Significant Statistics | What is New with Teacher Pay?

Written by: Shawn Teigen

A new survey shows that teacher pay in Utah falls below the national average – $56,200 relative to $61,600. However, this survey also shows that Utah teachers have generally gained substantial ground since the Utah Foundation released its teacher pay report in 2019.

Utah teacher pay is in-line with three other Mountain States – Colorado, Nevada, and Wyoming – but ahead of New Mexico and far ahead of Arizona, Idaho, and Montana. Utah’s below-the-nation pay is likely due in part to the lower-than-the-national-average teacher experience – 12.1 years relative to 14.5 years. In fact, Utah teachers’ average number of years in the classroom is lower than all seven other Mountain States.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics.

The new survey shows that Utah principals’ average pay is just ahead of the national average – $107,000 relative to $105,900.

Please note that these numbers do not take into account pay raises from House Bill 215 from 2023 which put eight of Utah’s 41 districts above $60,000 for first-year teachers.

There is a lot new with teacher pay in Utah. We may just see Utah teachers surpassing the national pay rate in the near future.

Read more about teacher pay in our 2019 reports:

Two highlights of those reports:

  • Utah’s teachers on average earned less than three-quarters of what private sector professionals with bachelor’s degrees in other fields earned.
  • While teacher’s retirement benefits were lower in Utah than in neighboring Mountain States, the plans in the other seven states required teachers to provide between 7% and 15% of their salaries to participate. Utah’s teachers were not required to contribute to their retirement.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS), “Public School Teacher Data File,” 2020–21,

NOTE: Data are weighted estimates of the population. For average base salary, teachers who reported zero are excluded from the table. Summer earnings are also not included. A regular full-time teacher is defined as any teacher whose primary position in a school is not an itinerant teacher, a long-term substitute, a short-term substitute, a student teacher, a teacher aide, an administrator, a library media or librarian, another type of professional staff (e.g., counselor, curriculum coordinator, social worker) or support staff (e.g., secretary), or a part-time teacher.

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