How much do teachers make an hour?

Teaching is one of the most lucrative careers, with plenty of benefits, including health insurance, Social Security, state pension, and consistent pay even during school breaks. 

If you are aspiring to be a teacher or searching for teaching opportunities, you may want to know how much you will earn per hour. Read on to know how much you can earn teaching at different levels and salary comparisons across cities. 

How much do teachers make an hour? (Quick Answer)

The following are the average hourly rates you can expect to earn teaching at different school levels:

Pre-school – $16.15. 

Elementary schools – $19.40

Middle schools – $25.66

High schools – $20.41

Colleges – $21.23

However, the rate depends on many factors, which we’ll cover later in the article. The amount does not include benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. 

While this is a decent wage for some people, especially considering that most teachers work around 7 hours daily, the pay is considerably lower than other skilled professionals like doctors, nurses, accountants, etc.

Teachers’ salaries in different cities in the USA

CityStateEstimated average hourly pay
East HamptonNew York$20.75
Port ChesterNew York$19.39
San MateoCalifornia$18.33
Westhampton BeachNew York$19.13
Fort BelvoirVirginia$19.08
Green RiverWyoming$18.16
Florham ParkNew Jersey$18.03

Factors that can influence your salary as a teacher

Below are factors that can impact your salary as a teacher in the USA. The exact combination of factors and their relative importance can vary depending on the specific school and location. They include:


Different cities and towns have different costs of living, and this explains the differences in the hourly rates that teachers earn in each city. For example, New York teachers earn higher salaries than Mississippi teachers. 

Hence, if you’re a teacher a larger city and a state with a higher cost of living, you’ll generally earn more. Therefore, the location where you work as a teacher can impact your salary. 

Your teaching level

Your hourly pay as a teacher varies according to your teaching level. Preschools, elementary, middle, high, and universities are a few examples of the various educational levels. 

For example, preschool teachers earn less than middle school and college teachers. Also, higher level teachers may be required to have higher qualifications, which could take longer to qualify. 

Years of experience

Less experienced teachers often make less money than more experienced teachers. As you teach and tuck more teaching and managerial experience, you can expect to get a complementary salary increase. 

Education level

If you have advanced degrees and certifications, you can earn higher salaries than those with only a bachelor’s degree or diploma.

Teachers who are certified in specific areas, such as bilingual, special education, and sports coaching, earn more than those who are not certified.

Types of schools

Another factor in how much teachers make an hour is whether you’re a private or public school teacher. Teachers in private schools tend to make more than their public school counterparts. 

On the other hand, if you’re a teacher at charter schools, you may earn less than a teacher in traditional public schools.

Subject matter and specialization

Teachers who specialize in STEM subjects, such as math or science, earn more than those who teach general subjects. 

Specializing in high-demand subjects like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) may earn you more than those who specialize in other subjects. 

Union membership 

If you become a union member, you are in a better position to negotiate a higher salary and more benefits than non-union teachers.

School district funding

If you go to a school with more resources and that are funded by taxpayers, you may earn a higher salary than teaching in regular schools. 

Requirements for a teacher in the US

Teacher requirements in the USA vary by state. However, the most common eligibility requirements for a teacher in the United States are

Bachelor’s degree in education or a relevant field.

State-issued teaching license or certification

Successful completion of teacher preparation program

Criminal background check and fingerprinting

Pass Basic skills exams

Complete continuing education courses to maintain license

However, it’s important to note that additional requirements may be needed, such as a master’s degree, student teaching experience, and passing specific subject-related exams. 

These are crucial skills you need to have a successful teaching career.

Here are some skills you might need if you’re after a successful teaching career in the USA.

Strong communication skills

When interacting with students, parents, or coworkers, you must be able to communicate clearly. This way, you can develop positive relationships.

Good communication skills also help create a supportive learning environment.

Patience and empathy

As a teacher, you must be patient and understanding, especially with students struggling with concepts. You also should show empathy to students with personal challenges affecting their learning. 

Lesson planning and delivery

If you’re looking for a successful career as a teacher, you need the ability to create and deliver engaging, meaningful, and well-structured lessons. This way, all of your students will benefit from these lessons.

Adaptability and flexibility

You need the ability to adapt to changes. Whether incorporating new technologies, adjusting to new standards, or working with diverse student populations. 

Subject matter knowledge

You need a deep understanding of the subject matter of your preference. Such an understanding will also help you communicate effectively with your students in answering questions and creating engaging lessons.

Classroom management skills

You need strong classroom management skills to maintain a safe and productive learning environment. It may include managing student behavior, enforcing rules and procedures, and handling other challenging situations.

Assessment and evaluation 

You must understand the importance of assessment and evaluation techniques. You’ll use these techniques to monitor your student’s progress, provide feedback and be able to adjust your teaching strategies as needed.

Continuous professional development

You must keep up with the most recent teaching strategies and educational technology. Best practices are essential for success as a teacher and demonstrate a commitment to your profession’s growth and development. 

Read also, how to make money in medical school.


Some will argue that teaching is less lucrative than other highly-skilled professions such as law or doctors. However, how lucrative teaching can depend on many factors, from your location, experience, and more. 

And even though teaching feels like it lacks financial rewards, it makes up for intrinsic value and satisfaction from knowing that you’re directly contributing to the betterment of society. Without you as a teacher, our society would lack direction and knowledge. That makes teachers valuable assets, and they should be rewarded accordingly!

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