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74% Underestimate Average Teacher Salary in U.S.

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. 

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

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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