What Is the Average Teacher Salary in Mississippi?


Teaching is more than a profession; it is a calling. With nearly 24 percent of the state’s population under the age of 18, Mississippi has a high demand for teachers and educators. Before making a decision about becoming a teacher, you should explore important details about the profession, like the teacher salary in Mississippi as well as the requirements to become a teacher in Mississippi.

So, what is the average teacher salary in Mississippi? Continue reading for a comprehensive guide on salary details and how to become a preschool, elementary, high school, and special education teacher in the state.

What Is the Average Teacher Salary in Mississippi?

According to statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics, the estimated average annual salary for Mississippi public school teachers in 2021 was $47,655, along with comprehensive benefits.

With a career in education, K-12 public school teachers typically receive an increase in salary based on their years of experience, specialty, or the technicality of the subject they teach. Teachers also receive great retirement benefits and insurance options.

What Is the Average Salary of a Teacher in the United States?

In the United States, the role of a teacher is an extensive umbrella that covers all education, training, and library occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for public school educators in the US was $52,380 in May 2020, and employment opportunities are expected to grow by 10 percent within this decade. Many states are facing a teacher shortage, leading to multiple job openings.

Average Teacher Salary in Mississippi: K—12

Level Number Employed in Mississippi Average Salary in Mississippi Average Salary in the United States
Kindergarten Teachers 1,110 $46,610 $61,400
Elementary School Teachers 10,840 $45,760 $61,400
Middle School Teachers 5,460 $46,880 $61,320
High School Teachers 12,840 $48,030 $61,820

Basic Requirements to Become a Teacher in Mississippi: K—12

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is essential. Candidates will have to present a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, secondary education, or a subject (such as math, biology, and et cetera) that they seek to teach at the secondary level in conjunction with relevant education courses from an accredited university.
  • Complete a teacher certification program. In order to become a licensed teacher, candidates must complete a teacher certification program that will be approved by the Mississippi Board of Education. These programs can be done online or on-campus, and student-teaching hours are typically required.
  • Pass the Praxis Subject Assessment tests. The Praxis Subject Assessments comprises two examinations, namely the Subjects Assessments and the Principles of Learning and Teaching PLT tests. Together, they measure your ability to effectively teach specific subjects to K-12 grade students.
  • Get a license. After completing all necessary tests, candidates can apply for and obtain a Class A teaching license which qualifies them to get a teaching job in Mississippi. The license is valid for five years. You can upgrade to a Class AA license when you get a master’s degree, and a Class AAAA certificate after obtaining a doctoral degree. The Class AAAA certificate is the highest license for teachers in Mississippi.

How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher in Mississippi

In Mississippi, the government is making an effort to improve the quality of education for students in the state. To become a kindergarten teacher in Mississippi, you’ll need to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. After getting your degree, you’ll need to take the Praxis Assessment exams. If you pass this test, you will get your license to start teaching.

How to Become an Elementary School Teacher in Mississippi

Similar to the requirements for kindergarten teachers, elementary school teachers in Mississippi are licensed by the Mississippi Department of Education. You’ll first need to enroll in and complete a teacher training or educator preparation program from an accredited institution. Next, you will take the Praxis examination to showcase your areas of strength. After the test, you will get a license and can begin applying for open job positions in the state.

How to Become a Middle School Teacher in Mississippi

Teachers in middle school must be well educated to teach their students effectively. A degree in any related subject, in addition to relevant education courses, is the first step in your journey to becoming a middle school teacher in Mississippi.

You will then take required Praxis tests and receive a license to practice. The license is only the beginning of your career. You can upgrade, get more certificates, and climb the career ladder. While teachers in Mississippi are paid below the national average, gaining more certificates can help you earn a higher compensation.

How to Become a High School Teacher in Mississippi

High school teachers provide the final checkpoint before students enter college. To become a high school teacher in Mississippi, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution. Your college degree major should match the subject you are applying to teach. Next, you will need to pass the Praxis tests to obtain your license. Each license lasts five years, after which they must be renewed.

Average Teacher Salary in Mississippi: Other Types of Teachers

Type Number Employed in Mississippi Average Salary in Mississippi Average Salary in the United States
Preschool Teachers 3,100 $26,860 $30,210
Career and Technical Education Teachers 1,040 $50,940 $61,160
Adult Basic Education Teachers 690 $50,790 $59,720
Substitute Teachers 1,810 $20,780 $30,100

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Mississippi: Preschool

  • Get a degree. The primary requirement to become a preschool teacher in Mississippi is to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. For those with a different major in the undergraduate levels, they can get a master’s degree or higher specialization qualifications in childhood education to qualify to teach in preschools.
  • Take the Praxis exams. The Praxis exam is a set of three exams to test the skills of teachers across the nation. Passing this test will qualify you to get a license.
  • Apply for a license. The next step to become a preschool teacher is to apply for a state license to practice as a teacher. The license is renewable every five years.
  • Apply for jobs. Advanced degrees, qualifications, and all the licenses in the state alone won’t get you a job. You’ll need to apply to the preschool where you would like to teach. The more qualified you are, the higher your chances of getting a job as a preschool teacher.

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Mississippi: Career and Technical Education

  • Have proper education and experience. You’ll need to be educated in a specific field before you can start a profession in teaching. For a career and technical educator, an associate degree up to a doctoral degree is accepted to meet the education requirement. However, you’ll need to have years of experience in a relevant field.
  • Take technology competency exams. Candidates must demonstrate adequate knowledge and competency in basic technology in order to become a career and technical educator (CTE).
  • Complete teacher preparation courses. You’ll need to complete courses approved by the Mississippi Board of Education that will prepare you for your teaching career.
  • Get a job first, then your license. Before you get your license, you’ll have to secure a teaching job at any career and technical education center. This step is important because the director at the CTE center will be involved in the signing and submitting of your documents for a license. After all requirements mentioned above are met, you’ll receive your teaching license.

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Mississippi: Adult Basic Education

  • Get a bachelor’s degree. If you aspire to become an adult basic educator, you’ll need to spend a few years in university to get a degree. A degree is the most fundamental requirement to start as an adult basic educator.
  • Take the Praxis exam. This test helps you refine your skills and gives you the necessary knowledge to function well in a classroom. There are three Praxis tests, and you must pass all of them before you can start a career in teaching.
  • Get a license. There’s very little work left to do after you pass the test. To obtain a teaching license, you’ll have to work through various verification and payment details. After you apply, you will get your license and can start your practice as a teacher.

Requirements to Become a Substitute Teacher in Mississippi

  • Have an associate degree. In Mississippi, most districts require an associate degree, but some will require a bachelor’s degree. Substitute teachers do not need a license to practice. Being a substitute will allow you to familiarize yourself with the teaching industry, and you can then pursue a degree to become a full-time teacher.
  • Pass a background check. All substitute teaching candidates will need to complete and pass a criminal background check in order to begin work at any school district in the state.
  • Find substitute jobs. Being a substitute teacher can result in an unpredictable work schedule, but it is a career for great work-life balance. Substitute teachers are called when a full-time teacher misses work due to illness or other circumstances. You’ll have to check school job bulletins daily to secure substituting jobs.

Average Teacher Salary in Mississippi: Special Education

Special Education Level Number Employed in Mississippi Average Salary in Mississippi Average Salary in the United States
Preschool 190 $42,730 $62,420
Kindergarten and Elementary 1,780 $47,600 $61,640
Middle School 890 $46,890 $61,820
High School 1,380 $48,350 $62,120

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Mississippi: Special Education

  • Get a degree.  Getting a degree is mandatory to become a teacher in Mississippi, regardless of your career stage. For this educational profession, having a degree in special education or any discipline is acceptable.
  • Complete special education preparation training. The special education job requirement demands a great deal of professional knowledge and experience of educators. You’ll be prepared for the role by enrolling in special educator preparation programs approved by the Mississippi Department of Education.
  • Get more certifications. After getting your Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and passing the Praxis exams, you can decide to get more certifications. A Master’s Degree in Special Education can take up to two years, and will boost your salary.

Is a Teacher’s Salary in Mississippi Worth My Time and Money? 

If you have a passion for teaching and making a difference in the lives of children and learners, the salary range for teachers is worth your time and money that you spend in getting the necessary qualifications. While first-year teachers don’t make a lot of money, there is no doubt that your services will give a great deal to your community.

Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that teachers in the United States earn an average of $62,140 annually. You can earn more than this annual average when you gain additional experience and certifications. The fulfillment that comes with being a teacher is long-lasting, and having summers off of work along with a great benefit retirement plan make the profession a very strong option. 

Teacher Salary in Mississippi FAQ

What state pays the highest teacher salary?

New York is the state that pays the highest teacher salary in the United States. Teachers in New York state earned an average of $87,738 in 2020, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Can you teach in Mississippi without a degree?

For the majority of educator positions, you need to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to teach in Mississippi. You will also have to pass national exams and apply for a license. However, only an associate degree and substantial years of experience in a specific field is required to teach the subject of Career and Technical Education in the state.

How much do teachers make in Mississippi?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school teachers in Mississippi made an annual wage of $47,921 during the 2019-20 school year.

What is the starting salary for teachers in Mississippi?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average starting salary for teachers in Mississippi is $27,038 per year. The lowest teacher salaries are seen at the entry levels, and the average base salary increases with the teacher’s level of experience.

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