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News Release Information

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

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Occupational Employment and Wages for Teachers in Virginia’s Metropolitan Areas – May 2015

Among the 11 metropolitan areas in Virginia, only Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. had wages significantly above the national average for secondary, middle, and elementary school teachers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the Harrisonburg, Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Lynchburg, and Roanoke areas had wages that were significantly below the national averages in all three selected occupations. Nationwide, the average (mean) wage for secondary school teachers was $60,440; for middle school teachers, $58,760; and for elementary school teachers, $57,730. (See table A. For comprehensive definitions of metropolitan areas in the Commonwealth of Virginia, please see the Technical Note.) 

Table A. Average (mean) annual wages for secondary, middle, and elementary school teachers in the United States and metropolitan areas in Virginia, May 2015
AreaSecondary SchoolMiddle SchoolElementary School

United States

$60,440 $58,760 $57,730 


65,010 62,140 63,330*


60,470 57,640 60,260 


67,280 62,340 63,800 








58,770 56,570 56,400 




52,970*-- 50,670*

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News

61,070 59,710 60,650 




52,610*-- 50,900*

* The mean annual wage for this area is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

-- Estimate not released.

Of the 11 metropolitan areas in the commonwealth for which data were available, the Washington area had the largest number of secondary, middle, and elementary teachers, with a combined employment of 60,070. The Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News and Richmond areas totaled 15,000 and 11,210, respectively. Employment levels in each of the remaining areas were less than 2,500 for the selected teaching occupations. (See table B.)
Table B. Employment for secondary, middle, and elementary school teachers in the United States and metropolitan areas in Virginia, May 2015
AreaSecondary SchoolMiddle SchoolElementary School

United States
















Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News









-- Estimate not released.

Wages for secondary school teachers in metropolitan areas in Virginia

Secondary school teachers in Washington earned $72,940 per year; this was the only metropolitan area in the state with a mean wage significantly above the U.S. average of $60,440 for this occupation. Wages were significantly below average for this occupation in 6 of the 11 areas in Virginia: Harrisonburg ($47,650), Kingsport ($47,700), Lynchburg ($42,980), Roanoke ($49,770), Staunton-Waynesboro ($52,970), and Winchester ($52,610).

Wages for middle school teachers in metropolitan areas in Virginia

In Washington, middle school teachers earned $73,250 per year, significantly above the U.S. average of $58,760. Four metropolitan areas had wages significantly below the national average for middle school teachers: Harrisonburg ($47,400), Kingsport ($47,570), Lynchburg ($45,200), and Roanoke ($48,910).

Wages for elementary school teachers in metropolitan areas in Virginia

Elementary school teachers in Washington earned $70,080 per year; this was the only metropolitan area in the state with a mean wage significantly above the U.S. average of $57,730 for this occupation. Six areas had average wages for elementary school teachers significantly below the national average: Harrisonburg ($45,770), Kingsport ($45,730), Lynchburg ($44,150), Roanoke ($47,480), Staunton ($50,670), and Winchester ($50,900).

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services; the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation; the North Carolina Employment Security Commission; the Virginia Employment Commission; and WorkForce West Virginia. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and about 800 detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas.

A value that is statistically different from another does not necessarily mean that the difference has economic or practical significance. Statistical significance is concerned with the ability to make confident statements about a universe based on a sample. It is entirely possible that a large difference between two values is not significantly different statistically, while a small difference is, since both the size and heterogeneity of the sample affect the relative error of the data being tested.

With the issuance of data for May 2015, the OES program has incorporated redefined metropolitan area definitions as designated by the Office of Management and Budget. OES data are available for 394 metropolitan areas, 38 metropolitan divisions, and 167 OES-defined nonmetropolitan areas. A listing of the areas and their definitions can be found at

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual mail survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OES program produces employment and wage estimates for over 800 occupations for all industries combined in the nation; the 50 states and the District of Columbia; 432 metropolitan areas and divisions; 167 nonmetropolitan areas; and Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. National estimates are also available by industry for NAICS sectors, 3-, 4-, and selected 5- and 6-digit industries, and by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OES data are available at

OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year. May 2015 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2015, November 2014, May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, and November 2012. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 73.5 percent based on establishments and 69.6 percent based on weighted sampled employment. (Response rates are slightly lower for these estimates due to the federal shutdown in October 2013.)  The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57.9 percent of total national employment. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The May 2015 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at

Metropolitan area definitions

The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski Counties and Radford city in Virginia. 

Charlottesville, Va. MSA includes Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson Counties and Charlottesville city in Virginia.

Harrisonburg, Va. MSA includes Rockingham County and Harrisonburg city in Virginia.

Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Tenn.-Va. MSA includes Hawkins and Sullivan Counties in Tennessee and Scott and Washington Counties and Bristol city in Virginia.

Lynchburg, Va. MSA includes Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell Counties and Bedford and Lynchburg cities in Virginia.

Richmond, Va. MSA includes Amelia, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, and Sussex Counties and Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Richmond cities in Virginia.

Roanoke, Va. MSA includes Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, and Roanoke Counties and Roanoke and Salem cities in Virginia.

Staunton-Waynesboro, Va. MSA includes Augusta County and Staunton and Waynesboro cities in Virginia.

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. MSA includes Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Surry, and York Counties and Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg cities in Virginia and Currituck and Gates Counties in North Carolina.

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. MSA

Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, Md. Metropolitan Division (MD) includes Frederick and Montgomery Counties in Maryland.

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. MD includes the District of Columbia; Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren Counties and Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park cities in Virginia; Calvert, Charles, and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland; and Jefferson County in West Virginia. 

Winchester, Va.-W.Va. MSA includes Frederick County and Winchester city in Virginia and Hampshire County in West Virginia.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.


Last Modified Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2016