Teachers earn the most after graduating from these 25 colleges

Teachers earn the most after graduating from these 25 colleges

Teachercertification.com sourced data from the Department of Education to determine which colleges yield the highest-earning students with undergraduate degrees in teaching and education for grades K-12.  

Posted

A teacher helping an elementary school student who is smiling up at them.

Canva

The annual average salary of K-12 school teachers has been a growing concern for public officials and educators alike for decades. It is one of the leading causes of the teacher shortage, affecting 75% of the U.S.

School districts also face two key additional challenges that contribute to staffing deficits—the high cost of becoming a teacher and state licensure requirements, which vary from state to state and do not always transfer from one locale to another. When the demands of the job and shrinking budgets come into the mix, the full picture of what underlies the national teacher shortage begins to clarify. Workplace culture and compensation are the prevailing motivators for educators to switch to different careers.

The U.S. lost nearly 7% of the teaching staff during the two years following the pandemic, according to a February 2022 report from the Economic Policy Institute. A parallel study, released in October of that year by the Government Accountability Office, revealed those losses hit harder in the Western United States and, more generally, in rural and urban areas than in suburban districts.

Many teachers view their careers as a vocational calling to serve the community and have remained devoted to children and teens despite the myriad challenges the profession currently faces—with some even moving to different cities or states to fulfill their professional and personal aspirations. But at the end of the day, they, too, still have to be able to support themselves and their families—and the limited earnings potential of educators has now become a national crisis.

On the bright side, there's no shortage of jobs available for educators. In this regard, the shortage works in prospective teachers' favor—they may be able to negotiate for certain conditions or perks beyond financial compensation that employers may not have included in initial offers.

Colleges and universities offer different paths to becoming a K-12 educator, often adapted to the student's field of preference and personal goals. But graduates from some schools' education programs have gone on to earn more than others.

Using data from the Department of Education, Teachercertification.com determined, by median earnings three years post-graduation, which colleges yielded the highest-earning students with undergraduate degrees in teaching and education for grades K-12—from early childhood and elementary education through high school. Data is from the 2020-2021 school year representing undergraduate students from the class of 2018. The average cost of attendance, as shown for each school listed, includes books costs, as well as living-related expenses.

Continue reading to discover the schools that have produced the highest-earning early career teachers.

#25. University of the Pacific, California

A teacher lecturing a college class.

Canva

- Median salary: $48,100
- Average admission rate: 70.8%
- On-time graduation rate: 44.8%
- Average cost of attendance: $64,784
--- Average in-state tuition: $51,094
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $51,094

#24. Turtle Mountain Community College, North Dakota

College students wearing backpacks walking toward an academic building.

Canva

- Median salary: $48,227
- Average admission rate: not available
- On-time graduation rate: 16.7%
- Average cost of attendance: $14,646
--- Average in-state tuition: $2,250
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $2,250

#23. Centenary University, New Jersey

A teacher giving a lecture to a class of students.

Canva

- Median salary: $48,252
- Average admission rate: 93.0%
- On-time graduation rate: 50.3%
- Average cost of attendance: $44,856
--- Average in-state tuition: $34,498
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $34,498

#22. Caldwell University, New Jersey

A Caldwell University Cougars banner on display in downtown Caldwell.

quiggyt4 // Shutterstock

- Median salary: $48,271
- Average admission rate: 91.5%
- On-time graduation rate: 51.5%
- Average cost of attendance: $50,245
--- Average in-state tuition: $36,700
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $36,700

#21. Stockton University, New Jersey

Stockton University Sports Center in Galloway.

Rosemarie Mosteller // Shutterstock

- Median salary: $48,400
- Average admission rate: 77.3%
- On-time graduation rate: 58.3%
- Average cost of attendance: $30,721
--- Average in-state tuition: $14,329
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $21,763

#20. William Paterson University of New Jersey, New Jersey

A sign for William Paterson University.

Paul Zimmerman // Getty Images

- Median salary: $48,571
- Average admission rate: 80.6%
- On-time graduation rate: 36.8%
- Average cost of attendance: $25,327
--- Average in-state tuition: $13,770
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $22,336

#19. Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii

Students studying using their textbook and a laptop.

Canva

- Median salary: $48,585
- Average admission rate: 89.0%
- On-time graduation rate: 43.3%
- Average cost of attendance: $38,649
--- Average in-state tuition: $26,914
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $26,914

#18. Texas Christian University, Texas

The entrance sign at Texas Christian University.

Grindstone Media Group // Shutterstock

- Median salary: $48,804
- Average admission rate: 48.0%
- On-time graduation rate: 70.0%
- Average cost of attendance: $68,072
--- Average in-state tuition: $51,660
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $51,660

#17. Washington State University, Washington

An aerial view of the buildings on the campus of Washington State University.

Canva

- Median salary: $48,999
- Average admission rate: 80.0%
- On-time graduation rate: 36.6%
- Average cost of attendance: $26,068
--- Average in-state tuition: $12,170
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $27,113

#16. University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii

A wide view of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Canva

- Median salary: $49,050
- Average admission rate: 83.7%
- On-time graduation rate: 35.3%
- Average cost of attendance: $23,405
--- Average in-state tuition: $12,186
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $34,218

#15. Heritage University, Washington

A college lecture hall as seen from the rear.

Canva

- Median salary: $49,886
- Average admission rate: not available
- On-time graduation rate: 22.5%
- Average cost of attendance: $25,478
--- Average in-state tuition: $18,332
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $18,332

#14. University of Maryland-College Park, Maryland

An aerial view of a street on the campus of the University of Maryland-College Park.

Canva

- Median salary: $49,928
- Average admission rate: 51.0%
- On-time graduation rate: 69.8%
- Average cost of attendance: $27,343
--- Average in-state tuition: $10,779
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $36,891

#13. Western Washington University, Washington

Old Main Hall at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Jim Feliciano // Shutterstock

- Median salary: $49,947
- Average admission rate: 93.5%
- On-time graduation rate: 38.2%
- Average cost of attendance: $24,465
--- Average in-state tuition: $8,508
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $25,266

#12. Seton Hall University, New Jersey

An aerial view of Seton Hall in South Orange.

FotosForTheFuture // Shutterstock

- Median salary: $50,010
- Average admission rate: 78.2%
- On-time graduation rate: 64.9%
- Average cost of attendance: $60,646
--- Average in-state tuition: $45,290
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $45,290

#11. Kean University, New Jersey

Michael Graves Institute for Architecture and Design at Kean University.

EQRoy // Shutterstock

- Median salary: $50,263
- Average admission rate: 78.1%
- On-time graduation rate: 26.2%
- Average cost of attendance: $25,863
--- Average in-state tuition: $12,445
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $19,621

#10. Boston College, Massachusetts

A building on the campus of Boston College.

Canva

- Median salary: $50,515
- Average admission rate: 26.4%
- On-time graduation rate: 89.3%
- Average cost of attendance: $75,872
--- Average in-state tuition: $60,202
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $60,202

#9. Central Washington University, Washington

A building on the campus of Central Washington University.

Canva

- Median salary: $50,707
- Average admission rate: 86.0%
- On-time graduation rate: 34.1%
- Average cost of attendance: $24,008
--- Average in-state tuition: $8,444
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $24,520

#8. University of Scranton, Pennsylvania

The University of Scranton library building with an entrance sign and flags.

Kristi Blokhin // Shutterstock

- Median salary: $51,105
- Average admission rate: 78.7%
- On-time graduation rate: 73.6%
- Average cost of attendance: $62,380
--- Average in-state tuition: $47,084
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $47,084

#7. Pacific Lutheran University, Washington

A college student on their laptop in a library.

Canva

- Median salary: $52,405
- Average admission rate: 86.3%
- On-time graduation rate: 62.9%
- Average cost of attendance: $56,830
--- Average in-state tuition: $46,850
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $46,850

#6. The College of New Jersey, New Jersey

A professor of history at the College of New Jersey, speaking to students during a teach-in on the college campus.

William Thomas Cain // Getty Images

- Median salary: $52,427
- Average admission rate: 51.3%
- On-time graduation rate: 74.8%
- Average cost of attendance: $35,502
--- Average in-state tuition: $16,029
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $28,007

#5. Rider University, New Jersey

The campus entrance sign at Rider University.

EQRoy // Shutterstock

- Median salary: $52,704
- Average admission rate: 75.7%
- On-time graduation rate: 57.5%
- Average cost of attendance: $61,693
--- Average in-state tuition: $45,860
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $45,860

#4. Felician University, New Jersey

Two college students taking a test in a lecture hall.

Canva

- Median salary: $53,500
- Average admission rate: 93.6%
- On-time graduation rate: 33.7%
- Average cost of attendance: $49,240
--- Average in-state tuition: $35,000
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $35,000

#3. Bloomfield College, New Jersey

Bookshelves forming a hallway in a college library.

DavidPinoPhotography // Shutterstock

- Median salary: $54,078
- Average admission rate: 84.7%
- On-time graduation rate: 18.8%
- Average cost of attendance: $43,493
--- Average in-state tuition: $30,680
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $30,680

#2. New York University, New York

Campus buildings at New York University.

Canva

- Median salary: $56,268
- Average admission rate: 21.1%
- On-time graduation rate: 79.2%
- Average cost of attendance: $73,759
--- Average in-state tuition: $54,880
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $54,880

#1. College of Staten Island CUNY, New York

Two college students studying together in a classroom.

Canva

- Median salary: $56,689
- Average admission rate: not available
- On-time graduation rate: 25.8%
- Average cost of attendance: $15,176
--- Average in-state tuition: $7,490
--- Average out-of-state tuition: $15,440

This story originally appeared on Teachercertification.com and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.





Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions