas that districts around the state  need to improve upon in order to increase the retention of great young teachers.

Also, in our opinion, or State Legislators need to look at the state of our retention numbers and make adjustments to the areas where we fall short in this state…..namely fair teacher salary growth.

With all of this being said, Texas has a lot to offer for prospective teachers, while there is obvious room for improvement, there is a lot to be desired about living in working in our great state.

For prospective teaching candidates, becoming a teacher is a calling and to be effective, you must have a heart to serve others. While the financial rewards may not currently match those offered in other careers, the rewards of helping others and being adequately compensated both in service and in retirement are there.

And Texas is a GREAT PLACE to live and work!!

If you are thinking about a career as a teacher here are some resources to help you in your decision process.  Pick up a copy of "The First Days of School" by Harry Wong. Or if you are thinking about becoming a secondary teacher, get "The Classroom Management Book" by the same author.  

Once you read these, you'll have more confidence in determining whether teaching is the right career choice for you.


texas teachers

Topics: Teaching Jobs

Written by Micah Fikes

Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank. In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.

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