Would you choose to be a teacher if your starting salary was $49,555?

May 9, 2024, 8:50 AM | Updated: May 15, 2024, 11:06 am

Utah teacher starting pay is 10th in the nation....

First-year teacher Margaret “Maggie” Johnston helps a student as she works with her class at Crescent Elementary in Sandy on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — An April report from the National Education Association that looks at average teacher pay for the 2022-2023 school year found the average starting salary for a Utah teacher sits shy of $50,000. 

Listen live to Dave and Dujanovic at 9:05


The average starting pay was found to be $49,555. That puts Utah as number 10 in the nation for starting teacher pay. 

The bright side might be that the average pay for a teacher in Utah sits at over $63,000. But that’s dimmed by the fact that the average minimum living wage in Utah is $65,223.

The same study found that teacher pay is higher than ever. The study released by the National Education Association showed that the national average for teacher salaries is $69,544. So Utah doesn’t sit far behind.

It might be about pay, but overall teachers are miserable

A Pew Research Center study also released in April found teachers don’t think anyone younger than them should do the job.

More than half of the people who responded in 2023 when Pew was conducting the study said they wouldn’t recommend the career to a young person. Two out of three said they find teaching overwhelming.

A horizontal stacked bar chart showing that teachers are less satisfied with their jobs than U.S. workers overall.

A big reason? Because 70% of them say school is understaffed.

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Would you choose to be a teacher if your starting salary was $49,555?