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Colorado Teacher Salary

As a Colorado teacher, you’ll receive a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits and opportunities to grow your career. We'll tell you everything you need to know. Read on, or download the full report.
Download the Report

Colorado Teacher Salary

As a Colorado teacher, you’ll receive a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits and opportunities to grow your career. We'll tell you everything you need to know. Read on, or download the full report.
Download the Report

Colorado’s typical teacher salary is around $60,000, and most teacher salaries are on the rise. From 2019 to 2020, CO’s typical teacher salaries rose by 5.03%. (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 CO teachers.

Get information on:

How Much Do Teachers Make in Colorado?

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

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

Starting teacher salaries are on the rise. According to the National Education Association, the typical starting salary for 2019-2020 had "an increase of 2.5% over 2018-2019. When adjusted for inflation, this marks the largest annual increase in starting pay since before the Great Recession" (2)

In 2020, CO's typical teacher starting salary was $35,292 for an entry job. (3) The chart below shows samples of 2021-2022 salaries for entry teachers around CO.

City

District

Salary for first-year teachers with a bachelor’s

Salary for first-year teachers with a master’s

Colorado Springs 

Colorado Springs School District 11

$40,200

$45,343

Denver

Denver Public Schools

$45,800

$50,343

Grand Junction

Mesa County Valley School District 51

$41,000

$44,250

Pueblo

Pueblo County School District 70

$39,491

$43,584

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

  • Entry Level Teacher Salaries

  • Average Teacher Salaries Income

  • Increasing Your Salary

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

How Much Do Similar Professions Make in Colorado?

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

CO teacher salaries are comparable to or even higher than many other fields that require a bachelor's or master's degree. 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 (5):

Industry

Job

Days of work per year

Average salary

Education

Teacher

185

$61K

Social Services

Social Worker

260

$55K

Art and Design

Graphic Designer

260

$55K

Law

Law Clerk

260

$60K

Technology

Web Developer

260

$73K

Healthcare

Registered Nurse

260

$77K

Benefits for Teachers

In CO teachers receive comprehensive medical, dental and vision insurance—plus secure retirement plans and vacation time.
  • Colorado Teacher Pensions

  • Vacation

  • Funding Opportunities

  • Loan Forgiveness

  • Housing Assistance

  • Support for Rural Teachers

Now is a great time to become a teacher. Teachers are in high demand across Colorado, 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 Colorado, and the number of teaching opportunities is projected to grow in the coming years. (8

Teachers are especially needed in special education, STEM, rural education and culturally and linguistically diverse education. That means you’ll have extra job security if you become a teacher in one of these areas.

In Colorado, you’ll be eligible for tenure after three consecutive years of effective teaching. Tenured teachers have even more job security than non-tenured teachers. (9)

Career Growth for Teachers

Your teacher 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 advanced teaching jobs, getting licensed to teach additional subjects, becoming a school or district leader, working on education policy… The sky’s the limit! 

Interested in learning 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. 

The Colorado Department of Education describes a mentor teacher as an educator “who has demonstrated outstanding teaching and school leadership and who can provide exemplary modeling and counseling.” (10)

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:

  • $600 to be a mentor teacher in Pagosa Springs (Archuleta School District 50) (11)
  • $750 per semester to be a mentor teacher in Denver (Denver Public Schools)
  • $880 to be a New Teacher Ambassador to early-career teachers in Denver (12) 
  • $1,000 per year to be a mentor teacher in northern Colorado (Poudre School District) (13)

Interested in opportunities outside the classroom? 

After you have some experience as a teacher under your belt, you might be curious about shifting your career direction. School or district leadership positions can be a great next step. Assistant principals, principals, curriculum coordinators and superintendents all help Colorado 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: 

  • $69K-$89K to be an assistant principal in Pagosa Springs (Archuleta School District 50) (11)
  • $69K-$103K to be Dean of Students in Grand Junction (Mesa County Valley School District 51) (14)
  • $100K-$113K to be Assistant Director of Equity and Inclusion in Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs School District 11) (15)
  • $119K-$169K to be a high school principal in Denver (Denver Public Schools) (16)

Have more questions about becoming a teacher in Colorado? A TEACH Colorado coach can tell you all about teacher jobs and incomes, teaching programs and more. Visit the TEACH Colorado coaching page to set up a free session. 

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References

  1.  Will, Madeline. “Teacher Salaries Are Increasing. See How Your State Compares.” Education Week. April 26, 2021.
  2. "NEA 2019-2020 Teacher Salary Benchmark Report, Collective Bargaining and Member Advocacy Department." National Education Association. April 26, 2021.
  3. “Teacher Pay and Spending: How Does Your State Rank?” National Education Association. April 23, 2021.
  4. Teach—Compensation and Benefits. Denver Public Schools. Careers.dpsk12.org. 
  5. Salary Finder, CareerOneStop. U.S. Department of Labor. Careeronestop.org. 
  6. New Members in the Defined Benefit Plan. Colorado PERA. COPERA.org.
  7. Benefit Estimate Assumptions. Colorado PERA. COPERA.org. 
  8. Careers With Most Openings, CareerOneStop. U.S. Department of Labor. Careeronestop.org. 
  9. Senate Bill 10-191. Colorado Department of Education. CDE.state.co.us. 
  10. "Pathways for Mentor Teachers: Creating Local Career Pathways." Colorado Department of Education. CDE.state.co.us.
  11. 2021-22 Approved Salary Schedules, Archuleta School District 50 JT. MyPagosaSchools.com. 
  12. Be a Teacher Leader, Denver Public Schools. Careers.DPSK12.org.
  13. Poudre School District Special Pay Schedule (S), 2021-2022 School Year. PSDSchools.org.
  14. Administrative, Professional Technical Salary Schedule, 2021-2022. Mesa County Valley School District 51. D51Schools.org
  15. Executive Professional Salary Schedule, Effective July 1, 2020. Colorado Springs School District 11. D11.org. 
  16. Master Agreement Between School District No. 1 in the City and County of Denver, State of Colorado And Denver School Leader Association, July 1, 2021-June 30, 2024. DPSK12.org.