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74% Underestimate Average Teacher Salary in U.S.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Just over half of Americans agree that teachers are paid too little, but three-out-of-four underestimate what the average teacher salary really is.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of American Adults believe public school teachers are paid too little, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 15% believe teachers are paid too much, while 26% say they are paid about the right amount. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The number who believe teachers aren’t paid enough is up from 45% last September but is down from a high of 57% in May 2008.

But when asked how much the average teacher in America makes, just 11% correctly recognize that it is between $50,000 and $60,000 a year. Seventy-four percent (74%) think it's less than that, with 28% who believe the average teacher makes $40,000 to $50,000 annually, 37% who say between $30,000 and $40,000 and nine percent (9%) who think it's $20,000 to $30,000 a year. Only three percent (3%) think teachers earn more than $60,000 annually. 

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The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on September 11-12, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology.


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