Here's the average school teacher salary in California

Despite record-level increases in some states, the average school teacher pay nationwide has failed to keep up with inflation over the past decade.

According to the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers union, on average, teachers are making 5% less than they did 10 years ago.

This is especially alarming for educators who live in states with a high cost of living, such as California and New York.

Based on the NEA study that examined teacher salaries for the 2022-23 school year, the Golden State topped the list. However, that comes with experience, as Washington D.C. took the first spot for the highest average starting teacher salary at $63,373. 

California average teacher starting salary

  • California ranks fourth in the nation with an average starting teacher salary of $55,283

California average teacher salary

  • California topped the list with teachers making an average of $95,160 for the 2022-23 school year

When looking at California overall, the minimum living wage was $68,182. Of course, that number increases when looking at big cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. 


States with the highest average teacher salaries: 

California ($95,160)

New York ($92,696)

Massachusetts ($92,307)

Washington ($86,804)

District of Columbia ($84,882)

States with the lowest average teacher salaries: 

West Virginia ($52,870)

Florida ($53,098)

South Dakota ($53,153) 

Mississippi ($53,354) 

Missouri ($53,999)

Check out a full map that shows the school teacher salary averages and starting salary averages in each state for 2024.

FOX 29 Philadelphia helped contribute to this report.