Average California teacher makes approximately $85,000

July 29, 2014

teacher-thumb-300x300The average full-time public school teacher in the state of California earns $84,889 a year. [LA Times]

That figure and many others detailing school district employee pay are available in an online database recently released by Transparent California, an offshoot of the Tustin-based, non-partisan think tank, The California Policy Center. In order to compile the database, the policy center submitted record requests to more than 1,000 school systems in the state and received data from 653 of them.

The record requests uncovered that nearly 35,000 teachers in the state earn more than $100,000 a year, and more than 100 superintendents make more than $250,000 a year.

Last year, the superintendent of the Montclair-Ontario Unified School District in the inland Empire received $492,077 in pay, according to the database. A junior high principal in the Bay Area city of Martinez made $279,669.

Additionally, 31 custodians at public schools made more than $100,00 last year.

The database also tracks a phenomenon known as double dipping, in which retired teachers continue to work. Last year, more than 1,000 teachers received state-funded pensions while continuing to work and receive salaries from districts.


Let’s compare that to some other occupations: Police Officer = $30k, Fireman = $46k, Governor = $54k, Dentist = $61k, Psychologist = $72k (getting closer), Hospital Administrator = $72k….. As you can see, these teachers could have set their education and goals lower, but chose a profession that is almost impossible to be fired from instead.

Their pay comes in third with me. First is the way they use their position to indoctrinate our youth in their liberal way or thinking, followed by tenure and then the excessive pay ( over $9,000 per month).


Where did you pull those numbers from ? They’re all superficially and unrealistically low.

Cite a reputable source for such figures, but I’ll say right now that it’s impossible …and therefore your argument is pure hooey.


Slowerfaster asked with a totally confused expression “Where did you pull those numbers from?”

I think you can smell, oops, TELL, where.


The insanely low figures you are quoting renders any point you were trying to make completely invalid. I have to wonder what the source of your indoctrination is because even Fox News wouldn’t stray that far from reality.


Teachers WITHOUT tenure….TWT


Hey! Remember they work almost 9 months a year for that! and they have to deal with those lovely kids, hmmm, maybe we should double their pay?


Shezzzz… I guess that sarcasm is beyond the grasp of the dislikers.


I guess they don’t teach that in school anymore.




If people, including teachers and staff, REALLY cared about student education, they would disband the teachers union and create a student’s union whose only interest is the students education – not the teachers pay & benefits.

Kinda ironic that there is a teachers union and not a students union, huh?


So, paying teachers minimum wage without benefits is going to prove they care about the students how? And that will also improve their education in what way?


“The total figures include base pay, overtime, benefits and other forms of compensation.” per the referenced LA Times Article.

So you take away their benefits, pension, health etc. and their Gross paycheck is more like $50K and $60K.

I looked up Atascadero Unified and found only 6 individuals received over 100k. The vast majority makes a gross paycheck as stated above or less.

Most don’t work an 8-hour day as they already get ‘prep’ time and many veteran teachers don’t need 2 additional hours a day to prep for the next day or grade papers. Plus they get 6-8 weeks off during the summer.

However….. I personally don’t think a tenured teacher making 50K-60K is that unrealistic. Fours years of college and then 1-2 for a credential. As a tax payer I can live with that. Principles and Administrators pay on the other hand needs to be revisited.

Kudos to teachers…….I wouldn’t want to do it. They government ties your hands behind your back yet expect grand results.


And remember, those who earn more than the average have more than 5-6 years of college and many teach summer school and get compensated for special activities.


Thank you for the clarification.


Hmmm, have your summers off, Christmas break and spring break and bank $85k. Every time I see an initiative on the ballot for increasing school teachers salaries, the propaganda machine starts misleading the public on how little they are paid. This is truly an eye opener. $85k a year, plus a fat pension and great benefits. Yeah, they have to deal with those kids, but they chose it.


The total figures include base pay, overtime, benefits and other forms of compensation.And as for that “fat pension,” the teachers are paying into it their entire careers via paycheck withholdings. It’s not free money. And most work about 12 hours/day during the school year. Use some of the skills you learned in school to do the math.


In California, median income for a family of three is $67,401. So, the average teacher earns 26% or more than half the population. On top of that they also gets months of vacation time and generous health benefits and retirement plans. They live like royalty compared with many other people in the state.


No, they don’t earn 26% more than half the population. Again, “The total figures [in the article] include base pay, overtime, benefits and other forms of compensation.” Almost every job produces different figures for pay, what appears in a person’s paycheck, and total compensation, which is considerably larger. You are confusing the two. For example, typical corporate guys often are paid $4 million a year, but their total compensation may be $50 million. Teachers, alas, don’t have such a large spread between “pay” and “compensation” as we find in the private sector, nor are they paid as generously as those in the private sector. Maybe you lack real world experience in the corporate world — you’d be amazed at what people get paid if that’s the case.

The teachers’ pay is probably a bit LESS than the median income you cite. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t break down the various items that go into the total compensation figure that seems to be annoying you, so we don’t know what their “pay” actually might be.

Kevin Rice

“Typical corporate guys”? Like the local Taco Bell manager? Barnes and Noble manager? I think your ideations of “typical” actually represents the atypical.


You might be very surprised at how much a good fast food manager can make. But talk about hard work and stress, and no 3 days off in a row, or even ANY days off. I’ll do my food service management as a firefighter in the station’s kitchen any time.


Most teachers deserve every penny of that 85k for having to deal with the snot-nosed spoiled rotten punks the parents send to their classrooms every day. Of course, every now and then a bad teacher does NOT deserve that pay but they are relatively few and far between. On the other hand, NO superintendent deserves 250k+ and no principal deserves 279k.


Of course they are paid incredibly high salaries for just a B.A. degree -they work for the government! They are the 1%.

For all the money they make, you’d think our kids would learn more.

It’s all about the money.

BTW I totally agree that administrators’ salaries are WAY out of line. THAT is where your education $$ are going, not to the kids in the classroom.

But hey, Prop. 30 fixed all this, remember?

Vote NO on school bonds. If salaries were reasonable, there would be plenty of money for theCapital Improvement Projects. San Luis Coastal USD squandered over $110 million in the 1990s from a bond issue and we have VERY LITTLE to show for it other than decaying portable classrooms and some multi-purpose rooms. Not one new school was built, and with declining enrollment the district is renting out some of these spaces. What a waste. Now they want more money. No way!


What is a 1%er?


Not to bad for working the schedule they work.