Interactive Map: Teachers, Superintendents See Slight Hike in Salaries

Colleen O'Dea | November 14, 2013 | Education, Maps
Average pay for teachers is $68,797, seventh-highest in nation, while NJ school chiefs earn $155,903

Salary data was supplied by the NJ Department of Education. The database contains salary data for more than 140,000 school certificated staff (administrators, teachers and other professionals) and appears to have some errors, including 32 staff members not assigned to a primary district or school, incomplete staff rosters for some districts and salaries that appear as 0 or too high, so some of the calculated averages and percentage changes may be inaccurate. These instances appear to affect about a dozen districts and they are noted by district in the map. No data was reported for four districts: Andover Regional, Deal, Little Falls and Ocean Gate.

To see data for elementary districts not visible in the map above, see this map.

The average salary for New Jersey teachers and superintendents inched higher last year, while the average salary for other school administrators nudged down, an analysis of state salary data shows.

The typical non-administrative staff – teachers, librarians, psychologists and other professionals – got a 1.3 percent salary boost to receive an average of about $68,254 in 2012-13, according to an NJ Spotlight analysis of data for more than 140,000 certificated public school employees. The average administrator’s salary, meanwhile, declined by 1 percent to about $118,198, although superintendents saw their salaries rise 1.2 percent to an average $155,903.

Derived from the New Jersey Department of Education’s Certificated Salary database, the amounts only cover salary and not total pay, which could include stipends for additional work, bonuses, compensation for unused sick days or other extra pay. It counted salary as of Oct. 15, 2012, so contracts settled after that date would not be reflected in the data. The DOE issued this third iteration of the database, which usually is made available during the summer, earlier this week. Some of the data remains incomplete, and some salaries in the case of a few districts appear to be inaccurate – for instance, 11 of 16 staff in Stone Harbor have salaries listed in the millions of dollars each — despite the department’s endeavoring to fix issues found twice before.

Still, because there are so many staff records, the statewide averages are probably not too far off. In its most recent Rankings & Estimates report, issued last December, the National Education Association estimated the average teacher’s salary in New Jersey at $68,797, fifth highest in the nation behind New York, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Connecticut and California. New York’s average salary was highest, at $75,279.

In past years, DOE officials have blamed errors in the data on mistakes made by local officials who provide the state with the information each year and a caution statement the department sends with the data states that it is “self-reported information that requires a certification of accuracy from the district superintendent” but “school personnel can make errors that are not caught.” A DOE spokesman said staff is looking into the latest issues with the database.

The data would seem to reflect the retirements of staff both due to age and due to changes over the last several years that have cut salaries for superintendents and forced all staff to pay more toward their pensions and health benefits.

The average teacher had 11.8 years of experience in education, compared with an average of 12.5 years in 2008-09, which the average salary was $63,632. The typical administrator had 16.7 years of experience in 2012, 4.5 years less than four years earlier, when the average salary was $113,885.

Although the state has imposed caps on superintendents’ salaries, their average continues to rise, from $152,050 in 2008-09 before the imposition of the cap, to $154,019 in 2011-12 and $155,903 last year.

In New Jersey, Hudson County had the highest average teacher salary — $72,626 – and Bergen had the highest administrator salary — $131,066. The charter schools, as a group, had the lowest salaries: an average $51,692 for teachers and $85,495 for administrators.

Average salary data for school districts is available by clicking on the map. In places like Stone Harbor, where data seems inaccurate, that is noted. For averages for county and charter schools, see the table below.

Go to NJ Spotlight’s full database to find individual salary information.

Here are the averages for county and charter schools: