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15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Teachers are not in their profession for the money, but rather the love, but these highest paying cities for teachers can make a living a little easier for educators.

At this point, whoever doesn’t think teachers are underpaid is a fool. Most teachers put in a lot more hours than the rest of us, while dealing with classrooms of energetic kids or moody teenagers all day. On top of this, many of them barely make enough money to survive between the cost of living and paying off student loans. Instead of getting a much-anticipated summer break from it all, they instead have to turn to part-time jobs or summer school to make ends meet. Thinking about this makes you wonder, just where are teachers paid the most in the world? Well, we know the answer to that is not the U.S. Rather it’s countries like Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Germany who pay their teachers the best, which you can learn more about with this list of highest paying countries for teachers.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Evgeny Vorobiev/

We all know the United States could step up the game on education — especially when it comes to teacher salary. Just take a look at the lowest paying states for teachers in our article on the states where teachers earn the lowest salaries, and you will see what we’re talking about. As in any career, salaries for teachers differ based on location, as the cost of living changes. The best cities for teachers to live aren’t always the ones where they make the most money because those places are often too expensive when it comes to cost of living. A recent GoodCall study named the best places for teachers and some of them are Bentonville, Arkansas, Glenview, Illinois, and Burlington, Vermont. This “best city for teachers 2017” study was based on how far a teacher’s salary goes based on the cost of living. These areas are probably among some of the happiest teachers state because they don’t have to stress so much on how to make ends meet.

According to Niche Blog, the national average starting teacher salary is around $36,000, and the average teacher salary is around $56,383 (which takes some time to get to). Since the cost of living varies by state and city, we decided to look into the highest paying cities for teachers rather than the highest paying teaching jobs by state to come up with this list. Our main sources for gathering this information were Indeed, GoodCall, and Google. We have ranked the cities on our list by salaries – the higher the salary, the higher is city placed on our list. Keep in mind that many of these salaries are higher, due to a higher cost of living in that city or area. However, we did not include cost of living in ranking. So, let’s out list of highest paying cities for teachers.

15. Orlando, Florida

Average Salary: $44,197

To kick off our list of highest paying cities for teachers we have Orlando. Teachers in this state don’t have the best average salary, but surely it’s a lot better than many others across the country. Florida ranks around midway when it comes to national education rankings by state so that they could use some quality teachers. If sunshine and warm weather are your thing, you can’t go wrong with a teaching job here.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Pixabay/Public Domain

14. Dallas, Texas

Average Salary: $46,624

Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that saying, thankfully, applies to the average teacher salaries as well. The best part is that the cost of living is relatively low in Dallas, as well as in other parts of Texas, so teacher’s salary can go a lot further than it would go in different cities of the same size.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Pixabay/Public Domain

13. Memphis, Tennessee

Average Salary: $46,679

Memphis is a vibrant, bustling city and home to America’s blues, soul and rock n’ roll. Teachers can earn a comfortable salary, while also living comfortably since the housing prices are pretty normal. The city has a rich history, especially when it comes to Civil Rights, so there’s no better place to make the city your classroom.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Larry Donald, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

12. Detroit, Michigan

Average Salary: $47,112

Detroit hasn’t gained the best of reputations in recent years when it comes to places to live. Let’s face it; nobody is pressed to move to Detroit. The area has even faced an “extreme shortage” in teachers, so they have to entice teachers with something, so salary isn’t a bad place to start.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Pixabay/Public Domain

11. Atlanta, Georgia

Average Salary: $47,825

The Atlanta area has a ton of school districts that are all vastly different. You may not be able to live too comfortably in the heart of the city on a teacher’s salary, but there are plenty of suburbs within driving distance. All teachers in Georgia receive retirement benefits and access to healthcare, so that’s a plus too.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Pixabay/Public Domain

10. San Antonio, Texas

Average Salary: $48,970

Texas shows up again on our list of highest paying cities for teachers, this time with San Antonio. Again, a lower cost of living makes this decent teacher salary look even more attractive. Like Georgia, the benefits for teachers are also pretty good.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Pixabay/Public Domain

9. Austin, Texas

Average Salary: $49,717

Coming in at number nine on our list of highest paying cities for teachers we have Austin, Texas. Austin has been on the come up in the past few years and is one of America’s trendier cities. There are also a lot of young people moving to Austin, so if you are a young teacher, the potential to make an average salary of almost $50,000 is not bad at all.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers


8. Houston, Texas

Average Salary: $50,028

If you haven’t noticed yet, teaching pays off in Texas. Honestly, if you’re a teacher and you don’t mind the heat (or the south), you should be in Texas, where the benefits are good, the salary is comfortable and the cost of living is low.

7. Richmond, Virginia

Average Salary: $50,587

At this point, we’ve crossed, well, over $50,000 when it comes to average teaching salary and that’s not a bad salary at all. Most importantly, you will not have the stress of constantly feeling like you are just scraping by, along with job’s own stresses. Unfortunately for Richmond (and many other cities) a decent salary just isn’t enough anymore, especially when you factor in the long hours. The city has recently faced a shortage of teachers.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Sean Pavone/

6. Sacramento, California

Average Salary: $57,274

We are continuing our list of highest paying cities for teachers with Sacramento that is a beautiful city, and like most places in California, it’s not cheap to live there. At first glance, the average teaching salary of $57,274 looks great, that is until you look at the cost of living. There’s a reason why that number is higher than usual. The recession left 32,000 California educators without a job, so now many of the state’s cities are scrambling to bring teachers back.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers


5. Los Angeles, California

Average Salary: $58,990

We all know Los Angeles is not a cheap place to live. The adjusted salary (for cost of living) is around $10,000 less than the actual average salary, which is a big difference. In other words, the pay has to be as good as it is so that teachers can survive.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Joseph Sohm/

4. Seattle, Washington

Average Salary: $59,174

If you don’t mind a lot of rain and a little sun, Seattle that ranked 4th on our list of highest paying cities for teachers may not be a bad place for your teaching career. Even though it’s a popular city and expensive to live in, an average teaching salary of about $60,000 isn’t too bad.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Pixabay/Public Domain

3. Riverside, California

Average Salary: $62,192

Riverside, California is near San Bernardino and not too far from Los Angeles. Riverside’s not one of the “big” cities in California, so your money just might go a little bit farther.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Pixabay/Public Domain

2. San Francisco, California

Average Salary: $63,364

San Francisco is an awesome city with so much to offer, but it’s also not far off from being the most expensive city in America. We guess it’s a good thing that the city even made it onto this list considering New York City doesn’t rank among places with the highest teacher pay. While this average salary is a reflection of the cost of living, $63,364 doesn’t go very far here.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers


1. San Jose, California

Average Salary: $67,075

It’s no surprise that another California city tops our list of highest paying cities for teachers, as it’s one of the most expensive states to live in America. That $67,000 salary looks a lot more like $50,000 when the cost of living is factored in, so it’s not as glamorous as it seems. If you do take a job here, at least you’ll be in a bustling city and not far from the California beaches.

15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers