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News Release Information

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

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Occupational Employment and Wages for Teachers in New York’s Metropolitan Areas, May 2011

Among the 12 metropolitan areas in New York, 8 had wages significantly above the national average for secondary and elementary school teachers, and 7 had significantly higher wages for middle school teachers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. With the exception of Buffalo, the high wage metropolitan areas for teachers were located in either eastern New York,  or the central part of the state.  Deborah A. Brown, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that except for secondary school teachers in Glens Falls, no metropolitan area in New York had wages that fell measurably below those for the nation in any of the three teaching occupations. Nationwide, the average (mean) wage for secondary school teachers was $56,760, for middle school teachers, $55,780, and for elementary school teachers, $55,270. (See table A. For comprehensive definitions of metropolitan areas in New York, please see Technical Note.)

Of the 12 metropolitan areas located entirely or partially in the state, the New York-Northern New Jersey area had by far the largest numbers of secondary, middle, and elementary school teachers (197,350). The New York-Northern New Jersey area is made up of four metropolitan divisions; over 50 percent of the area's teachers worked in the New York-White Plains-Wayne metropolitan division and an additional 17 percent worked in the Nassau-Suffolk division.. (See table B. The area's other divisions, Newark-Union and Edison, contain no counties in New York, and their data are not presented in this release.) Buffalo-Niagara Falls and Rochester were the two other metropolitan areas in New York with at least 10,000 teachers.

Table A. Average (mean) annual wages for secondary, middle, and elementary school teachers in the United States and metropolitan areas in New York, May 2011
AreaSecondary SchoolMiddle SchoolElementary School

United States


New York






Buffalo-Niagara Falls




Glens Falls






New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island




New York-White Plains-Wayne










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

Table B. Employment of secondary, middle, and elementary school teachers in the United States and metropolitan areas in New York, May 2011
AreaSecondary SchoolMiddle SchoolElementary School

United States


New York






Buffalo-Niagara Falls




Glens Falls






New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island




New York-White Plains-Wayne









Wages for secondary school teachers in metropolitan areas in New York

New York-Northern New Jersey was the highest-paying metropolitan area in New York for secondary school teachers, at $75,510 per year, more than $18,000 above the U.S. average, followed by Kingston, at $74,970. Wages in both of these areas were measurably higher than that for the nation. In addition, six other areas had wages that were significantly above average, including Poughkeepsie ($70,760), Syracuse ($66,650), and Ithaca ($63,660). Three other areas had wages that were not measurably different from the national average. Glens Falls was the only New York area to report wages that were significantly below that for the nation. (See chart 1. For the purpose of completeness, the chart also includes nonmetropolitan areas.)

Wages for middle school teachers in metropolitan areas in New York

Leading the six areas with significantly higher wages for middle school teachers was Kingston, averaging $77,120 per year, followed by the New York-Northern New Jersey area, at $74,520 and Poughkeepsie, at $72,120. Four other areas had wages that were measurably higher than that for the nation. The lowest average wages in the state were recorded in centrally-located Ithaca ($55,740) and in Glens Falls ($56,110). (See chart 2.)

Wages for elementary school teachers in metropolitan areas in New York

Eight areas reported measurably higher wages for elementary school teachers, led by Kingston and Ithaca, averaging $74,930 and  $73,890, respectively. New York-Northern New Jersey ($71,700) and Poughkeepsie ($70,080) followed the pay leaders. No metropolitan area in the state had wages that were significantly lower than that for the nation for this occupation. (See chart 3.)

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 New York State Department of Labor and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. 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.

The OES wage and employment data for teachers in states and metropolitan areas were compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those occupations with wages or employment shares above or below the national wage or share after testing for significance at the 90-percent confidence level meet the criteria.

NOTE: 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.

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. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 establishments in May and November of each year for a 3-year period. The nationwide response rate for the May 2011 estimates is 77.3 percent based on establishments and 73.3 percent based on employment. May 2011 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, November 2009, May 2009, and November 2008. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

Nearly all the occupations in this release are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system; however, some are not. The May 2012 OES data will reflect the full set of detailed occupations in the 2010 SOC. For a list of all occupations, including 2010 SOC occupations, and how data collected on two structures were combined, see the OES Frequently Asked Questions online at


Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.  Voice phone:  202-691-5200; TDD message referral phone number:  1-800-877-8339.

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.

Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Schoharie Counties in New York.

Binghamton, N.Y. MSA includes Broome and Tioga Counties in New York.

Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y. MSA includes Erie and Niagara Counties in New York.

Elmira, N.Y. MSA includes Chemung County in New York.

Glens Falls, N.Y. MSA includes Warren and Washington Counties in New York.

Ithaca, N.Y. MSA includes Tompkins County in New York.

Kingston, N.Y. MSA includes Ulster County in New York.

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. MSA

Edison, N.J. Metropolitan Division (MD) includes Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Somerset Counties in New Jersey.

Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. (MD) includes Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York.

Newark-Union, N.J.-Pa. (MD) includes Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Sussex, and Union Counties in New Jersey and Pike County in Pennsylvania.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. (MD) includes Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic Counties in New Jersey; and Bronx, Kings, New York, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, and Westchester Counties in New York. 

Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, N.Y. (MSA) includes Dutchess and Orange Counties in New York.

Rochester, N.Y. (MSA) includes Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, and Wayne Counties in New York.

Syracuse, N.Y. (MSA) includes Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties in New York.

Utica-Rome, N.Y. (MSA) includes Herkimer and Oneida Counties in New York.


Last Modified Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2012