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North Carolina Teacher Salary

As a North Carolina teacher, you’ll receive a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits and opportunities to grow your career. We'll tell you everything you need to know.

North Carolina Teacher Salary

As a North Carolina teacher, you’ll receive a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits and opportunities to grow your career. We'll tell you everything you need to know.

North Carolina’s average teacher salary is around $54,392, and most salaries are on the rise. From 2019 to 2020, The state’s teacher salaries rose by 5.5 percent. (1) That’s one of the fastest-growing salaries in the nation! 

On this page, you'll find everything you need to know about salary and benefits for North Carolina teachers.

Get information on:

How Much Do Teachers Make In North Carolina

Each district has its own salary schedule, but in general, your salary will be determined by your experience level, credentials and location in the state.

Your starting salary, or entry level salary, is how much you’ll make in your first year right after your teaching program. Starting salaries vary by district. You’ll also earn a higher starting salary with a master’s degree than you will with a bachelor’s.

Starting salaries are on the rise alongside each school's budget. According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for 2019-2020 increased  “2.5 percent over 2018-2019. When the budget was adjusted for inflation, this marks the largest annual increase in starting pay since before the Great Recession.” 

In 2020, the state's average teacher total starting salary was $37,049. (2)  The chart below shows samples of 2021-2022 salaries for entry level teachers around North Carolina. 



Salary for first-year teachers with a bachelor’s

Salary for first-year teachers with a master’s


Buncombe County Schools




Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools




Cumberland County Schools




Pitt County Schools



To see more salaries around the state, check out the district profiles at our Schools & Community page.

  • Entry Level Teacher Salaries

  • Average Teacher Salaries

  • Increasing Your Salary

There are a number of ways you can increase your salary, including advanced degrees, leading extracurriculars and pursuing advanced certifications or meeting performance benchmarks.

How Much Do Similar Professions Make in North Carolina?

Salary numbers are important information, but you may also be wondering how teacher salaries compare to other professions. 

A North Carolina school teacher salary is comparable to or even higher than many other fields. Plus, teachers usually work just 180-190 days each year—compared to 260 work days a year in most other fields. 

Compare average salaries and work days across the state (4):




Days of work per year

Average salary





Business and Finance

Tax Preparer



Social Services

Community Health Worker




Paralegal or Legal Assistant



Art and Design

Graphic Designer




Registered Nurse




Web Developer 




Benefits for Teachers

In NC, teachers receive comprehensive medical, dental, and vision insurance—plus secure retirement plans and vacation time.
  • North Carolina Teacher Retirement

  • Vacation

  • Funding Opportunities

  • Loan Forgiveness

  • Housing Assistance

  • Shopping Deals

Now is a great time to become a teacher. Teachers are in high demand across North Carolina, and the number of teaching opportunities is projected to grow in the coming years.

How Much Job Security Will I Have as a Teacher?

Now is a great time to become a teacher. Teachers are in high demand across North Carolina, and the number of teaching opportunities is projected to grow in the coming years. (6

You’ll have extra job security if you get licensed in a hard-to-fill subject area. In North Carolina, hard-to-fill areas include: 

  • Early childhood
  • Elementary school
  • Exceptional children
  • STEM
  • English as a Second Language
  • World languages

Career Growth for Teachers

Your teaching journey doesn’t necessarily need to start and end in the classroom. As an educator, you can grow your career—and your salary—by moving into an advanced teaching role, getting licensed to teach additional subjects, becoming a school or district leader, working on education policy… The sky’s the limit! 

Want to learn more about career growth possibilities for teachers? Visit our Teacher Career Path Guide for more ideas and options. 

Want to stay in the classroom? 

As a classroom teacher, you can grow into specialized leadership roles, such as a peer observer or mentor teacher position. Mentor teachers are key leaders to help student teachers and early career teachers build their skills. 

These leadership roles also come with extra pay. For example, you could earn:

  • $2,000 to $18,000 in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools depending on the level of extra responsibility. (7)
  • $100 per month In Wilmington (New Hanover County) supporting early career educators. (8)
  • $500 stipend in Raleigh (Wake County) as a mentor coordinator. (9)

Interested in opportunities outside the classroom? 

After you have some teaching experience under your belt, you might be curious about shifting your career. School or district leadership positions can be a great next step. Assistant principals, principals, curriculum coordinators and superintendents all help North Carolina schools and districts run smoothly to support teachers and students. 

These administrative roles also come with their own salary schedules and salary bumps. For example, you could earn: 

  • $49K-$82K to be an Assistant Principal in Charlotte (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) 
  • $50K-$71K to be a middle school Assistant Principal in Greensboro (Guilford County Schools)
  • $55K-$84K to be a  high school Assistant Principal in Raleigh (Wake County Schools)
  • $83K-$114K to be a high school principal in Wilmington (New Hanover County Schools) 

Have more questions about teaching in North Carolina? A TeachNC coach can tell you all about teacher salaries, teaching programs and more. Visit TEACH NC coaching page to set up a free coaching session.


  1. Pogarcic, Anna. “N.C. House releases full budget with salary proposals.” EdNC. August 9, 2021. EdNC.org. 
  2. National Education Association. “Teacher Pay and Spending: How Does Your State Rank?” April 23, 2021.
  3. National Board Certification. NC Department of Public Instruction. DPI.NC.gov.
  4. Salary Finder, CareerOneStop. U.S. Department of Labor. Careeronestop.org.
  5. Teachers’ & State Employees’ Retirement System Handbook. North Carolina Department of State Treasurer. NC.gov. 
  6. Careers With Most Openings, CareerOneStop. U.S. Department of Labor. Careeronestop.org
  7. CMS Teacher Leadership. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. CMS.K12.NC.us. 
  8. New Hanover County Schools Extra Duty Pay Rates, 2021-22. New Hanover County Schools. NCHS.net.
  9. Wake County Public School 2020-2021 Mentor Coordinator and Mentor Extra Duty Salary Schedule. Wake County Public School System. WCPSS.net

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