Economy & Jobs

Wyoming: The Best State for a Teaching Career

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Is there any job more rewarding than being a teacher? If you are new to the profession, you’re quickly learning that the interpersonal and emotional benefits speak for themselves. Teaching may not be the most lucrative career, but there are countless aspects to consider that can improve your paycheck, your workload, and your overall day-to-day life. These range from safety to local education budget, income taxes to student/teacher ratios.

With that in mind as you set out on your career in education, where is the best state to set up shop?

The Top Five States for Teachers

According to recent WalletHub research, the following are considered the top five states for teachers.

  1. Wyoming
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Minnesota
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Virginia

These states excel in such areas as high annual salaries, low occupational competition, and an abundance of students in the 5-to-17 age bracket. These findings look great on paper, but what can living in a state like Wyoming actually do for a new teacher? How will you see the benefits in your daily life?

Welcome to Wyoming

WalletHub has dubbed Wyoming the best state to start your education career. The state itself received high scores for annual salary (with respect to cost of living), for having the lowest ratio of students to teachers (allowing for more personal connection and individualized attention), and for spending the third highest amount per capita on public education.

But this state, known for Old Faithful and Yellowstone National Park, is also a welcome home for those interested in saving a little extra in their paychecks. The Equality State boasts no personal (or corporate) income tax rates as well as a low 4 percent general sales tax (below the national average). Despite having the fifth highest property taxes in the country (2012 findings reveal that Wyoming’s state and local governments collected, on average, $2,308 in property taxes per capita), the cost of living in Wyoming is 2.68 percent lower than the U.S. average.

Teaching Through Nature

As a teacher, you know that education doesn’t end in the classroom, and Wyoming offers one of the largest natural playgrounds for students to explore and learn. With Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park in your backyard, subjects such as science and history come alive through these natural landmarks. Each park offers a Junior Ranger Program, allowing students to interact with nature from an educational perspective. Other excursions include the Wyoming Dinosaur Center & Dig Sites, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and wildlife tours.

Wyoming is one of the best states to start your career as an educator for multiple reasons. If the great outdoors and saving a little extra money excites you, the Equality State will not disappoint.

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Michelle Schroeder is an award-winning personal finance blogger. She discusses student loans, budgeting, intentional living, and more, all on her personal finance website. She has appeared on Forbes, WiseBread, Huffington Post, Zillow, Business Insider, Yahoo! Finance, Lifehacker, Lifehack, The Consumerist, US News, Mint.com, Learnvest, BankRate.com, and more. Michelle also has her Finance MBA.