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

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  • 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.

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 7.6 million Americans employed by public schools owned by local governments in May 2018, the most recent year for which data is available.

Public school jobs tend to be higher-paying than average. The median annual wage across all occupations in the sector was $US47,120, well above the overall median wage of $US38,640.

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 $US23,610 a year and 144,170 are employed by public schools.


34. Institutional and cafeteria cooks earn a median of $US24,680 a year and 114,520 are employed by public schools.


33. Childcare workers earn a median of $US25,780 a year and 101,110 are employed by public schools.

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32. Protective service workers, all other, earn a median of $US27,350 a year and 48,510 are employed by public schools.

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


31. Coaches and scouts earn a median of $US27,580 a year and 40,690 are employed by public schools.

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30. Teacher assistants earn a median of $US27,700 and 981,630 are employed by public schools.

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29. Substitute teachers earn a median of $US28,790 a year and 485,430 are employed by public schools.

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28. Janitors and cleaners earn a median of $US30,350 a year and 299,440 are employed by public schools.


27. Bus drivers earn a median of $US31,360 and 205,870 are employed by public schools.


26. Office clerks earn a median of $US31,650 a year and 104,140 are employed by public schools.

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25. First-line supervisors of food prep and serving workers earn a median of $US33,590 a ear and 33,690 are employed by public schools.

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24. Security guards earn a median of $US33,900 and 26,760 are employed by public schools.


23. Education, training, and library workers, all other, earn a median of $US35,140 a year and 36,790 are employed by public schools.

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


22. Secretaries and administrative assistants earn a median of $US36,950 a year and 214,400 are employed by public schools.


21. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks earn a median of $US39,940 a year and 30,520 are employed by public schools.

Flickr/Alexander BaxevanisAccounting sheets.

20. Maintenance and repair workers earn a median of $US41,720 a year and 51,990 are employed by public schools.

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19. Teachers and instructors, all other, earn a median of $US42,860 a year and 87,060 are employed by public schools.

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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 $US46,030 a year and 31,630 are employed by public schools.


17. Preschool teachers earn a median of $US52,140 a year and 50,610 are employed by public schools.


16. Registered nurses earn a median of $US56,750 a year and 48,250 are employed by public schools.


15. Kindergarten teachers earn a median of $US57,270 a year and 111,000 are employed by public schools.

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14. Elementary school teachers earn a median of $US59,420 and 1,252,340 are employed by public schools.


13. Child, family, and school social workers earn a median of $US59,430 a year and 37,710 are employed by public schools.

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

12. Middle school teachers earn a median of $US59,570 a year and 538,420 are employed by public schools.


11. High school career and technical education teachers earn a median of $US59,970 and 71,650 are employed by public schools.

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10. Kindergarten and elementary school special education teachers earn a median of $US59,990 and 167,150 are employed by public schools.


9. Middle school special education teachers earn a median of $US60,610 and 82,130 are employed by public schools.

Bernard Bisson/Sygma via Getty Images

8. Librarians earn a median of $US61,020 and 39,770 are employed by public schools.


7. High school teachers earn a median of $US61,040 a year and 916,190 are employed by public schools.

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6. High school special education teachers earn a median of $US61,330 and 125,240 are employed by public schools.


5. Educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors earn a median of $US64,190 a year and 125,260 are employed by public schools.

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4. Speech-language pathologists earn a median of $US67,920 a year and 55,260 are employed by public schools.

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3. Instructional coordinators earn a median of $US70,400 a year and 68,390 are employed by public schools.


2. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn a median of $US75,620 and 40,400 are employed by public schools.

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1. Education administrators, such as principals and superintendent, earn a median of $US96,760 and 217,970 are employed by public schools.

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