The Best and Worst States for Teachers in 2021

Teaching can be a rewarding profession, but many teachers in the United States are overworked and underpaid. The COVID-19 pandemic has added to that stress, with teachers having to teach all classes online or develop hybrid models. Due to the lack of traditional in-person learning, a large percentage of students experienced significant setbacks in both social and academic progress.

WalletHub recently released its report on 2021’s Best & Worst States for Teachers. In order to help educators find the best opportunities and teaching environments in the U.S., WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key metrics, ranging from teachers’ income growth potential to the pupil-teacher ratio to whether the state has a digital learning plan.

The 10 Best States for Teachers

The following ten states ranked highest in WalletHub’s recent study on the best and worst states for teachers.


New York

  • Overall Ranking: 1
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 3
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 3

Utah

  • Overall Ranking: 2
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 1
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 13

Washington

  • Overall Ranking: 3
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 4
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 11

Pennsylvania

  • Overall Ranking: 4
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 5
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 14

New Jersey

  • Overall Ranking: 5
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 15
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 4

Virginia

  • Overall Ranking: 6
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 7
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 9

Maryland

  • Overall Ranking: 7
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 27
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 2

Delaware

  • Overall Ranking: 8
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 34
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 1

Illinois

  • Overall Ranking: 9
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 6
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 21

Connecticut

  • Overall Ranking: 10
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 29
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 6

 

The 10 Worst States for Teachers

The following ten states ranked lowest in WalletHub’s recent study on the best and worst states for teachers.

New Hampshire

  • Overall Ranking: 51
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 51
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 8

District of Columbia

  • Overall Ranking: 50
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 49
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 45

Maine

  • Overall Ranking: 49
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 50
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 15

Arizona

  • Overall Ranking: 48
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 38
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 47

Montana

  • Overall Ranking: 47
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 47
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 31

Nevada

  • Overall Ranking: 46
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 39
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 44

Missouri

  • Overall Ranking: 45
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 42
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 40

Hawaii

  • Overall Ranking: 44
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 37
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 42

Louisiana

  • Overall Ranking: 43
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 46
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 30

New Mexico

  • Overall Ranking: 42
  • Opportunity & Competition Ranking: 13
  • Academic & Work Environment Ranking: 51

 

Key Findings:

  • New York had the highest annual salaries adjusted for cost of living. Maine had the lowest.
  • Vermont had the lowest pupil-teacher ratio while Arizona had the highest.
  • New York had the highest public school spending per student while Idaho had the lowest.
  • Massachusetts had the best school systems while New Mexico had the worst.*

*This metric is based on WalletHub’s “States with the Best & Worst School Systems” ranking.

Read the full report, including methodology, here: https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-for-teachers/7159

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