Your New York State Teaching Salary: It’s More Than Just a Number!

New York State Teaching Salary

Salaries are a big concern for any teacher entering the profession or considering a transition that might position them better financially. If you’ve started teaching in the great state of New York, you’re in luck! New York State teaching salaries are some of the highest in the nation. 

While the average New York State teaching salary is impressive on paper, there are many more benefits than just a paycheck. Employees in public education reap the benefits of strong retirement, healthcare, sick and personal days, and professional development packages that go well beyond direct deposit. Let’s break those down, and show you what teaching in New York has to offer.

How Much Does a NY Teacher Actually Make?

In 2022, the average public school teacher’s salary in the state of New York came in at $92,222. It’s undoubtedly enticing, especially considering that neighboring states like New Jersey and Connecticut have an average annual salary of more than $10K less. 

However, there are a lot of factors that contextualize those numbers. For instance, the average cost of living in New York as a whole is about $90k per year, which means that without a spouse working at least a part-time job, the average teacher is going to be editing their lifestyle considerably to get by. 

This is where the benefits package offered to educators can make a big difference when you’re considering your overall financial situation. The average New Yorker is spending over $9k a year for a silver health insurance plan, but if you’re a teacher, the state is going to mitigate a lot of that. Toss in a retirement plan and a number of other benefits, and living as a teacher in New York sounds downright possible!

Medical Benefits

For most teachers, the first consideration after salary is health insurance. The cost of the plan and what it offers can make a huge difference, especially for those with a family or other dependents they support. 

Health Insurance

Public school teachers working outside NYC are members of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS), which provides exceptional coverage. Under the NYSTRS, members are responsible for covering 12% of the cost of health coverage up to an annual cap determined by the district-specific collective bargaining agreement. 

Even better, participants who retire after being employed by NYSTRS for at least 10 years, are eligible to keep their insurance coverage and pay an amount equal to that paid by active employees with a similar plan. 

Vision and Dental

Through the NYSTRS, members have the option to get vision coverage through Davis Vision, and dental coverage through Delta dental insurance. Employees choosing vision coverage will pay only 10% of the annual cost of coverage, and depending on the individual’s coverage needs, teachers won’t pay more than 50% of the monthly cost of coverage in dental premiums.

NYC Public Schools

NYC schools are a bit of a special case because it’s a major metropolitan area, and working for the Department of Education (DOE) within the New York City public school system also comes with some impressive medical benefits. Employees will have the option to select from a variety of health insurance plans, several of which require no employee contributions. Coverage for employees and their families will start on the first day of employment while employees also receive dental, vision, and prescription drug benefits.


NYSTRS employees are all provided either a structured retirement plan through the New York State Employees Retirement System (ERS) or a retirement plan through the New York State Voluntary Defined Contribution Program (VDC).

The ERS has several plans to choose from, determined in part by when you joined. Eligibility is based on an employee’s date of hire, and benefit levels and contribution rates are determined by membership tier.

For teachers working in NYC, the Teacher’s Retirement System of the City of New York—one of the largest true pension systems in the United States—is an incredible option. Using a tiered structure, employee contributions are based on annual wages and provide a guaranteed retirement allowance.

More Benefits to Consider

While the details of each may vary depending on district-specific bargaining agreements, there are some other advantages teachers of New York should consider. 

Benefit Time

The New York State teaching salary is supported by one of the best packages for paid family leave in the nation. Employees are allotted six weeks of fully-paid maternity and paternity leave to bond, care for a newborn, and assist a spouse with caregiving. In addition, teachers in New York have excellent and nationally competitive sick and personal day policies. They vary by district, and are inscribed in state law:

  • Employees are entitled to earn a half day every biweekly pay period, up to 150. 
  • Teachers may be eligible for up to 17 or more sick days depending on their district.
  • Districts may opt for paid leave for religious observances, teacher conferences, and other professional development opportunities.
  • Districts can grant extended sick leave, as well as extended sick leave at half pay once sick leave is exhausted. 
  • Other types of health-related leaves and benefits for special circumstances may be available. 

Professional Development

When it comes to fulfilling professional requirements like teaching certification and eligibility for raises, district support for professional development can be a huge motivator for teachers looking to relocate. Whether it includes professional development seminars or pursuing something like graduate-level coursework, NY state and city educational institutions require and support robust and varying levels of PD for their educators.

Also, if you work in the NYC school system, you’re eligible for periodic sabbaticals at 70% pay as long as you take 16 hrs of educational credits. It’s an amazing perk that every teacher should take advantage of!

Learning More About Being a Teacher in New York

There’s a reason having a New York State teaching salary is about much more than just a dollar sign. Cost of living may be high, but the state offers excellent benefits to offset the challenges and empower its educators so they can live well and provide exemplary education for their students. 

And because of their support, you will have plenty of opportunities to develop yourself professionally to maximize your impact in the classroom and build your career. Taking advantage of the New York teacher certification content offered by Premiere can help you make the most out of the opportunities New York is creating for its educators. All of our courses are designed by leading industry professionals, and make meeting certification requirements and improving your classroom skills as easy as turning on your screen. 

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