The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 2012 median annual salary for elementary school teachers was $53,400. Among high school teachers, the median salary was $55,050. "Median" salary indicates that it falls in the middle of all salaries, with half above and half below.

Pay rate varies significantly among teachers. The best-paid elementary teachers and high school teachers earned more than $83,160 and $85,690, respectively. The lowest-paid 10 percent of elementary teachers brought home $35,630, while their high school counterparts made $36,930. This is based on a 10-month calendar. Though most teachers have traditional schedules that do not include summer classes, some schools have shorter, more frequent breaks with classes in session year-round.