Before you begin searching for a teaching job, it’s wise to have healthy expectations of what you can expect for a salary in Texas.
Salaries can vary greatly from district to district, with major metropolitan areas like Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth offering some of the highest average salaries in the state. However, other factors such as grade level and subject area, also have an influence on the amount you take home after a hard day’s work.
Thanks to a new bill signed into law in 2019, the minimum salary schedule increased by $5,500 to $9,000 per creditable year of service.
The increase, which went into effect for the 2019-20 school year, was part of an effort to attract and retain more qualified teachers to Texas in the wake of a statewide teacher shortage. The law requires school districts to at minimum meet the base salary requirements (reflected by an individual’s years of experience) outlined in the chart below.
Years of Experience
New Minimum Monthly Salary
New Minimum Annual Salary
In addition to classroom teachers, the new minimum salary requirements also apply to full-time:
Counselors certified under Subchapter B, Chapter 21
As mentioned before, larger metropolitan areas tend to offer higher salaries overall. Looking at the most recent salary data provided by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), out of the 20 education regions in Texas, Region 4 (Houston) offered the highest average base salary at $57,707. Houston was followed by Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio.
However, several mid-size areas still offered an average base pay of over $50,000, including Edinburg, Huntsville, El Paso, Midland, Austin, Corpus Christi and Amarillo.
For those who want to teach but are concerned about salary, alternative schools may be the right career path for you. For example, the open enrollment charter Academy for Academic Excellence in Dallas offers an average teacher base pay of $80,859.
However, it’s important to note that there are fewer alternative schools compared to public schools, so finding employment may be more challenging.
Though salaries vary among districts, one area to keep in mind is the subject you teach. That’s because the state of Texas if experiencing a shortage in several subject areas, including:
Bilingual and English as a second language
Career Technical Education (CTE)
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Just like the laws of supply and demand, when there is a greater need for filling these in demand teaching jobs, districts may be able to offer more incentives, including higher pay.
Other Factors To Consider
Although salary is an important factor to consider when looking for any kind of job, one thing to keep in mind is that there are several secondary benefits to becoming a teacher when it comes to pay.
For instance, depending on the subject area you choose to teach, you may qualify for loan forgiveness programs. Eliminating or reducing a monthly student loan bill right out of the gate could possibly provide you with a little bit more wiggle room regarding what salary you can afford to accept.
Though you often don’t attach a number to a benefits package, it’s important to consider this factor when looking at potential pay.
That’s because healthcare costs have skyrocketed. A Kaiser Family Foundation report, in fact, found the amount of money Americans spent on healthcare costs increased exponentially by almost 128 times from 1960 to 2017.
Benefits packages will vary across the state by district. Before you accept a position, inquire into what benefits packages and pension contributions are available so you have a more accurate picture of your overall offer.
In most districts, you will also have the benefit of having breaks throughout the year, namely a summer break that could last as long as two months. Although a teacher’s contract pays you for the number of days you work per year (usually somewhere around 180 days), many school districts will allow you to spread your pay over 12 months so you don’t have a break in pay.
Though you certainly deserve that time off, after all the after-school hours you likely put in during the course of the school year, you could choose to work a part-time or temporary full-time job over the summer. This will allow you to pick up additional hours and pay.
Help For The Next Step
Weighing all the factors that go into a teacher’s salary can be a lot to process. If you’re unsure of whether teaching is the path you want to take, our article, Why A Career Change To Teaching May Be Right For You, outlines not only the benefits of teaching, but ways you can dip your toes into teaching without taking that full plunge quite yet.
If you decide your salary expectations for a teaching position align with the reality of what districts offer in the state of Texas and you don’t yet have your teaching license, it’s important to find the right alternative certification program that meets your needs so that you can fulfill your dream of educating today’s youth.
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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