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Entry-level teachers earn less than other entry-level occupations in Utah

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A new teacher may not consider Utah a good place to begin their career. That’s because Business.org has found that entry-level teachers in Utah earn 19.7% less than those who are in entry-level positions in other occupations.

The rankings came by studying teacher salaries from the National Education Association, which reports that most of Utah’s starting teachers earn $38,500.

Then, Business.org compared the teacher salaries to the average salaries for “all occupations” in each state, as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It’s likely this placement isn’t where Utah educators want it to be. But Courtney Stevens with Business.org says new teachers considering Utah should look at other numbers.  Namely, the raises that many school districts have given entry-level teachers in the last year.

“I think that says a lot about Utah as a state and where we place our priorities, and I think that it’s great that we place such a high priority on education,” Stevens told KSL NewsRadio.

Multiple Utah districts upping teacher pay

The Jordan, Canyons, Murray, and Granite school districts have all recently raised the starting salary for their teachers. First-time teachers in the Jordan district now earn $48,000 per year.  In the Granite district, new teachers will start off earning about $43,500.

The Canyon and Murray school districts start their teachers off at $50,000.  The Salt Lake City school district approved a tentative 4.1% raise, which puts first-year teachers at just over $46,800.

High-tech is an influencer, too

Another factor could influence Utah’s ranking in this study, and that’s the high-tech industry.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average technology sector income in metro areas is nearly double and sometimes triple the average salary in Utah.

“When you look at the average income of the state of $47,000, tech employees are making 83% more than the average state salary, which is crazy,” said Shea Drake with Business.org.