Which teachers are most in demand? A look at shortages, job openings and pay by subject and state (September 2022) - Degreechoices.com (2023)

While no national data precisely tracks the issue, media and district-level reports suggest the following are among the 10 states with the highest demand for teachers in 2022-2023:

1. California

According to the U.S. Department for Education, California reported shortages for the following subjects in the 2022-23 school year for all grade levels, including prekindergarten:

  • language arts
  • social studies
  • art and music education
  • science
  • computer science
  • physical education
  • world languages
  • career and technical information

This problem may also be worse than it appears. Currently, it’s estimated that nearly 1 out of 5 teachers in the state are working with substandard credentialing.

To help counter the teacher shortage as well as rising costs and pay rises, minimum funding (Prop. 98) levels for K-12 schools and community colleges saw a year-on-year increase of $37.2 billion in 2022-23, with $350 million allocated for the Teacher Residency Grant Program, aimed at addressing shortage areas.

California has also incentivized teachers to relocate. While the average teacher salary nationwide is $65,293, California teachers earned a median wage of $85,856 in 2020-21, making teachers in California the third-highest paid in the country.

2. Texas

The Texas Education Agency states that there is no official definition of a teacher shortage, but points to the state’s high attrition rate of 12% (the percentage of teachers who leave the field in a given year) as a reliable indicator. Several smaller and rural school districts in Texas have switched to a 4-day week for the 2022-23 school year in an effort to attract and retain teachers.

Additionally, a 2021 poll found 68% of teachers in the state were “seriously considering” leaving the profession, citing low pay and burnout as key reasons.

Texas has reported shortages in the following subject areas for the current school year:

  • mathematics
  • science
  • language arts
  • computer science
  • special education
  • ESL
  • career and technical education

3. Florida

A Department of Education report for the current school year showed close to 9,000 teacher vacancies across the state. Shortages have been reported across all grade levels, concentrated in the following subject areas:

  • general science
  • physical science
  • English
  • exceptional student education (ESE)
  • reading

The state governor Ron DeSantis has proposed 3 unorthodox bills for the 2023 legislative session to aid teacher recruitment. One proposed piece of legislation aims to encourage retired law enforcement officers and first responders with bachelor’s degrees to enter teaching positions. Incentives include $4,000 bonuses and fee waivers on teacher certification exams. The state already offers a Military Veterans Certification Pathway which enables veterans with at least 60 college credits to earn temporary 5-year teaching certification.

4. Washington

Washington has thousands of people working in classrooms who have not completed their teaching credentials. In 2019, it was estimated that the state had 9,000 emergency-certified teachers operating.

In the 2022-23 school year, there are qualified teaching staff shortages from pre-K to grade 12 in the following subject areas:

  • core elementary education
  • special education
  • science
  • language arts
  • health and physical fitness
  • math
  • social studies
  • career and technical education
  • reading

Additionally, the state is experiencing shortages in support staff, including counselors, classroom assistants, bus drivers, and custodians.

To help recruit more teachers and solve the shortage of qualified teachers, the state has been working on diversifying the teaching workforce through its innovative Recruiting Washington Teachers (RWT) program. RWT offers a pathway from high school to teaching jobs, with a focus on students of Color and bilingual students.

5. Arizona

At the start of the 2020-21 school year in Arizona, 751 teachers resigned from their post, abandoned their jobs, or did not show up for work. Almost half of these cited the pandemic as their main reason for leaving the profession, but there are other, longer-standing issues. Arizona has a notoriously high student-to-teacher ratio. The average teacher salary in the 2021-22 school year was $52,157 per year, falling just below the minimum living wage, and ranking 44th nationally.

For the 2022-23 school year, the state has reported shortages in the following subjects:

  • early childhood education
  • special education
  • English
  • math
  • science
  • ESL

English, math, and science teacher shortages are concentrated at the middle school level, while special education teachers are needed across all grade levels and specializations.

In efforts to address teacher shortages, Arizona has launched teacher mentoring programs and has created a fast-track certification program that can be completed in 9 months. In July 2022, Governor Doug Ducey signed into law a controversial bill permitting individuals enrolled in but not yet graduated from college to teach in public schools.

6. Wisconsin

At the start of August 2022, the Madison School District in Wisconsin had 141 teacher positions yet to fill. Other districts are struggling as well, and all cite a lack of qualified applicants as the main reason for the staffing issues. Substitute teachers have been called in to help cover massive shortages and the use of emergency teaching licenses has nearly tripled since the 2012-2013 school year. Emergency licenses in Wisconsin permit individuals with bachelor’s degrees but without teacher training programs to teach.

For the 2022-23 school year, Wisconsin has reported shortages in these subject areas:

  • elementary core subject
  • math
  • science
  • ESL
  • early childhood special education

7. Alabama

In June 2022, a report by the Alabama Commission on the Evaluation of Services found that at least 25% of first-time teacher certification graduates in Alabama do not go on to tech in the public school system, creating a significant supply gap.

While Alabama does not track school-level vacancies at state level, shortages have been reported in the following areas for the 2022-23 school year:

  • math
  • science
  • English
  • core subjects
  • social studies
  • special education

Efforts to improve teacher recruitment and retention have included a record $8.3 billion education budget, approved in 2022, as well as a new law to permit for-profit teacher education programs in the state, and improvements to teacher retirements benefits.

8. Nevada

Nevada’s rural landscape and low population density make it difficult to determine vacancy numbers for the state. This is particularly true because many counties resort to “flexible” hiring practices.

More than a third of schools in the Clark County School District reported vacancy rates of 10% or higher at the start of the 2022-23 school year. As of July 2022, 1,368 classroom positions were open out of a total of approximately 18,000. In an effort to tackle these serious shortages, the district has raised starting salaries by $7,000 and has introduced a $4,000 relocation bonus to out-of-state teachers or those willing to move more than 100 miles in-state.

Nevada’s teacher shortage spans all grade levels and subjects, including:

  • math
  • science
  • core subjects
  • special education
  • ESL
  • computer science
  • art and music

To combat shortages, the state is looking to improve pay and provide support systems to existing teachers via mentoring networks. Many further improvements are also considered at the state’s Annual Summit on Nevada Education, which is now in its eight year.

9. Kansas

The teacher shortage in Kansas is at an all-time high, with 4% of teaching jobs unfilled as of summer 2022 – which translates to roughly 1,400 open positions. The Blue Valley School District alone reported 250 resignations and retirements earlier this year. To attract teachers, the Kansas City District offers competitive starting teacher salaries – close to $45,000 per year, with up to a $5,000 bump for hard-to fill positions.

In the 2022-23 school year, Kansas reported shortages primarily in special education teaching roles, including hearing and visual impairment specialists, as well as key support roles, including occupational therapists, psychologists, and interpreters.

10. Hawaii

Hawaii has the highest teacher turnover rate in the country, and nearly twice the national average of uncertified teachers. The state is struggling to fill specialist teaching positions across all age groups, with teachers of Hawaiian language immersion particularly in demand.

To counter the issue, the Hawaii State Department of Education has begun to offer salary boosts of $3,000 to $10,000 per year for certain hard to fill teaching positions, including specialized and remote roles.

For the 2022-23 school year, shortages were reported for the following subjects:

  • special education
  • math
  • science
  • English
  • Hawaiian immersion
  • ESL
Note: All subject shortage area information above has been taken from the U.S. Department of Education

How teacher pay compares across the country

For 2020-21, the average starting salary for an educator was $41,770, according to the National Education Association. This represents a considerable rise from a decade earlier, when the average starting salary was only $34,629.

However, when looking at average salaries for teachers across all experience levels, we see a different picture. For the 2020-21 school year, the average salary for a public school teacher was $65,293, a 4% decrease from the previous year when adjusted for inflation, and barely a 1% increase over the past decade.

At state level, there are large discrepancies in teacher pay. The top 5 states for average teacher salaries in 2020-21 were:

  1. New York – $88,381
  2. Massachusetts – $84,659
  3. California – $84,531
  4. Connecticut – $78,427
  5. Washington – $76,743

The 5 states with the lowest average teacher salaries were:

  1. Arkansas – $50,456
  2. West Virginia – $50,238
  3. Florida – $49,102
  4. South Dakota – $48,984
  5. Mississippi – $46,843


What subjects have the most teacher shortages? ›

However, they reported the most shortages in specialty middle and high-school subjects, such as science and technical education. The state is taking some steps to get more new teachers in the classroom, including the funding of 600 PRAXIS test preparation courses.

Which subject teachers are most in demand? ›

Which teaching subject is most in demand? While specific needs vary by institution, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are subjects that are always in high demand.

Where are the highest teacher shortages? ›

Top 10 States with the Highest Teacher Shortages in the US:
  • California.
  • Nevada.
  • Hawaii.
  • Michigan.
  • Washington.
  • Arizona.
  • Kentucky.
  • Tennessee.
Nov 27, 2022

Where are teachers in the highest demand? ›

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education is a great example of an area where there is a high demand for great teachers.

Which teachers are in least demand? ›

In the 2022-23 school year, there are qualified teaching staff shortages from pre-K to grade 12 in the following subject areas:
  • special education.
  • science.
  • language arts.
  • health and physical fitness.
  • math.
  • social studies.
  • career and technical education.
  • reading.
Oct 5, 2021

What teachers are in demand? ›

According California's reported statewide academic disciplines or subject matter areas most in need are: English/Drama/Humanities, History/Social Science, Math/Computer Education, Science, and Special Education.

Which subject are in demand? ›

According to the Department of Education, there is high demand for Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, indigenous languages, and foundation phase teachers.

What is the easiest subject to teach? ›

10 Easiest Subjects to Teach
  • Physical Education. ...
  • Art. ...
  • Music. ...
  • Science. ...
  • Health. ...
  • Spelling. ...
  • History. There are several reasons why history is the easiest subject to teach to students. ...
  • Cooking. Cooking is an easy subject to teach to students for a number of reasons.

Where is the highest demand for teachers in the US? ›

Mississippi saw the highest teacher-to-student vacancy rate in the 2021-22 school year.

What states have massive teacher shortages? ›

Top 10 States with the Highest Teacher Shortages in the US:
  • Florida.
  • Oregon.
  • California.
  • Nevada.
  • Hawaii.
  • Michigan.
  • Washington.
  • Arizona.
Nov 28, 2022

Is a teacher shortage coming? ›

In fact, approximately one-third of the teaching workforce in California is nearing retirement. With this in mind, the Center for the Future of Teaching and learning estimates that the state will need an additional 100,000 teachers over the coming decade.

What is the highest paying job without experience? ›

21 High-paying entry-level jobs with no experience jobs
  • Entry-level laboratory technician. Average salary: $46,358 per year. ...
  • Human resources assistant. Average salary: $46,580 per year. ...
  • Research assistant. Average salary: $46,713 per year. ...
  • Medical assistant. ...
  • Firefighter. ...
  • Junior graphic designer. ...
  • Auditor. ...
  • Administrative assistant.

Where is the best paying teaching jobs? ›

These are the best-paying cities for K-12 teachers
  • New York, New York. New York City Department of Education is the largest school district in the U.S., serving 1.1 million students in more than 1,800 schools. ...
  • Los Angeles, California. ...
  • Houston, Texas. ...
  • Dallas, Texas. ...
  • Chicago, Illinois. ...
  • Atlanta, Georgia. ...
  • Phoenix, Arizona.

Why so many teachers are leaving this year? ›

Other factors impacting teacher retention include heavy workload, low pay and escalating living costs, with some 80% of survey respondents saying it was difficult to find affordable housing close to where they teach. Many also cited a lack of support from district administrators.

What jobs are teachers quitting for? ›

31 Jobs for Teachers Who Want To Leave the Classroom but Not Education
  • Educational Policy Expert. ...
  • Curriculum Writer/Creator. ...
  • Coach/Mentor. ...
  • Educational Technology Consultant. ...
  • Online Educator. ...
  • Community Director. ...
  • School Counselor. ...
  • Corporate Trainer.
Dec 6, 2022

What states are easiest to get a teaching job? ›

For a teacher willing to relocate, there are schools that are hiring now. In most states, there is a severe need for bilingual, ESL, special education, math and science credentials.
The 10 Best States To Find A Teaching Job
  1. North Dakota. ...
  2. Alaska. ...
  3. Illinois. ...
  4. Florida. ...
  5. Arizona. ...
  6. Connecticut. ...
  7. Alabama. ...
  8. Arkansas.

What career can I change to from teaching? ›

Corporate Career Changes for Ex-Teachers
  • Corporate Training. Corporate training is a career area that spans a lot of jobs which will appeal to ex-teachers. ...
  • Human Resources. ...
  • Business and Education Consultancy. ...
  • Administration. ...
  • Museum Assistant. ...
  • UX/LX Design. ...
  • Coach.
Jan 14, 2023

What are good jobs for teachers who don't want to teach? ›

Detailed List of the 18 Best Jobs for Teachers Who Don't Want to Teach
  • Standardized Test Developer. Average Annual Salary: $82,000. ...
  • Educational Policy Analyst. Average Annual Salary: $63,000. ...
  • Career Counselor. ...
  • Human Resources Manager. ...
  • Guidance Counselor. ...
  • Academic Administrator. ...
  • Substance Abuse Counselor. ...
  • Prison Educator.
Aug 30, 2022

What kind of teachers make a lot of money? ›

  • #10. Elementary School Teachers.
  • #9. Middle School Teachers.
  • #8. Librarians.
  • #7. Special Education Teachers.
  • #6. Instructional Coordinators.
  • #5. High School Teacher.
  • #4. Curriculum Developer.
  • #3. Bilingual Education Teacher.
Oct 2, 2022

Which teacher job is best? ›

Here are the best jobs in education:
  • High School Teacher.
  • Elementary School Teacher.
  • Middle School Teacher.
  • Health Educator.
  • Preschool Teacher.
  • Sports Coach.
  • Teacher Assistant.

What state needs teachers the most? ›

According to data from the U.S. Department of Education for the 2022-2023 school year, Rhode Island has the largest teacher shortages in the following subjects: English as a second language, career and technical education, math, science, special education, health and physical fitness, world languages and language arts.

What degrees are highest in demand? ›

Most In-Demand Degrees
  1. Pharmacology. For a lucrative career helping people, pharmacology is at the top of the list for in-demand degrees. ...
  2. Computer Science. ...
  3. Health Science. ...
  4. Information Technology. ...
  5. Engineering. ...
  6. Business Administration. ...
  7. Finance. ...
  8. Human Resources.

Which field is in high demand? ›

Some examples of jobs that are highly in demand include teachers, doctors, nurses, lab technicians, radiologists, financial analysts and public relations officers.

What's the hardest grade to teach? ›

Standardized Testing May Cause Grades 3 and Up to Be the Hardest Elementary Grades to Teach. Many educators argue that the hardest elementary grade to teach is one with standardized testing pressures.

What is the most difficult skill to teach? ›

With listening skills usually requiring a considerably long period of time to acquire, normally involving the student experiencing a variety of emotions ranging from depression and frustration through to exhilaration and pride, teaching listening skills is one of the most difficult tasks that a teacher faces.

What is the hardest subject to get a first? ›

Law. Law is officially the hardest subject to get a first class degree in4, so we all know it's hard going. If you think you know what it's like to have a lot of reading, go and talk to a Law student.

Is there a teacher shortage in CT? ›

Teacher shortages are impacting school districts across Connecticut. “The rewards are great when the job is done, but it's been a long road, and it's just going to get harder,” said Georgann Stokes, a Cromwell teacher. There's a call for help from those educating our children.

Which state pays teachers the most? ›

Highest pay for teachers by state
States 1-12Teacher SalaryStates 13-25
New York$87,738Illinois
District of Columbia$80,659Michigan
9 more rows
Jan 24, 2023

Where is there a teacher shortage in California? ›

Districts with significant shortages:

Stockton Unified (Stanislaus County) 13 vacancies, 141 hires. Santa Ana Unified (Orange County) 52 vacancies, 75 hires. Long Beach Unified (Los Angeles County) 45 vacancies, 277 hires. Oakland Unified (Alameda County) 34 vacancies, 474 hires.

Which state treats their teachers the best? ›

Best states for teachers:
  • New York. Score: 59.33. Read more: 5 ways leaders can support Hispanic talent in the workplace.
  • Utah. Score: 57.38.
  • Virginia. Score: 56.13.
  • Florida. Score: 55.92.
  • Washington. Score: 55.71.
  • New Jersey. Score: 54.07.
  • Pennsylvania. Score: 53.80.
  • Massachusetts. Score: 53.21.
Oct 3, 2022

What state has the best retirement for teachers? ›

States Ranked by Best Retirement Plan Available to New Public School Teachers
RankStateOverall Retirement Benefits Score
1South Carolina94.20%
3South Dakota78.70%
47 more rows
Jun 29, 2022

What city is best to work as a teacher? ›

Best (and Worst) Places to Be a Teacher
RankMetro AreaTeachers as a Percent of Workforce
1Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA2.39%
2Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY1.96%
3Syracuse, NY2.09%
4Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT1.80%
7 more rows
Aug 9, 2022

Are more teachers quitting this year? ›

'I just found myself struggling to keep up': Number of teachers quitting hits new high. The data is in: More teachers than usual exited the classroom after last school year, confirming longstanding fears that pandemic-era stresses would prompt an outflow of educators.

What will fix the teacher shortage? ›

Increase Funding for Teachers and Schools

Both state and federal governments need to invest in incentives to attract the best and brightest to the teaching profession. Federal or state grants might draw more prospective teachers to preparation programs in academic areas where there is a scarcity of teachers.

Why is teacher shortage getting worse? ›

Instead, the research points to two key drivers of the shortage: Low teacher pay relative to other occupations that employ college graduates. Recent EPI research found that teachers made on average 23.5% less per week of work than their nonteacher college-educated counterparts in 2021.

What is the best career to start at 50? ›

Below are some of the best fields for career changers over the age of 50.
  • Administrative. An administrative position may not sound like a flexible job, but there are plenty of remote and flexible administrative roles. ...
  • Education & Training. ...
  • Writing. ...
  • Accounting & Finance. ...
  • Medical & Health. ...
  • Mortgage & Real Estate.

What are some unknown jobs that pay well? ›

14 high-paying jobs nobody knows about
  • Enterostomal therapist.
  • Diagnostic medical sonographer.
  • Sommelier.
  • Childbirth educator.
  • Orthotist and Prosthetist.
  • Petroleum engineer.
  • Fire investigator.
  • Genetic counselor.
5 days ago

What is the best teacher pay in America? ›

In 2021, the average K-12 public school teacher nationwide was paid $65,090. Average teacher pay was the highest in New York at $87,738, followed by Massachusetts and California. In three states — Mississippi, Florida, and South Dakota — teachers made less than $50,000 on average.

Where is the best place for teachers to move? ›

Story at a glance

New York is the best place in America to be a teacher, according to a new report published Monday. The report from the personal finance website WalletHub compared all 50 states and Washington, D.C., along 24 metrics around opportunity, competition and academic and work environment.

Why are teachers quitting 2023? ›

The priority now must be to keep teachers in the classroom, and that means addressing working conditions. Workload is consistently cited as one of the main reasons for teachers leaving early, but despite promises to address it there has been little progress on the issue.

Why do teachers not want to teach anymore? ›

A whopping 44% of teachers leave the field after five years or fewer. Most teachers cite a lack of support for both students and themselves, low pay, and poor working conditions that can affect their mental and physical health, as their reasons for exiting this career.

What is a good age to retire from teaching? ›

What is the best age for a teacher to retire? Using 30 to 35 years of service is a good rule of thumb for comparing pensions from various states. This means that someone who enters teaching before age 25 with a bachelor's and accumulates 30 or more years of service can usually retire sometime between age 55 and 60.

What areas are hit the hardest with the teaching shortage? ›

Special education continues to have it worst, with 7% of positions unfilled. English-language-learning programs are also especially understaffed (6%), as is computer science (5%). Areas with the fewest vacancies: social studies and English/language arts, at just 2% each. Is there a teacher shortage?

What are two of the subject areas where there are consistently shortages of teachers? ›

Teacher shortages in certain subject areas (like special education or high school math) and certain locales (like rural areas) have been perennial issues for years.

Which content areas are expected to continue experiencing teacher shortages? ›

Throughout the pandemic, many districts have faced significant challenges in attracting and retaining teachers, and preexisting teacher shortages in critical areas such as special education; bilingual education; science, technology, engineering, and math; career and technical education; and early childhood education ...

What is the main cause of the teacher shortage? ›

The massive shortages we are seeing are the result of many factors. Years of deprofessionalizing the field through inadequate pay; unstable long-term retirement benefits; stressed, overtaxed expectations on educators and schools; and unsafe, under-resourced work environments weakened the profession.

Where are teachers most needed in us? ›

According to U.S. Department of Education data from the 2022-2023 school year, Maine is experiencing the most teacher vacancies in special education, math, science, language arts, early childhood, elementary core subjects, art and music, and career and technical education.

What state has the lowest paid teachers? ›

The state with the lowest average teacher salary in the US is Mississippi, at around $48,000 a year.

What is the best type of teacher to become? ›

No matter where you are, it's a great time to become a teacher.
  • 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.
Dec 18, 2020

Are math teachers in demand? ›

California is projected to need more than 33,000 new mathematics and science teachers in the next 10 years. The demand for credentialed teachers in these fields is significantly greater than the supply of fully qualified candidates.

What are the top 3 reasons for shortages in education? ›

Shortages have been driven by a shrinking teacher education pipeline, high rates of turnover, and increased demand as districts replaced positions cut during the Great Recession and expanded staffing using federal COVID-19 relief funding to address increased vacancies and to support learning needs.

How many teachers are leaving the profession in the US? ›

After two years of weathering pandemic disruptions, safety concerns and tense public scrutiny, burned-out teachers have quit the profession in droves. At least 300,000 public-school teachers and other staff left the field between February 2020 and May 2022, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Why do so many teachers quit teaching? ›

Other factors impacting teacher retention include heavy workload, low pay and escalating living costs, with some 80% of survey respondents saying it was difficult to find affordable housing close to where they teach. Many also cited a lack of support from district administrators.


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