Teaching Career Outlook

Click to read a Press Democrat Article about the increasing demand for new teachers as the California Eductor workforce reaches retirement age

California’s long-term picture includes a great demand for teachers, particularly in high need subject areas (special education, mathematics, and science).

We know this because:

  • Large numbers of teachers are ready to retire. According to the Center for Teaching and Learning, various counties throughout the state (including Sacramento and counties east and south of Sacramento) are projected to lose between 41 and 59% of their teachers between 2005-06 and 2015-16 due to retirement. (Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, 2008)
  • Changes in student enrollment. Between 2007 and 2017, student enrollment is projected to increase in inland counties and some central and northern coastal counties. (Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, 2008)
  • Declining enrollment in teacher preparation programs. From 2002-3 to 2006-7, enrollment in teacher preparation programs decreased by more than 30%. (Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 2009)
  • Declining number of teaching credentials issued. From 2002-03 to 2006-7, the number of Level I credentials issued decreased by almost 11%. (Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 2009)

Salaries and Benefits

Salaries vary between school districts and generally are based on experience and college units completed. Some districts pay bonuses for advanced degrees or extra duty.

Range: In the 1st quarter of 2008 the average wage for secondary school teachers, except special education, was $62,779; the average wage for elementary school teachers, except special education was $58,677.

California’s Employment Development Department maintains a detailed database of occupational wages, by region and year. Teachers’ salaries can be found by looking at the occupation codes (step #6) in the 252000 range.


Work schedule: nine month school year. Some districts have year round classes where teachers work for 45 days followed by 15 days off, repeated throughout the year.

Public schools provide benefits which vary by district.

  • Health insurance
  • Leave
  • Retirement and other benefits
  • Special incentives for teachers include bonuses, mortgage assistance and tax breaks.