Although teaching is a rewarding and fulfilling job, it is also extremely hard work. In an effort to shed light on the current state of teaching opportunities, and to draw attention to the states that deserve accolades and those that need improvement, WalletHub recently released their list of the best and worst states for teachers in 2016. They analyzed 50 states plus the District of Columbia across 16 key metrics to make their determinations. Let’s take a look at the states that ranked at the top of the list — the states that are the best for teachers.
Total Score: 63.26
Job Opportunity and Competition Rank: 17 of 51
Academic and Work Environment Rank: 2 of 51
Teaching in any state is challenging, but New Jersey teachers might have it a little better than most. The state’s high overall academic and work environment ranking helped to land them in this top slot. With relatively low pupil-to-teacher ratios, high average spending per student, and the second to best score for overall school system ranking, it’s not difficult to understand why.
Total Score: 61.76
Job Opportunity and Competition Rank: 14 of 51
Academic and Work Environment Rank: 5 of 51
Massachusetts schools received the honor of best school system ranking of all the states. However, although their score was still relatively high compared with the rest of the country, the job opportunities and the overall cost of living in the state took them out of the running for the very top slot.
Total Score: 61.48
Job Opportunity and Competition Rank: 4 of 51
Academic and Work Environment Rank: 20 of 51
The relatively low cost of living and working as a teacher in the state of Illinois is one of the reasons their overall ranking came out toward the top of this list. Of all the states analyzed for this report, Illinois had the second highest rank for salary when adjusted for cost of living.
Total Score: 61.42
Job Opportunity and Competition Rank: 3 of 51
Academic and Work Environment Rank: 19 of 51
Minnesota schools were ranked as the overall fourth best for teachers this year, falling just one slot since last year. Relatively low cost of living coupled with plenty of job opportunities makes Minnesota one of the best places for teachers to work in the country.
Total Score: 61.20
Job Opportunity and Competition Rank: 9 of 51
Academic and Work Environment Rank: 12 of 51
Wyoming schools came in fifth best for teachers this year. This state actually had the highest average starting salary for teachers, when adjusted for cost of living. Hawaii had the lowest, $24,334 for first year teacher. Wyoming’s pay, $46,626, which is 1.9 times higher, placed them in this top slot once cost-of-living adjustments were made.
For more information, and to see how your state ranked, be sure to check out the full report from WalletHub.
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