Update: An earlier version of this post included incorrect cost-of-living estimates from the National Council on Teacher Quality. The cost-of-living estimates for various cities, and therefore the estimates of overall adjusted lifetime earnings for teachers in those cities and time it takes to reach those salaries, have been updated. We regret the error.
Columbus, Ohio. That’s where American teachers should go if they want the most financial stability over their lifetimes, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality.
The report looks at 2013-2014 teacher salary data from 113 U.S. school districts, including the 50 largest districts in the country and the largest district in each state.
Best Places to Be a Teacher in the U.S.
This chart only includes the calibrated lifetime pay—earnings over 30 years, adjusted for cost-of-living expenses—for the average public school teacher. Some school districts report variations in earnings based on different performance benchmarks—standardized in this study as “average,” “above average,” or “exemplary.” Each of those districts’ salary levels are ranked separately. Taking those variations into account, Pittsburgh would be first on the list—but only for exemplary teachers, who make $2.74 million in adjusted lifetime earnings, while the city’s above-average teachers would rank sixth, with $2.25 million. Similarly, exemplary teachers from Washington, D.C.’s school district would be second on the overall ranking, with $2.64 million in adjusted lifetime earnings, while salaries for above-average and average teachers from the city fall lower on the list, to 13 and 32, respectively.