States with the worst teacher shortages in the US | Teach Away (2023)

Studies from 2018 show there is a shortage of around 112,000 teachers across the U.S.

While the reasons for teacher shortages are complicated, the effects are easierto see.

A lack of teachers significantly reduces the quality of education each student receives. And classroom sizes keep growing.

This is worrying for students. We can all agree that they deserve access to a good education.

Right now, nearly all the states in the country are facing a shortage. Some more serious than others.

So how did we get here and how bad is the teacher shortage? Let’s take a deeper look at the following topics to get a better idea:

  • Why is there a teacher shortage?
  • How big is the national teacher shortage?
  • Which states have the worst teacher shortages?
  • What are the work conditions for a teacher?
  • How can I become a teacher?

States with the worst teacher shortages in the US | Teach Away (1)

Why is there a teacher shortage?

There are complex reasons for the teacher shortage in the U.S.

But one primary reason is that there is an imbalance of supply and demand for teachers.

Studies predict that schools in the U.S. will see an increase of around three million students in the next decade.

More students obviously mean there is a need for more teachers.

And, interestingly, more teachers with bachelor’s degrees are stepping into the classroom than ever before.

(Video) Schools Face Severe Teacher Shortage Heading Into The Fall

However, many of these teachers are entering the classroom without proper training. Some states are now so deeply in need of teachers they are hiring according to the Warm Body law. This law means anybody with “relevant experience” can enter the classroom.

But teachers without proper training tend to leave the profession much quicker than those who have.

This isn’t surprising – teaching is a multifaceted job that requires a lot of different professional skills. Teachers themselves need to be adequately prepared and supported for the rigors of the job they do.

How big is the national teacher shortage?

The U.S. teacher shortage is visible in data from state and school district officials and state-by-state subject area vacancies.

The only caveat is that not all U.S. states contribute to this data, so it’s hard to say exactly how significant the national teacher shortage is.

Either way, the general picture shows that teachers severely lack throughout the nation.

Many states need more teachers across a wide range of subjects and age groups.

A 2016 report from the Learning Policy Institute stated that many U.S. schools “had serious difficulty finding qualified teachers for their positions.”

Not having enough well-qualified, long-term teachers seriously affect students’ ability to learn. It makes it hard for schools to control class sizes and offer a full curriculum for their students. And student learning can be disrupted by frequently changing school staff.

Data also shows that there is declining enrollment in teacher preparation programs in the U.S.

This means the teacher shortage is expected to continue for some years to come.

States with the worst teacher shortages in the US | Teach Away (2)

Which states have the worst teacher shortages?

It’s hard to say which states have the worst teacher shortages because the data is different for different subjects and criteria. There are many U.S. states with teacher shortages.

(Video) States scramble to deal with teacher shortages ahead of new school year

However, some states have more severe teacher shortages than others. These include:

  1. California
  2. Nevada
  3. Washington
  4. Washington D.C.
  5. Indiana
  6. Arizona
  7. Hawai’i

Let’s take a closer look at each state now.

1. California

Around 80% of California school districts are short on teachers, especially in special education.

The state has invested millions in trying to combat its teacher shortage. This includes raising teachers’ salaries to an average of $77,500 per year, making California teachers the third-highest paid in the U.S.

2. Nevada

In Nevada rural areas and Las Vegas, both need teachers.

Educators are working to find solutions to address the teacher shortage, with some school districts offering signing bonuses to entice applicants.

3. Washington

Washington has specific shortages in math, science and special ed.

As well as making an effort to diversify its teaching, the state has introduced pay hikes for teachers.

4. Washington D.C.

Although starting salaries can be over $50,000, Washington D.C. is short on teachers and substitute teachers.

As well as pay raises, school districts focus on building support systems for teaching staff and “lifting the role of teachers.”

5. Indiana

There have been some signs of improvement in recent years, but Indiana is still short on teachers in all subject areas, especially science and math.

The state is working on solutions such as increasing teacher pay, offering relief on student loans to improve teacher retention.

6. Arizona

Arizona faces one of the most severe teacher shortages in the country, with rural schools lacking staff. The state’s schools are getting creative to find solutions, with programs like teacher mentoring.

(Video) The U.S. Is Dealing With A Teacher Shortage, Education Secretary

For aspiring teachers, it’s also possible to fast-track your teacher certification in Arizona through online study.

7. Hawai’i

Beautiful Hawaii’s isolated location and high cost of living make it hard to retain teachers. Shortages are particularly high in math, science and English.

However, the state has recently revealed a bold 5-year plan to tackle the teacher shortage, including pay raises for educators.

If you’re interested in teaching in Hawai’i take a look at our online Teacher Certification Program to learn more.

What are the work conditions for a teacher?

If you follow the news, you’ll have noticed that teachers across the country have been protesting about their work conditions. It’s true that teaching conditions can vary greatly.

Some states offer worse conditions for teachers than others.

On the other side of the coin, some states offer relatively good conditions for teachers.

And many states which have substantial teacher shortages are even offering some exciting benefits to entice teachers to relocate.

There are two benefits of becoming a teacher that holds true whichever state you decide to work in.

  1. You will make a difference.

If you’ve ever worked a job that feels a bit purposeless, you’ll know how important it is to feel like you matter.

As a teacher, you will wake up in the morning with a clear purpose and a clear role in your community. The work you’ll do will matter and will help make your students feel like they matter too.

  1. You will always have a job and a salary.

In pre-pandemic times this might not have been such a big concern. But right now, job stability is a huge bonus of getting into teaching.

Throughout the pandemic, teachers have kept working to support their students and families. Whatever the future holds, teachers know their jobs aren’t going anywhere.

(Video) Teaching in the US vs. the rest of the world

How can I become a teacher?

If you want to teach, now would be a great time to do it. It all comes down to supply and demand. As you can see, there is plenty of demand.

But it’s in your (and your future students’) best interest to do some teacher training before you step into the classroom.

Traditionally the pathway to becoming a certified teacher involves doing a bachelor’s degree in education followed by a teacher’s preparation program.

But if you already hold a bachelor’s degree( in any other subject) and want to become a teacher, don’t worry, it isn’t too late. You can become a teacher without going back to university, all thanks to alternative teacher certification programs.

Alternative certification provides a pathway for people with bachelor’s degrees to become certified teachers at a fraction of the cost and time it normally takes.

It takes around nine months to complete, making them a quick route into becoming a qualified teacher without sacrificing the quality of preparation.

Be part of the solution!

The truth is, the teacher shortage in the U.S. isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But you can be part of the solution.

If you feel inspired to get into the classroom and embark on a meaningful new career, now is a perfect time.

Teaching can be the best job in the worldif you have the right support system in place. Getting the proper training before you start teaching is essential.

If you can’t go back to school and study for a degree in Education, look into online teacher certification programs. They provide a solid foundation in pedagogy, school systems, and the workings of the classroom. Plus, they offer flexible, online coursework. And they accept applicants year-round.

Most importantly, completing one will give you the confidence and knowledge you need to make your time in the classroom a success.

And that it’s easier than ever to become a teacher through online teacher certification programs.

GET STARTED NOW

(Video) Nationwide Teacher Shortage Causes Concern Ahead Of School Year

FAQs

What states have the greatest teacher shortages? ›

Southern states are seeing the highest amounts of raw teacher vacancies, with Florida coming out on top at 3,911. Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia each have over 3,000 vacancies. Mississippi saw the highest teacher-to-student vacancy rate in the 2021-22 school year.

Where is the highest teacher shortage? ›

Top 10 States with the Worst Teacher Shortages
  • 1. California. Even before the pandemic, the state of California began experiencing mass teacher shortages. ...
  • Nevada. ...
  • Washington. ...
  • Arizona. ...
  • Hawaii. ...
  • Indiana. ...
  • District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) ...
  • Virginia.
8 Aug 2022

What is causing the teacher shortage? ›

Some of the most cited reasons for the deterioration of conditions in the classroom in the included “Workload, more responsibilities, unrealistic expectations,” “Student attitude, apathy, discipline, behavioral issues, truancy,” and “Pay, lack of compensation, not keeping up with inflation.”

Is there a teacher shortage across the United states? ›

America is suffering from a nationwide teacher shortage. Teachers have been leaving the profession for years, but recent stresses from the pandemic and the culture war have caused the entire profession to hit a tipping point.

Why are teachers quitting in Texas? ›

Teachers point to low pay, lack of respect from both the community and elected officials, excessive workloads and pandemic school disruptions as reasons they want to leave. In the classroom, about 98% of respondents say they have to buy their own supplies, with the median cost being about $500.

What is the best state to be a teacher? ›

New York. New York topped our list of best states for teachers, despite its high cost of living.

What type of teacher is most in demand? ›

Types of teachers in highest demand by 2030.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL). ESL educators are some of the most in demand teachers. ...
  • Math Teaching. Another teacher subject in demand is mathematics. ...
  • Science Teaching. What about science teachers? ...
  • Social Studies Teaching. ...
  • Special Education Teaching.
18 Dec 2020

How can we fix the teacher shortage? ›

Increase Funding for Teachers and Schools

Federal or state grants might draw more prospective teachers to preparation programs in academic areas where there is a scarcity of teachers. Federal programs for college loan forgiveness might encourage more teachers to look for jobs in high-needs schools.

Does Florida have a teacher shortage? ›

The Florida Education Association has noted in the past that the shortages and lack of certified teachers or even bus drivers leave students in the state underserved.

Why are teachers so poorly paid? ›

A number of factors contribute to how far a teacher's salary goes—family structure, caregiving responsibilities, health issues, and student loans among them. While many teachers in the U.S. must work second jobs to live comfortably, plenty do not. Some of them live in states that pay better than others.

Is there a teacher shortage in Texas 2022? ›

Educators across Texas have struggled through a teacher shortage, and many say the problem is exacerbated by low pay, political debates over curriculum and declining respect for the profession — not to mention a pandemic that has altered the way children behave and learn.

Are teachers in demand in USA? ›

Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 77,900 openings for high school teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Which state has the highest teacher salary? ›

Maryland has the highest teacher salary of $61,254. Montana has the lowest teacher salary of $34,041. The national average salary for teachers is $47,989. The national hourly pay for teachers is $23.07.
...
Highest-Paid Teachers By State.
Rank1
StateMaryland
Average Teacher Salary$61,254
10th Percentile$40,000
90th Percentile$93,000
49 more columns
2 Aug 2022

Why are so many teachers leaving the profession? ›

The pandemic and shifting political landscape have left teachers feeling overworked and undervalued. According to a 2022 Gallup poll, K-12 teachers report the highest burnout rate of all U.S. professions. More than four out of every 10 teachers said they feel burned out “always” or “very often” at work.

Is teaching job stressful? ›

You'd be surprised to know TEACHING is being called the most stressful job! We have heard of many people who quit their stressful corporate jobs to start their teaching career to make their life easy.

Is there a teacher shortage in Arizona? ›

While Arizona has suffered a teacher shortage for a while now, districts appear to be facing even more teacher vacancies at the start of the school year in 2022 than in years past.

Does Georgia have a teacher shortage? ›

Georgia's attempt to draw experienced teachers back to the classroom comes as the state deals with a massive teacher shortage. According to the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia, more than 56,000 retirees qualify but less than 100 have contacted the system about returning.

Why do teachers leave school? ›

A majority of teachers—55 percent—would not want their child to follow them into the profession, chiefly citing inadequate pay and benefits, job stress, and feeling disrespected or undervalued.

What state has the lowest teacher salary? ›

Mississippi has the lowest average teacher salary of $45,574, followed by West Virginia with $47,826. The other states with average teacher salaries under $50,000 a year are New Mexico, Florida, South Dakota, Kansas, and Arizona.
...
Teacher Pay by State 2022.
StateTeacher Salary
South Dakota$49,761
Mississippi$47,162
48 more rows

What state pays teachers the most compared to cost of living? ›

Wyoming leads the West, and likely the nation, in terms of salary and cost of living balance. It ranks in the top 10 nationally for all three salary figures and has a 93.9 percent cost-of-living average for the state, which is below the national average.

What is the best place to live as a teacher? ›

Top 30 cities for teachers
RankCityJobs
1Salinas, Calif.2,700
2Valdosta, Ga.560
3Charleston, S.C.1,380
4San Diego7,470
8 more rows
10 Jul 2015

What month do most new teachers get hired? ›

Understanding the timeline that schools follow when hiring will help make it easier to seamlessly navigate the process. Although it is possible to find a teaching job at any time of year, the majority of teachers are hired in the late spring or summer months.

Will teachers still be needed in the future? ›

The Demand

Teaching positions in pre, elementary, and secondary schools are expected to increase at an average rate in the future. However, demand will be greatest for teachers with expertise in science, math, and bilingual education.

What are the 4 types of teachers? ›

A report has identified four kinds of teacher – idealists, practitioners, rationalists and moderates.

What are states doing to retain teachers? ›

California signed into law a 2021-2022 state budget that includes a total of $350 million in state funding for the Teacher Residency Grant Program to help address areas of shortage by funding efforts in the state to recruit, support, and retain a diverse teacher workforce.

Which country has a shortage of teachers? ›

Meanwhile, the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) revealed that British Columbia, China, Estonia, and the Netherlands are facing shortages but working on their solutions.

How long has the teacher shortage been going on? ›

The teaching profession has been perennially plagued by shortages for the last 50 years.

What is the starting salary of a teacher in Florida? ›

How much does an Entry Level Teacher make in Florida? The average Entry Level Teacher salary in Florida is $39,643 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $33,110 and $48,334.

How much money does a teacher make in Florida? ›

In 2020, the average starting salary for a teacher in Florida was $40,000 (26th in the nation), and with today's funding, it will now be at least $47,000 (9th in the nation). “Over the last three years, we have worked hard to increase teacher pay,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

Is there a teacher shortage in New York state? ›

New York's teacher shortage blamed on a variety of factors, including lack of respect, fewer benefits. School starts this week in New York and many districts have open teaching positions.

Where do they pay teachers the most? ›

Based on NEA's data from more than 12,000 districts, here's how the states rank for average teacher salary:
  • New York: $90,222.
  • Massachusetts: $86,755.
  • California: $85,856.
  • Washington, D.C.: $80,659.
  • Connecticut: $79,742.
  • Washington: $79,388.
  • New Jersey: $77,677.
  • Rhode Island: $75,966.
5 May 2022

What is the lowest paying job? ›

25 of the Lowest Paying Jobs
  • Food-Preparation Workers. ...
  • Gambling Dealers. ...
  • Gambling Change Persons and Booth Cashiers. ...
  • Parking Lot Attendants. ...
  • Non-Farm Animal Caretakers. ...
  • Maids and Housekeepers. ...
  • Entertainment Attendants and Related Workers. ...
  • Shoe Machine Operators and Tenders.
13 Sept 2022

Can you survive on a teacher salary? ›

Yes, educators absolutely do and can live well on a teacher's salary. It's all about what you value.

What degree do you need to be a elementary teacher in Texas? ›

Obtain a Bachelor's Degree - You must earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Complete an Educator Preparation Program - You must complete an Approved Educator Preparation Program. If you do not hold a degree you must complete a university program.

Do all Texas teachers have to be ESL certified? ›

Do all Texas teachers have to be ESL certified? According to TEA, the certification requirements do not mean that all teachers must possess ESL certification. Instead, they apply only to teachers who work within an ESL program approved by the state.

Does Dallas need teachers? ›

Dallas ISD now needs more than 1000 teachers.

Which job is similar to teaching? ›

Educational or instructional assistants, educational administrators and school counselors are jobs similar to teaching. An instructional assistant, essentially, assists a teacher in managing and instructing a class. A job as an instructional assistant is an entry-level job to enter the field of teaching.

Is teaching a good career 2022? ›

Increased teaching shortages during the 2020-2021 academic year have heightened the demand for quality teachers heading into 2022. If you have been considering a career in teaching, now is the ideal time to work toward that goal.

Are there enough teachers in the US? ›

Nowhere close to enough. Schools are facing a shortage of 300,000 teachers and staff across the U.S., according to the National Education Association, the country's largest teachers union. State and local leaders are scrambling to find creative ways to address the problem.

Where is there a shortage of teachers? ›

In Florida, there are about 8,000 teacher vacancies, up from 5,000 at the start of school last year. The shortage is reportedly also dire in other states, including Nevada, California, Illinois, Arizona, and Missouri.

What teachers are most in demand? ›

Types of teachers in highest demand by 2030.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL). ESL educators are some of the most in demand teachers. ...
  • Math Teaching. Another teacher subject in demand is mathematics. ...
  • Science Teaching. What about science teachers? ...
  • Social Studies Teaching. ...
  • Special Education Teaching.
18 Dec 2020

Why are so many teachers leaving the profession? ›

The pandemic and shifting political landscape have left teachers feeling overworked and undervalued. According to a 2022 Gallup poll, K-12 teachers report the highest burnout rate of all U.S. professions. More than four out of every 10 teachers said they feel burned out “always” or “very often” at work.

Does Florida have a teacher shortage? ›

The Florida Education Association has noted in the past that the shortages and lack of certified teachers or even bus drivers leave students in the state underserved.

Which state has the highest teacher salary? ›

Maryland has the highest teacher salary of $61,254. Montana has the lowest teacher salary of $34,041. The national average salary for teachers is $47,989. The national hourly pay for teachers is $23.07.
...
Highest-Paid Teachers By State.
Rank1
StateMaryland
Average Teacher Salary$61,254
10th Percentile$40,000
90th Percentile$93,000
49 more columns
2 Aug 2022

Where are teachers paid the most? ›

The highest-paid teachers in the world

In Luxembourg, lower secondary teachers with more than 15 years' experience, can expect to earn more than $109,000, with Germany and the Netherlands among other high-paying countries.

Are teachers in demand in USA? ›

Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 77,900 openings for high school teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

What are the 4 types of teachers? ›

A report has identified four kinds of teacher – idealists, practitioners, rationalists and moderates.

What month do most new teachers get hired? ›

Understanding the timeline that schools follow when hiring will help make it easier to seamlessly navigate the process. Although it is possible to find a teaching job at any time of year, the majority of teachers are hired in the late spring or summer months.

Which field of education are most in demand today? ›

Most In-Demand Degrees
  • Health Science. ...
  • Information Technology. ...
  • Engineering. ...
  • Business Administration. ...
  • Finance. ...
  • Human Resources. ...
  • Education. ...
  • Psychology. From therapy to counseling to working in schools and hospitals, those who get a degree in Psychology open the door to many possibilities.

Are teachers quitting in droves? ›

The National Center for Education Statistics says 44% of public schools will report teaching vacancies at the start of this year and more than half of those were from resignations with 1000s of teaching vacancies across the country, the nation appears to be reckoning with an exodus of educators.

Why teaching is so stressful? ›

The Causes Of Teacher Stress

Teachers work longer hours than many other positions, which often leads to burnout and stress. Some of the many contributing factors are lack of resources, work-life balance and political issues.

What do teachers do after they quit? ›

Leadership roles in community service are often a good fit for people who've left the teaching profession. Many youth organizations and retirement communities have positions for people skilled at planning, coordinating, and leading fun recreational or educational activities.

What is the starting salary of a teacher in Florida? ›

How much does an Entry Level Teacher make in Florida? The average Entry Level Teacher salary in Florida is $39,643 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $33,110 and $48,334.

How much money does a teacher make in Florida? ›

In 2020, the average starting salary for a teacher in Florida was $40,000 (26th in the nation), and with today's funding, it will now be at least $47,000 (9th in the nation). “Over the last three years, we have worked hard to increase teacher pay,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

Is there a teacher shortage in Texas 2022? ›

Educators across Texas have struggled through a teacher shortage, and many say the problem is exacerbated by low pay, political debates over curriculum and declining respect for the profession — not to mention a pandemic that has altered the way children behave and learn.

Videos

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3. US teacher shortage pushes states to get innovative | NewsNation Prime
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4. Teacher Shortage Forces Schools To Find Innovative Ways To Recruit Educators
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5. How school districts are handling teacher shortages | Morning in America
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