From cafeteria workers to principals, here's what everyone makes in a public school

Ariel Skelley/Getty ImagesElementary school teachers earn a median wage of $US60,870 a year.
  • May 4-8 is National Teacher Appreciation Week, when Americans show their appreciation for all the work of teachers and school workers.
  • The work of teachers is especially important during the novel coronavirus outbreak because teachers have had to quickly modify their lesson plans to teach remotely.
  • The Bureau of Labour Statistics provides data on wages and employment in local-government-owned public elementary and high schools.
  • Public schools employ a wide variety of workers, and salaries range from well below the median wage to very high-paying.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

May 4-8 is National Teacher Appreciation Week, when Americans celebrate all the work teachers do to educate students.

Their hard work is especially important as teachers have had to find new ways to teach during the novel coronavirus pandemic. School districts continue to remain closed nationwide as the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase.

School closings and online learning are likely to affect public school workers. Public schools employ a wide variety of workers, and salaries range from well below the median wage to very high-paying.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics program offers data on employment and wages across different occupations and industries.

According to that report, there were about 7.65 million Americans employed by public schools owned by local governments in May 2019, the most recent year for which data is available.

The median annual wage across all public school occupations was $US48,310. The salaries within the sector range from $US24,380 for food preparation and serving workers to $US97,850 for education administrators.

Teacher salaries also vary between grade levels. For instance, high school teachers earn a median wage of $US62,310 a year, while middle school teachers earn a median wage of $US60,580.

Here are all the occupations with at least 25,000 employees in the local-government-owned school sector ranked from lowest to highest wage, along with their median annual pay and the number of people in that job:


35. Combined food preparation and serving workers earn a median of $US24,380 a year and 149,170 are employed by public schools.

Kathryn Scott Osler / Contributor/Getty Images

34. Institutional and cafeteria cooks earn a median of $US25,480 a year and 114,400 are employed by public schools.

XiXinXing/Getty Images

33. Childcare workers earn a median of $US27,100 a year and 96,300 are employed by public schools.

Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

32. Protective service workers, all other, earn a median of $US27,810 a year and 56,060 are employed by public schools.

Associated Press

This is a catch-all category used by the BLS to designate protective service occupations that are not included in other occupational groups.


31. Teacher assistants earn a median of $US28,520 and 1,003,040 are employed by public schools.

Getty Images / Robert Benson

30. Substitute teachers earn a median of $US28,910 a year and 478,520 are employed by public schools.

Matt Cardy/Stringer/Getty Images

29. Coaches and scouts earn a median of $US29,450 a year and 40,960 are employed by public schools.

Boston Globe/Contributor/Getty Images

28. Education, training, and library workers, all other, earn a median of $US30,690 a year and 52,000 are employed by public schools.

Rogelio V. Solis/AP

This is a catch-all category used by the BLS to designate educational occupations that are not included in other occupational groups.


27. Janitors and cleaners earn a median of $US31,280 a year and 290,650 are employed by public schools.

REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

26. Bus drivers earn a median of $US32,420 and 201,850 are employed by public schools.

Steve Ruark/AP

25. Office clerks earn a median of $US32,650 a year and 101,300 are employed by public schools.

Getty Images

24. First-line supervisors of food prep and serving workers earn a median of $US34,960 a year and 33,430 are employed by public schools.

Christopher Furlong/Staff/Getty Images

23. Security guards earn a median of $US34,980 and 28,210 are employed by public schools.

Gerry Broome/AP

22. Secretaries and administrative assistants earn a median of $US37,630 a year and 214,240 are employed by public schools.

ALPA PROD/Shutterstock

21. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks earn a median of $US41,170 a year and 30,450 are employed by public schools.

JohnnyLye/Getty Images

20. Maintenance and repair workers earn a median of $US42,600 a year and 53,670 are employed by public schools.

peuceta/Getty Images

19. Teachers and instructors, all other, earn a median of $US45,010 a year and 88,690 are employed by public schools.

Hero Images/Getty Images

This is a catch-all category used by the BLS to designate class-room occupations that are not included in other occupational groups.


18. Computer user support specialists earn a median of $US47,330 a year and 32,380 are employed by public schools.

Maskot/Getty Images

17. Preschool teachers earn a median of $US51,740 a year and 49,210 are employed by public schools.

Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

16. Registered nurses earn a median of $US58,270 a year and 49,270 are employed by public schools.

Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

15. Kindergarten teachers earn a median of $US58,380 a year and 105,630 are employed by public schools.

Thomas Lohnes / Getty Images

14. Middle school teachers earn a median of $US60,580 a year and 550,900 are employed by public schools.

Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

13. Child, family, and school social workers earn a median of $US60,700 a year and 39,920 are employed by public schools.

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

12. Elementary school teachers earn a median of $US60,870 and 1,262,560 are employed by public schools.

Brendan Hoffman/AP

11. Kindergarten and elementary school special education teachers earn a median of $US60,970 and 175,200 are employed by public schools.

Lynne Sladky/AP

10. Librarians earn a median of $US61,300 and 44,690 are employed by public schools.

Reuters

9. High school career and technical education teachers earn a median of $US61,440 and 68,850 are employed by public schools.

Shutterstock

8. Middle school special education teachers earn a median of $US61,750 and 81,080 are employed by public schools.

Bernard Bisson/Sygma via Getty Images

7. High school teachers earn a median of $US62,310 a year and 894,650 are employed by public schools.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

6. High school special education teachers earn a median of $US62,650 and 125,490 are employed by public schools.

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

5. Educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors earn a median of $US65,100 a year and 129,260 are employed by public schools.

John Moore/Getty Images

4. Speech-language pathologists earn a median of $US70,170 a year and 55,210 are employed by public schools.

Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

3. Instructional coordinators earn a median of $US71,080 a year and 74,490 are employed by public schools.

AP

2. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn a median of $US76,730 and 42,520 are employed by public schools.

BSIP/Contributor/Getty Images

1. Education administrators, such as principals and superintendents, earn a median of $US97,850 and 222,420 are employed by public schools.

Ross D. Franklin/AP

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