What states with the worst teacher shortages are doing to entice teachers to relocate

teacher shortage

The teacher shortage is reaching a crisis point in the US with states grappling for the best educators. Teaching is a wonderful career but, as a lot of states are starting to realize, teachers have been taken advantage of for too long.

It’s pretty normal to require a normal living wage and for a lot of teachers leaving the profession that’s what it comes down to. We’ve compiled a list of states with the biggest teacher shortages and found out what they require from teachers as well as what they’re doing to meet teachers’ needs.

You’ll find that many states are now trying to pull in teachers by providing alternative routes to certification, professional development opportunities and long-term planning for salary

Hawaii

hawaii teacher shortage

In Hawaii the teacher shortage is real and the state is doing everything in its power to qualify more people to teach in the classroom. From funding teacher certification programs to updating curriculums. Shortages are particularly big in math, science and English. Hawaii doesn’t currently offer housing for teachers, but keep your eyes peeled ???? - as there are talks of housing assistance in the works for teachers who work in high-need schools.

Teachers living in Hawaii can look forward to the “Aloha” lifestyle, crystal blue seas and golden sands. From the colorful flowers ???? to the welcoming people, this is definitely a location a teacher could fall in love with. We bet it will be hard to resist getting addicted to a weekend snorkel! ????

Alternative teacher certificate programs

There are a number of ways to get an alternative teaching license in Hawaii.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$56,000 - 60,000 (dependant on area)

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$41,700

Professional development opportunities

Hawaii provides professional development for its teachers.

Minimum requirements for teachers

BA degree, passes in relevant Praxis subjects as well as being enrolled in a teacher preparation program.

Arizona

arizona teacher shortage

Arizona has a number of different shortages for teachers. Specific subject areas that are in desperate need of teachers are: foreign language, special ed, bilingual, ESL, math and science. The state is also promising a statewide increase of 20% in teacher salaries. Arizona is also using a “warm body” approach to teaching so allowing anyone with relevant experience in an area to teach.

Arizona was built on mining, and the countryside is epic to say the absolute least. The Grand Canyon is on your doorstep and that’s not all. It’s also the state with the largest amount of its land given over to Indian lands. If all that’s sounding a bit rural, there are cities… so you don’t have to envisage a life in the wilderness ????.

Alternative teacher certificate programs

There are several ways to get an alternative teacher certification in Arizona.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$44,000

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$28,000

Professional development opportunities

Arizona provides PD opportunities for its teachers.

Minimum requirements for teachers

Arizona lets subject matter experts without a teaching license teach, however, most wannabe teachers should aim to have an alternative teaching license.

Indiana

indiana teacher shortage

Indiana is embracing technology in their bid to find and hire new teachers. With shortages in all content areas they are particularly interested in teachers with some urban experience. Recent moves to recruit include social media campaigns, Google ads and the launch of a Teach Indy website.

For teachers looking for an urban lifestyle this may be one of the best states to make sure you’re not too far from major shopping haunts????️. The state has more than that to offer with catacombs, museums, and the zoo????… your weekends will be jam-packed with activities.

Alternative teacher certificate programs

Indiana has a couple of transition to teaching courses to help teachers gain alternative certification.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$54,000

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$24,000

Professional development opportunities

Not only does Indiana offer PD, it offers a PD growth plan to make sure teachers are on track!

Minimum requirements for teachers

A BA degree and a temporary emergency permit (this is really the minimum, and teachers are recommended to get licensed).

Washington

washington state teacher shortage areas

Although it has teacher shortages, Washington is perhaps better set to face them than most states. The crisis is mostly around substitutes and subject specific areas like math, science and special ed. There are also plans to give all teachers a salary bump!

Washington state is home to a mild climate and teachers can look forward to life in stunning surroundings. Seattle alone is a hub of things to do, but you won’t be stuck for inspiration anywhere in this state. For all you cheese addicts, this is also the birthplace of the Cheese Zombie ????. We’ll let you figure out what that means!

Alternative teacher certificate programs

There are a number of alternative routes to teacher certification in Washington.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$53,500

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$40,400

Professional development opportunities

The state provides PD opportunities for teachers.

Minimum requirements for teachers

A BA degree, pass in state-approved subject specific exams and an alternative teaching license.

Nevada

nevada teacher shortage

School districts in Nevada are seriously struggling to attract teaching talent across all subject areas. The state has responded by allowing teachers into the classroom on provisional licenses as well as offering attractive signing bonuses to new teachers. It’s also launched a “calling all heroes” campaign to try and get teachers to make the move from other parts of the country.

Nevada is largely desert ???? but there’s still plenty to do. Las Vegas alone is a constant hub of madness, but it’s nowhere near all that Nevada has to offer. From vintage neon signs, to gorgeous geysers - this is a state that will never stop surprising people.

Alternative teacher certificate programs

There are a couple of ways to get teacher certified in Nevada.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$48,600

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$40,000

Professional development opportunities

The state funds PD opportunities for teachers.

Minimum requirements for teachers

A BA degree and a provisional teaching license

California

california teacher shortage

Math, science and special ed teachers are all in high demand, but there are certainly shortages across the board. California is throwing money at the problem, including $70 million spent on funding teacher preparation courses, to get prospective teachers into the classroom. The state has also recently released some new legislation to incentivize STEM programs, so science teachers take note! ????

Teach Away logo

Sign up to Teach Away today for access to the latest
teaching jobs around the world.

 

California is a bit of a show-off in terms of lifestyle, you’ll find it all here. Silicon Valley, Golden Gate Bridge, the glamor of Hollywood ????????, rolling hills, beaches, sunny days….sigh! There’s really nothing we can teach you about California that you won’t have already heard in one of the many songs written about it.

Alternative teacher certificate programs

There are a number of ways to get teacher certified in California and some of them are funded.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$67,800

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$39,000

Professional development opportunities

The state funds PD opportunities for teachers..

Minimum requirements for teachers

Generally requires a BA degree and a completed teacher preparation course.

South Carolina

south carolina teacher shortage

South Carolina is one of the states with a teacher shortage that is doing their utmost to attract new teachers. They’ve poured money into a teacher recruitment and retention strategy that tries to help teachers by helping with payment of student loans, and funding two years of grad school after 5 years of teaching in a high-turnover district. South Carolina also has grand plans for the future, aiming to give teachers of critical subject areas an additional $1,500 per year. They’ve also got plans to launch a loan forgiveness program that will give teachers $5,000 a year for 7 years to help pay off debt.

There are teacher shortages in all content areas. It’s also one of the states known for being great for professional development for educators. There is also a plan in place to boost teaching salaries by 2020.

Home to Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Falls Park, South Carolina is a lovely place to live. There’s plenty of more unusual things to do here: from a UFO welcome center ????to an intricate topiary garden and the State’s famous (and glorious) deep fried peanuts!

Alternative teacher certificate programs

There’s no shortage of alternative teacher certificate programs in South Carolina.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$49,000

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$31,000

Professional development opportunities

South Carolina funds an impressive list of PD opportunities for its teachers.

Minimum requirements for teachers

Teachers need a BA degree and a pass in the relevant Praxis tests. Teachers without a traditional teaching degree should complete an approved South Carolina teacher preparation program.

North Dakota

special education teacher shortage

The teacher shortage in North Dakota is more or less chronic. There’s plenty of oil money to throw around but not much of it is being thrown at schools, although there are no plans to reduce funding, there aren’t really any talks about increasing it either. Aside from PE teachers, all subjects are in need of some teachers. North Dakota also has a loan forgiveness program to help teachers pay down debt.

Living in North Dakota is best summed up by Theodore Roosevelt, so we’ll let him do the talking for us because his description is as true now as it ever was. He described it as: "a world of beauty and color and limitless space." ????

Alternative teacher certificate programs:

North Dakota currently has a number of ways to get an alternative teacher certification.

Average teacher salary (USD):

$51,000

Average teacher starting salary (USD):

$25,000

Professional development opportunities:

The state provides PD opportunities for teachers to do Personal Development that helps work towards teacher certificate renewal,

Minimum requirements for teachers

A BA and a state-approved completed teacher preparation course, as well as passing grades in the Praxis test for their subject area.

Alaska

alaska teacher shortage

The home of the Northern Lights offers one of the highest starting salaries for starting teachers. There are shortages in multiple areas but particularly in special ed, math and science.

For teachers who want to be free of the madding crowd, Alaska offers a unique location to teach from. This is the perfect location for teachers who embrace the big outdoors, from stunning hiking trails and glaciers, to wildlife like: bears, wolves and moose. There’s no shortage of beauty for nature lovers ????????.

Alternative teacher certificate programs

No alternative routes to teacher certification, it’s possible to get an M license, but only for specific subjects and it must be requested by the school board.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$62,160

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$36,000

Professional development opportunities

The state provides teachers with a range of professional development, including effective ways to teach and test: oral language and vocabulary, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension and writing.

Minimum requirements for teachers

The minimum requirement for teachers in Alaska is a teaching license. Teachers can also have completed a teacher preparation or alternative certificate program, these applicants will need to pass the state exams in their subject areas. Alaska doesn’t currently offer its own alternative certification.

Illinois

illinois teacher shortage

Illinois has shortages across the board, but particularly in special ed, math and science. It also boasts one of the highest starting salaries for qualified teachers, which is bound to put it top of many newbie teacher’s lists.

It’s a great state for teachers with green thumbs (the soil is legit amazing), baseball problems and anyone that have an appreciation for snow days ☃️. Other temptations include deep dish pizza and the world’s biggest public library (aka a teacher’s best friend).

Alternative teacher certificate programs

A list of teacher certification programs in Illinois.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$55,000

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$37,500

Professional development opportunities

The state supports professional development for teachers in illinois.

Minimum requirements for teachers

Teachers in Illinois require a BA, a teacher certification program and passing results on the state teacher certification exams.

Florida

florida teacher shortage

Between a wave of retirees and a new amendment cutting class sizes, Florida is facing a critical teacher shortage. With more students than ever before there is an urgency to recruit teachers in all subject areas. The state allocates serious funding to its Best and Brightest Program, rewarding teachers whose students achieve top scores. There have been talks of re-allocating some of this fund to help boost the average teacher’s salary. Florida has a Critical Teacher Shortage Program that allocates extra funding to teachers taking position in hard-to-staff schools and subject areas. This includes scholarship programs, loan forgiveness programs and housing support!

From the beaches of Miami ????️ to the swamps of Gainesville????, Florida has a little of everything. If you like your summers hot and have a soft spot for Disney World - then this may be the perfect place to launch your teaching career.

Alternative teacher certificate programs

From temporary to professional alternative teaching licenses. See what Florida requires from its teachers here.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$48,000

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$30,000

Professional development opportunities

Florida provides professional development opportunities for its teachers.

Minimum requirements for teachers

Teachers in Florida are required to have a minimum of a BA, a completed teacher certification program and a passing grade in the Florida teacher certification examinations.

Connecticut

teacher shortage connecticut

Teachers needed in Connecticut include speech and language, music, Spanish, bilingual education, science, math and special ed. This state is famous for being teacher-friendly with stricter requirements than most. It also has some of the most attractive salaries for teachers in the US.

So, teachers with a crush on the town of Stars Hollow from the Gilmore Girls, this is your state! The hit TV series was set in this state, so think gorgeous fall foliage ???? and diners. This state is home to Mark Twain’s former abode and Yale University.

Alternative teacher certificate programs

If you’re hoping to teach in Connecticut make sure you choose one of these accredited teacher certificate programs.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$76,000

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$48,000

Professional development opportunities

Connecticut schools must provide teachers with professional development opportunities.

Minimum requirements for teachers

Connecticut requires teachers to have a bachelor's degree and complete a teacher preparation program at an accredited school. Teachers must also pass the Praxis Core skills test and subject-specific exams for the content area and grade they intend to teach.

Alabama

alabama teacher shortage

The big gaps for teachers in Alabama are in special education, science and math. But there’s certainly room for other teachers too. One really interesting initiative to keep students that was announced this year is by the University of West Alabama. They provide scholarships and more to students at UWA who get certified and will teach for three years in the Black Belt. The aim is that they will fall in love with the area, see the difference they make and decide to stay long term.

As for falling in love with the area, what’s not to ????. English teachers are going to go googly-eyed for the Shakespeare fans, science teachers have the US Space Center, and for fans of country music, there’s a Hank Williams pilgrimage to soothe the soul ????.

Alternative teacher certificate programs

There are plenty of options for getting teacher certified in Alabama, check out a list of accredited teacher certificate programs here.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$50,000

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$30,000

Professional development opportunities

The state of Alabama provides professional development for its teachers. Check out some of the programs here.

Minimum requirements for teachers

The basic requirements for teaching in Alabama are a BA and a completed teacher certificate program.

Arkansas

arkansas teacher shortage

Arkansas is actively seeking teachers in math, science and ESL. It’s also rated one of the top states for professional development opportunities so teachers looking at their long-term career prospects could do a lot worse!

This state is full of hidden treasures! Whether you want to discover the joys of chocolate gravy, explore a castle, or dig for diamonds????, there’s no shortage of unique things to see and do if you live in Arkansas.

Alternative teacher certificate programs

Check out the Arkansas Board of Education to find a list of accredited routes to becoming a licensed teacher in Arkansas.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$48,000

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$31,000

Professional development opportunities

State law says that for every 190 days of service, teachers must receive 6 days of professional development. You can find out more about professional development opportunities in Arkansas here.

Minimum requirements for teachers

Similar to other states, teachers are required to have a minimum of a BA and a teacher certificate program. There are a number of different ways to get teacher certified in Arkansas.

Texas

teacher shortage in texas

Few teachers seem to consider relocating to the Lonestar Star State, but it has plenty to offer. It has recently boosted salaries and schools are actively looking to find teachers from minority groups that better reflect the students in the average Texas classroom. Studies have shown students respond better to teachers that look like them, so Texas school districts are looking for balance in their teachers.

Texas is massive - there’s a home for every teacher, whether you’re creative and want to settle near Austin’s creative community, a history-nut who wants to explore San Antonio or you’re a science nerd and want to live near Nasa’s Space Centre in Houston! ????

Alternative teacher certificate programs

Check out the Texas Teacher Certificate programs to find out how to become a licensed teacher in Texas.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$52,000

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$33,000

Professional development opportunities

It’s written into state law that Texas schools must continue the development of their teachers. For more information on Professional Development Courses in Texas.

Minimum requirements for teachers

Teachers in Texas are required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and an alternative teacher certification completed.

North Carolina

north carolina teacher shortage

North Carolina’s teacher shortage had lead to statewide educational reform. Not only are school districts pitching in to bump the average teacher’s wages, but there is a host of professional development opportunities and alternative teacher certificate programs. This is only the beginning for North Carolina who continue to tackle the issue by targeting an increase in the average salary to $55,000 by 2020.

North Carolina is an often overlooked state that has a lot to offer teachers on the lifestyle front. It’s got Southern charm without the southern temperatures! It’s a mild climate most of the year and a paradise for hiking or biking enthusiasts ⛰️????‍♀️.

Alternative teacher certificate programs

Check out the North Carolina Teacher Certificate Programs listed here for more information on how to become a certified teacher in North Carolina.

Average teacher salary (USD)

$50,000

Average teacher starting salary (USD)

$35,000

Professional development opportunities

North Carolina has a statewide initiative for Professional Development opportunities for teachers. These focus on multiple stages of the teacher’s life cycle ranging from beginning teacher support programs to leadership development. You can read more about the courses at the North Carolina board of education’s site.

Minimum requirements for teachers

Teachers in North Carolina are required to have a bachelor’s degree and at least a teacher preparation course completed.