Lots of people dream about being teachers when they’re young, which is why we’ve created this list of the 25 best states for kindergarten teachers to help future (or current!) educators find a potential new home.
Most people remember their kindergarten teacher, as it’s the first experience we have in school (unless you were super cool and wanted to preschool, but I did not so this is just my humble perspective). I remember in kindergarten all we had to do was play with legos, write for maybe 30 minutes, and color inside the lines with crayon. We probably learned a few things, too, but I don’t remember. I only remember the fun things and the friends I had. Well, kind of.
For some, being a kindergarten teacher is pretty close to being a parent. There are instances where you kind of have to parent a bit, as you’re the disciplinarian for a few hours out of the day and this is the first time children are in a proper school environment. Kindergarten teachers are highly underrated and deserve a lot more appreciation for their contributions.
In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said kindergarten teachers had a median annual wage of $54,550. The highest wage earned was $85,550, while the lowest was $36,190. It’s not much considering the amount of work this job is and the responsibility. Still, there’s a growth in the number of kindergarten teachers in America, which is good because it means that salary isn’t the sole factor in choosing a career path. If it is, check out our list of the 13 Highest Paying Countries for Teachers.
On that note, just because a state pays the highest wages to teachers doesn’t mean it’s the best state for them to live and work in. If you earn so much but end up spending it all on living expenses, then the salary doesn’t really matter much. The best state is the one where you have the opportunity to earn the most in comparison to living expenses. So in order to rank the states here, we did this based on three points: annual salary, which was sourced from BLS; cost of living index, which came from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC); and job availability, also sourced from BLS. Rankings from those points were averaged to allow us to come to our conclusions.
Without further ado, here are the 25 best states for kindergarten teachers: