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Teacher salaries in New Jersey are in the top 10 in the United States

Teacher salaries in New Jersey are in the top 10 in the United States

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New Jersey teachers had the seventh-highest average salary in the country during the 2022-2023 school year, data from the National Education Association shows.

The average teacher in the Garden State made $81,102 last year, up 3.5% from $78,387 in 2021-2022. That figure is more than $10,000 higher than the national average of $69,544.

California came in at No. 1 on the list, with an average salary of $95,160, the NEA data shows. New York, Massachusetts, Washington, the District of Columbia and Connecticut also finished ahead of New Jersey, with salaries ranging from $83,400 to $92,696.

The continuation of higher-than-average numbers — New Jersey also came in seventh in 2021-2022 behind the same five states and Washington, D.C. — comes amid an ongoing teacher shortage in the state that has lawmakers and educators concerned about the future of teaching jobs.

“If New Jersey doesn’t act quickly, there won’t be enough qualified candidates to replace teachers who leave the profession,” said Mark Weber, a public school teacher who wrote a 2022 report on the decline in the number of prospective teachers.

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Last May, New Jersey lawmakers unveiled a dozen bills aimed at lowering costs and expanding opportunities to attract new teachers to the field. In November, Governor Phil Murphy signed one of those bills, to eliminate a skills test previously required for teachers to become certified, and the other measures have since made progress in Trenton.

Nationally, the average teacher salary increased by 4.1% between 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. But adjusted for inflation, teachers are earning 5% less than a decade ago and 9% less than the peak in 2009-2010, the NEA said.

New Jersey’s 3.5% year-over-year increase was below the national average and ranked 22nd in the country, the data show. New Mexico had the largest increase, at 17.2%, followed by Mississippi (11.4%) and Alabama (8.2%). All three were in the bottom half of states’ average salaries in 2021-2022.