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Massachusetts Ranks in the Top Ten States for Teachers

December 16, 2020

Teachers nationwide take on the challenge of educating young minds, dedicating themselves to applying best teaching practices in the classroom. Some states do a better job than others in rewarding teachers for their effort and setting them up for success. Massachusetts is one of them.

Massachusetts consistently ranks among the top states for teachers in the country in a variety of ranking lists. In addition, the state’s education system produces graduates who rank among the best students in the world.

That’s one reason so many teachers choose to earn a Master of Education degree at Merrimack College and work as a teacher in Massachusetts. State leaders have consistently shown a commitment to making Massachusetts a top state for teachers, providing an excellent work environment, salaries and job opportunities.

Reasons Why Massachusetts Is a Top State for Teachers

Massachusetts offers teachers many advantages. A 2019 study published by 24/7 Wall Street found that teachers rank Massachusetts among the top states for teachers because of low student to teacher ratios and strong teacher quality assessments.

Teacher salaries in Massachusetts also rank among the highest in the nation. According to federal numbers, Massachusetts ranked third among all states in average annual pay for high school teachers in May 2019 at $81,070, behind only New York and California.

Average annual pay for other types of teachers, and the national ranking, are:

  • Elementary school teachers – $82,450 (3rd)
  • Kindergarten teachers – $77,970 (4th)
  • Middle school teachers – $80,520 (3rd)

The Boston metropolitan statistical area, which includes North Andover where Merrimack College is located, ranks in the Top 10 metro areas in the nation both for the number of teachers and for teacher pay.

Growth in the teaching field is also strong in Massachusetts. For the period between 2016 and 2026, federal government statistics call for a 13.3% increase in the number of teachers in Massachusetts.

Education Reform Act of 1993

In 1993, then-Gov. William Weld signed the Education Reform Act into law. It required Massachusetts to fund low-income school districts at a higher level, giving poorer students access to a better education. It also provides significant financial relief for local districts, who lawmakers typically leave on their own to fund schools through property taxes.

The Education Reform Act also focused on hiring and retaining high-quality teachers. The state put more money into textbooks, classroom technology and improved courses. All these moves led to better student outcomes and a higher level of job satisfaction for teachers.

How Massachusetts Ranked in Recent Lists

Every year, U.S. News releases an influential Best States List. In 2019, Massachusetts ranked No. 1 in education and in the Top 10 overall. The state also ranks highly in many important categories that contribute to a higher quality of life.

For example, Massachusetts ranks in the Top 10 among all states for its healthcare system. The state’s economy also ranks highly, with a good blend of industries as its top employers including education, healthcare, technology and electronics. U.S. News also noted that beautiful tourist destinations such as Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard contribute to the state’s tourism industry and overall attractiveness.

WalletHub also ranked Massachusetts high for education and No. 5 in the “academic and work environment” category for educators, again naming it among the top states for teachers. With Massachusetts consistently coming out on top in education for teachers, an M.Ed. from Merrimack College could lead to a highly sought after career in education.