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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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  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 type of areas and schools suffer from teacher shortages? ›

High-poverty and high-minority school districts are often hit harder by teacher shortages. Schools that serve high-poverty neighborhoods and/or a "high-minority student body" were more likely to have reported vacancies in October 2022, federal data show.

Where are the highest teacher shortages? ›

Georgia had the highest number of vacancies (3,112) for the 2019-2020 school year. More recently, during the 2021-2022 school year, Florida had the most vacancies with 3,911 positions unfulfilled. That same school year, Mississippi and Alabama had over 3,000 vacancies.

What subjects have the most teacher shortages? ›

Data from the U.S. Department of Education for the 2022-2023 school year shows the state has the most shortages in special education, career and technical education, science, art and music, world languages, language arts, English as a second language and health and physical fitness.

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.

What are 4 reasons that there would be a shortage of teachers? ›

10 Reasons Why There's a Teacher Shortage
  • Parents bubble wrap their children. ...
  • Lack of respect for the teaching career is at an all-time high. ...
  • Solutions are aimed at attracting new teachers and not keeping the old ones. ...
  • We do not wish to be mentally and physically drained each and every day.
Sep 2, 2022

What is the main cause of the teacher shortage? ›

Why are there shortages of teachers? Myriad reasons: low pay and morale, mounting political and academic pressures, health and safety concerns.

Is there a shortage of qualified teachers? ›

Others have more success filling positions. More than three-quarters of U.S. states are experiencing a teacher shortage, highlighting a growing concern among public education and government officials about issues that were exacerbated during three years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Which state has the highest teacher pay? ›

Where teachers are paid the most. The three states that pay teachers the most all offer more than $70,000 a year on average. New York leads the nation in teacher pay with an average salary of $80,286, according to WalletHub.

What is the projection for teacher shortage? ›

With the projected shortage of teachers to reach 300,000 by 2025, a joint effort – across the learning ecosystem– will be needed in facing what is yet to come.

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

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.

What is the level of demand for teachers? ›

BLS data expects the employment rate for high school teachers to increase by 5% between 2021 and 2031, which is equal to the national average for other occupations.

Which subject is best for teaching? ›


Ed course, which is the most opted degree course among 5 types of teaching courses.

What is the easiest subject to teach? ›

10 Easiest Subjects to Teach
  • Math. Math is a subject that is mainly conceptual. ...
  • Physical Education. If you're like most people, you probably dreaded having to go to gym class when you were in school. ...
  • Art. ...
  • Music. ...
  • Science. ...
  • Health. ...
  • Spelling. ...
  • History.

Which field of education are most in demand today? ›

Most In-Demand Degrees
  • Health Science. ...
  • Information Technology. ...
  • Engineering. ...
  • Business Administration. ...
  • Finance. ...
  • Human Resources. ...
  • Education. ...
  • Psychology. From therapy to counseling to working in schools and hospitals, those who get a degree in Psychology open the door to many possibilities.

What is the most common degree for teachers? ›

Here are the most common educational degrees for this field:
  • Bachelor's degree in secondary education. ...
  • Bachelor's degree in special education. ...
  • 6 . ...
  • Master's degree in reading. ...
  • Master's degree in instructional design. ...
  • Educational specialist degree in educational leadership. ...
  • Doctoral degree in education.
Mar 30, 2023

Why do so many teachers quit teaching? ›

Beyond compensation, these educators also feel overworked and undervalued. Nearly 75 percent of respondents who cite expectations as a top reason they plan to leave say they have too much work to do each day and that there aren't enough teachers to carry the workload.

Is teacher burnout leading to teacher shortage? ›

The combination of extra work and fewer resources has caused unprecedented teacher stress in the profession, which has increased teacher burnout. As a result of stress in the workplace, the education sector has lost educators to teacher burnout turnaround and caused the teacher shortage.

Why is the demand for teachers increasing? ›

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.

Why are teachers struggling? ›

This data also suggests that spiking stress levels, student behavior challenges, and a harsh political spotlight have all taken their toll on many American teachers. “Education had changed so dramatically since COVID.

When did the teacher shortage begin? ›

Reports of Teacher Shortages: According to recently released federal data, the percentages of schools reporting that they had teaching vacancies and difficult-to-staff positions have declined significantly since 1999-00.

Why America's teacher shortage is going to get worse? ›

For starters, shortages are occurring because of increased demand on public schools. As of fall 2017, 50.7 million students were attending public elementary and secondary schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. By 2025, that number is expected to expand to 51.4 million.

Why should teachers be paid more? ›

Raising teacher salaries can help to improve the interest in the industry overall and improve the quality of the workforce. It can also help to keep teachers in the classrooms. Many teachers have reported being dissatisfied with their jobs because they have to work multiple side jobs to pay their bills.

Are teachers high in demand? ›

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011, employment of teachers is expected to grow by 13% between 2008 and 2018. In 2008, there were about 3.5 million kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school teachers in the country, so we can expect almost another 500,000 to be hired by 2018.

Why is there a shortage of minority teachers? ›

The main source of minority teacher shortages, conventional wisdom holds, is a problem with the teacher supply pipeline. In this view, too few minority students enter and complete college, and those who do have an increasing number of career and employment options aside from teaching.

What state pays the highest elementary teacher salary? ›

Best-Paying States for Elementary School Teachers
  • New York. $87,700.
  • California. $86,470.
  • $83,790.
  • Washington. $83,010.
  • $82,140.

What is the best state to teach in? ›

Several studies have been conducted to find the best states for teachers. In terms of income, the top state is New York, which pays teachers an average of over $92,222 per year. Massachusetts comes in behind New York as the state with the second-highest salary for teachers.

Where is the best place to live as a teacher? ›

The best places for teachers to live in the world
  • Best for finding a job - China. ...
  • Best job benefits - South Korea. ...
  • Best development opportunities - Japan. ...
  • Best for multitasking as a traveller and a teacher - Vietnam. ...
  • Best for embracing the work-life balance - Spain. ...
  • Best for a wow worthy salary - United Arab Emirates.
Feb 13, 2023

Why is teacher burnout so high? ›

Teaching is a rewarding yet demanding career. With long hours and a heavy workload, it's easy to fall prey to teacher burnout. Without proper support, teachers are in danger of being overworked and not taking care of their own mental and physical health needs.

Does Texas have a teacher shortage? ›

Addressing teacher shortages is not a new challenge for the state. While the number of teacher positions steadily increased over the past decade, the number of new teachers entering the field steadily declined, and Texas teachers have left the field at a rate that is 25% greater than the national average.

Will there be enough teachers in the future? ›

All indications suggest the U.S. will soon face a massive teacher shortage. A potent combination of expected and early retirements, burnout, and waning interest in the profession among young people may leave us short by several hundred thousand teachers in the coming years. We have no viable plan for addressing this.

What are two ways the teacher shortage impacts the quality of education? ›

Schools may have to cancel courses or staff classes with teachers who lack resources, preparation, or certification in the subject matter. Furthermore, achievement is less likely to be noticed and celebrated if different substitute teachers are providing instruction or a class is canceled.

Are English teachers in demand? ›

Yes! There are over a billion people currently learning English globally. As a result, online teaching opportunities are surfacing around the world to keep up with demand.

What are the 4 types of teachers? ›

8 Kinds of Teachers
  • Preschool Teachers. Preschool teachers work with students before they enter elementary school. ...
  • Elementary School Teachers. ...
  • Middle School Teachers. ...
  • High School Teachers. ...
  • Special Education Teachers. ...
  • Bilingual Teachers. ...
  • Home-School Teachers. ...
  • Vocational Teachers.
Apr 18, 2022

What subjects are highest paid for teachers? ›

Teacher salaries for science, math and other STEM-related classes are higher than subjects like art and foreign languages. For example, according to PayScale, a physics teacher makes 11% more than a language arts teacher. Subjects that usually offer a higher salary: Biology.

What is the best kind of teacher to be? ›

Some qualities of a good teacher include skills in communication, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy and patience. Other characteristics of effective teaching include an engaging classroom presence, value in real-world learning, exchange of best practices and a lifelong love of learning.

What teacher teaches all subjects? ›

In the United States, elementary school teachers are expected to teach all the subjects in the curriculum. It is not until secondary school that teachers specialize by subject. Perhaps this is because the subjects taught are...well... elementary.

What topics are difficult to teach? ›

"Difficult" or "challenging" topics to teach include racism, violence, genocide, bullying, gangs, abuse (physical, emotional, and substance), slavery, suffering, hatred, terrorism, war, disease, loss, addiction, and more.

What is the hardest level 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 least popular subject in school? ›

Several other studies suggest that mathematics has the dubious honor of being the least popular subject in the curriculum." In one survey of high-school seniors, investigators found that 12% had never taken any algebra or geometry, 26% had dropped mathematics after only one year, 30% had dropped it after two.

Which field is most in demand? ›

12 high demand jobs
  • Financial manager. ...
  • Medical assistant. ...
  • Software developer. ...
  • Market research analyst. ...
  • Substance abuse counselor. ...
  • Health services manager. ...
  • Statistician. ...
  • Nurse practitioner.
May 17, 2023

Which field is more in demand? ›

According to research, the top 10 in-demand jobs profiles of 2023 will include: Data Scientist. Data Analyst. Blockchain Engineer.

What fields are in demand right now? ›

  • Nurse practitioner. Median salary in 2021: $120,680. ...
  • Data scientist. Median salary in 2021: $100,910. ...
  • Information security analyst. Median salary in 2021: $102,600. ...
  • Web developers. Median salary in 2021: $77,030. ...
  • Physician assistant (PA) Median salary in 2021: $121,530. ...
  • Software developer. ...
  • Actuary. ...
  • Financial manager.
Feb 16, 2023

Where is the highest demand for teachers? ›

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 is the fastest degree to become a teacher? ›

An accelerated bachelor's in education, like a traditional four-year education degree, is a great first step toward a career as an educator. Depending on your state's requirements and whether you're interested in teaching at a public or private school, you may be ready to begin teaching at the K-12 level.

What degrees are best for elementary teachers? ›

Most teachers major in elementary education, while some states require them to also specialize in a content area, like social studies or history. Other teachers major in related fields with relevant elementary education coursework and field training in the classroom.

What are the most affected regions of lack of education? ›

Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected area with over 32 million children of primary school age remaining uneducated. Central and Eastern Asia, as well as the Pacific, are also severely affected by this problem with more than 27 million uneducated children.

What does the teacher shortage affect? ›

Teacher shortages lead to missed or insufficient learning opportunities. There may be a discontinuity in the delivery of instruction, and key concepts may be overlooked altogether. These occurrences limit the educational opportunities that students can and should receive.

What are the high need teaching areas in Wisconsin? ›

The teacher shortage areas designated by Wisconsin for the 2004-2020 school years are: Standard Areas: English as a Second Language (ESL)/Bilingual, Sciences, Library Media, Mathematics, Music, Reading, Foreign Languages.

What are some solutions to the teacher shortage? ›

5 Strategies to Tackle Teacher Shortages
  • Boost teacher pay. Raising educators' salaries is one of the most popular strategies states and school districts have used to ease the staffing shortage. ...
  • Partner with teacher prep programs. ...
  • Build bottom-up support. ...
  • Tap into educators' passion. ...
  • Treat students well.
Feb 10, 2023

What state pays the teachers the most? ›

New York leads the nation in teacher pay with an average salary of $80,286, according to WalletHub.

What are the projections for teacher shortage? ›

As of March 2022, 58 percent of a nationally representative set of district leaders anticipated a “small shortage” of teachers and another 17 percent anticipated a “large shortage.”

What is the biggest problem in the education system? ›

Deficits in government funding for schools.

Funding is always an issue for schools and is, in fact, one of the biggest issues facing the American public education system today. For more than 90% of K-12 schools, funding comes from state and local governments, largely generated by sales and income taxes.

Where education is lacking? ›

More than two million children—approximately 70 percent—are unable to attend school in South Sudan, placing both their own and the future of the country at risk.

What are the biggest barriers to education? ›

Barriers to Education
  • Child labour.
  • Conflict.
  • Disability.
  • Gender discrimination.
  • Language challenges.

What is the highest paying school district in Wisconsin? ›

What are Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for School Districts Jobs in Wisconsin
CityAnnual SalaryMonthly Pay
Eau Claire$52,675$4,389
Green Bay$51,189$4,265
6 more rows

Does Wisconsin have a teacher shortage? ›

Wisconsin is steadily losing teachers in their first five years of employment, according to a January 2023 report from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

How much do high school teachers get paid near Wisconsin? ›

Salaries by years of experience in Wisconsin
Years of experiencePer year
1 to 2 years$51,093
3 to 5 years$52,839
6 to 9 years$63,577
More than 10 years$67,606
1 more row


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