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An Exploratory Evaluation of the Data from the Pilot Teacher Compensation Survey: School Year 2005-06
NCES 2008-440
April 2008

Selected Findings: School Year 2005–06

  • The mean base salaries1 of full-time public school teachers in the seven states participating in the Pilot Teacher Compensation Survey ranged from $34,631 in Oklahoma to $44, 777 per year in Colorado. The median base salaries of full-time public school teachers ranged between $33,516 in Oklahoma and $42,676 in Colorado (table 1). The median total salary for full-time teachers ranged from $34,973 in Oklahoma to $42,500 in Arkansas for school year 2005–06 (table 2).
  • The median level of teaching experience ranged from 8 years in Arizona to 15 years in Iowa. The median teacher age was between 43 and 45 in each of the states reporting these data (table 1).
  • The number of teachers that held master's degrees as their highest degree varied across the seven states. The percentage of teachers holding master's degrees ranged from approximately 28 percent in Iowa and Oklahoma to almost 50 percent in Missouri (table 3). Over the seven states, the majority of teachers (58 percent) held a bachelor's degree as their highest degree (figure 1).
  • Teachers holding master's degrees earned more than teachers who held a bachelor's degree. For example, the median base salary for teachers with a master's degree was $51,077 per annum in Colorado, while the median base salary for teachers with a bachelor's degree was $36,702 (table 3).
  • The proportion of teachers with one year of teaching experience (teachers hired at the beginning of the reported school year) ranged from 4.4 percent in Iowa to 10.9 percent in Arizona. The median base salary for teachers with one year of experience ranged from $27,864 in Iowa to $33,940 in Florida (table 4 and figure 2).
  • Full-time teachers 66 years old or older comprised 1.0 percent of public school full-time teachers in Florida and 0.9 percent in Arkansas compared to 0.4 percent in Iowa and 0.5 percent in Colorado (table 5). In three of the five states reporting age data, the highest proportion of teachers were 51 to 55 years old; Florida had equal proportions of teachers (14 percent) in the 26–30 and 51–55 age groups. In the fifth state, Colorado, the second highest proportion occurred in the 51–55 age group (figure 3).
  • The majority of teachers in the seven reporting states were White, with the smallest percentage of White teachers (74 percent) reported for Florida (table 6).
  • More than three quarters of the teachers across six of the seven reporting states were female, with the highest percentage of male teachers (27 percent) reported for Colorado. The largest difference between males and females was $1,027 in Arizona (table 7).


1 The mean is the average: the sum of all salaries divided by the number of teachers. The median is the mid-point. If the teachers' salaries were ranked from highest to lowest, half of the salaries would be below the median. Base salaries are the negotiated annual salary for teaching duties. Base salaries exclude extra pay for extra duties and bonuses.