English Teacher’s Salary

Many factors contribute to the bottom line for an English teacher’s salary. The location, required education level and years of experience all are major contributors to an English teachers salary.

Average English teacher’s salaries are more like ballpark figures — ranging from an average of $40,000 a year  to a much more optimistic with an estimate of $53,000 a year.

One of the things that make it hard to come up with a realistic average is the fact that English is taught at so many levels. You could be teaching first-graders to how to spell “cat” or you could be teaching extensive grammar details at the collegiate level. Needless to say, the difficulty level of your courses is one of the factors that determine the size of your paycheck. Also, you’ll usually earn more if you achieve advanced degrees like a master’s or doctorate.

Education Requirements

The difficulty level of the English class you teach and the specific school which hires you will determine how much education you need to succeed. At a grade school, a basic teaching credential and a bachelor degree in education might be enough to get you in the door. In high schools, a bachelor or even a master degree may be needed. At universities, expect to need a master or even a doctorate degree.

Career Options: What it’s like to be an English Teacher

Elementary School

In many grade schools, all subjects are taught by a single teacher. Even so, there are some exceptions because not all districts use the same program. English teachers in grade schools will find that this environment is much different than that in a school that focuses on older students. Keeping the kids in their seats and generally maintaining control of the classroom will be a much larger part of your job than it would be in other institutions. You should love children even more than you love English if you accept an elementary school position.

Middle School

Middle school generally combines a high school-like schedule with children who are at an in-between maturity level. While you likely won’t have to watch little Bobby to make sure he doesn’t eat a crayon, you will still have to face some immature behavior. This is a good job for you if you enjoy helping kids grow toward adulthood but don’t mind the occasional outburst of elementary school antics.

High School

In high school, each class typically covers only one subject. The length of each class is typically about an hour, but some districts use a two-hour format. The students are more mature, but this is countered by the fact that most high school English classes are mandatory. This means that your class will have to be more interesting in order to keep the attention of those who really couldn’t care less about the subject.

In a high school, you will typically teach several classes every day, with time allotted for paper grading and conferences with parents, but you will typically need to work longer to get all of these related activities done.


In college, you will teach a few longer classes per day. There will be a mix of mandatory and elective English courses taught at the school, so student interest levels will vary. You will find that college students are more apt to ask questions or even challenge what you say, so you will need to know your stuff. Pulling the authority card is unlikely to go over well here, and if you try to avoid questions this way, students will begin to avoid signing up for your classes. Remember that even with mandatory courses, you need to compete against other teachers to get students into your classroom at the collegiate level.

What to Consider if You Become an English Teacher

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t break down an English teacher’s salary  by the type of course taught, but it does list averages based on the type of school. At the elementary level, the median annual English teacher’s salary  salary is $51,380. In a middle school, a teacher gets about $51,960 per year, while high schools pay a median of $53,230 per year. A college professor makes a median of $62,050 per year.

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