In almost every profession, earning an advanced degree will result in a higher salary. Of course, many other factors are also at play, including years of experience, certifications, specializations, and geographic location. Additional factors include the demand for professionals in a job category and the type of organization, public or private, as well as for-profit or nonprofit status.
All of the above hold true for the teaching profession. Although teachers’ salaries have become more competitive over the years, teaching is still not considered a particularly lucrative profession. Ask teachers why they chose their profession and you’re unlikely to hear them mention pay prospects. For teachers who make the extra effort to earn an advanced degree, salary increases are not always the driving motivation.
The Benefits of Earning an Advanced Degree
For those looking at just the dollars and cents, the cost of obtaining a master’s degree compared to the increased salary over the life of one’s career will provide a good picture of its financial benefit. In most cases, you will find it is worth the investment. You will end up earning more than you spent. But there are other benefits to consider.
Well-designed master’s degree programs can equip you with skills and expertise that you may not otherwise have, making you a better teacher. In addition, teachers with master’s degrees are more likely to take leadership positions in education. As a leader, you will have influence at the school and possibly the district level, enabling you to institute change and make a positive difference in the quality of education for students.
The Salary Picture for Teachers in Kansas
The average salary range for public school teachers of all types at all levels in Kansas as of January 2020 is $47,743 to $63,135 per year. Depending on the city and various factors mentioned above, figures may vary.
In 2016, the Kansas Association of School Boards, KASB, published a detailed comparison of teachers’ salaries, education, and experience. One of their findings was that, although below the national average, Kansas teacher salaries were directly in line with the average salaries for adjacent states. In 2012, the average base salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree in Kansas was $38,120 per year. For teachers with a master’s degree, the average was significantly higher, at $47,940.
It’s clear that Kansas does pay teachers with advanced degrees a significantly higher salary than those with just a bachelor’s degree.
As is typical for most states, teachers working in more densely populated cities in Kansas are paid a higher salary than those in more rural locations.
This chart shows the lowest level base salary scale for teachers with a bachelor’s degree and teachers with a master’s degree and various years of experience in Emporia, Topeka, Kansas City, and Wichita (cities listed in increasing order of population size).
|BASE SALARY SCALE 2019-20|
|Emporia||$40,000 – $41,000||$44,200 – $45,400||0-2|
|$41,500 – $42,500||$46,000 – $47,200||3-5|
|$43,000 – $44,000||$47,800 – $49,000||6-8|
|$44,500 – $45,500||$49,600 – $50,800||9-11|
|Topeka||$43,500 – $44,500||$48,900 – $49,900||0-2|
|$45,000 – $46,000||$50,400 – $51,400||3-5|
|$46,500 – $47,500||$51,900 – $52,900||6-8|
|$48,000 – $48,500||$53,400 – $54,400||9-11|
|Kansas City||$42,660 – $43,087||$47,797 – $48,275||0-2|
|$43,517 – $44,392||$48,758 – $49,738||3-5|
|$44,836 – $45,737||$50,235 – $51,245||6-8|
|$46,195 – $47,123||$51,758 – $52,797||9-11|
|Wichita||$43,654 – $45,751||$46,375 – $49,146||0-2|
|$46,800 – $48,898||$50,531 – $53,302||3-5|
|$49,947 – $50,996||$54,688 – $57,459||6-8|
|$58,844 – $61,615||9-11|
Earning a Master’s Degree Online
Education professionals seeking a master’s degree in education have multiple options. For those who want to continue working while earning their master’s, an online program offers the most flexible plan. Emporia State University in Kansas offers 100% online master’s degree programs for educators who want to improve their professional skills and put themselves in a higher salary bracket. All of these programs can be completed in as few as 12 months for those who want to fast-track their pursuit of a master’s degree. Available programs include:
- Master of Science in Educational Administration
- Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction – Curriculum Leadership PreK-12
- Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction – Effective Practitioner PreK-12
- Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction – Instructional Coach/Teacher Leader PreK-12
- Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction – National Board Certification PreK-12
Learn more about Emporia State University’s online degree programs in education.