Teacher looking at students seated in a classroom.

What Is the Average Teacher Salary in Hawaii?

The career options for an education professional are varied, and location can be a major factor in this. The average teacher salary in Hawaii also varies depending on the type of teacher they are and the level at which they teach, as well as the type of institution in which they work. 

Read on to find out what the average teacher salary in Hawaii is and what the requirements are to become a teacher in Hawaii. We’ll show you the base salaries of full-time teachers and tell you about the requirements to become a licensed teacher.

What Is the Average Teacher Salary in Hawaii?

The average teacher salary in Hawaii is $67,439 per year, according to Teach.org. The same source reports that the average starting salary is $50,189 annually. This average salary can vary a lot depending on the grade or level the educator teaches or the type of teacher they are. For example, veteran teachers will earn more. It also depends on whether they are public school teachers, charter school teachers, or private school teachers.

What Is the Average Salary of a Teacher in the United States? 

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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, the average salary for education, training, and library occupations was $52,380 per year in 2020. Teacher salaries depend on the level of knowledge the teacher is imparting. For example, the same source shares that preschool teachers earn $30,210 annually, while kindergarten and elementary school teachers earn $61,400 per year in the US. Middle school teachers earn $61,320 annually, with high school teachers in the US earning an average of $61,820 per year. 

Average Teacher Salary in Hawaii: K—12

Level Number Employed in Hawaii Average Salary in Hawaii Average Salary in the United States
Kindergarten Teachers 80 $55,890 $61,350*
Elementary School Teachers 4,360 $64,240 $61,400*
Middle School Teachers 2,140 $63,100 $61,320
High School Teachers NA $64,880 $61,820

*BLS reports this statistic under Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers

Basic Requirements to Become a Teacher in Hawaii: K—12

  • Bachelor’s degree. For K—12 student teaching, educators must have attended the College of Education in state or out of state.
  • State-approved teacher education program. The Hawaii Department of Education requires the completion of a state-approved teacher education program for student teaching in an elementary through secondary school setting.
  • Teaching license. To teach in Hawaii public schools, you need a license or permit from the state, which you can obtain through the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board. The three types of authorizations are provisional permission, the standard license, and advanced authorization, which is for teachers with decades of experience.

How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher in Hawaii

To become a kindergarten teacher in Hawaii, you must have studied early childhood or child development at an accredited university in Hawaii. In addition, you must have experience working with children for at least six months in an early care and education-related setting.

How to Become an Elementary School Teacher in Hawaii

Elementary school teachers in Hawaii require a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education earned at an accredited college or university. They must also take a state exam specific to the grade level they will be teaching.

How to Become a Middle School Teacher in Hawaii

A middle school teacher must have a bachelor’s degree with a major specific to the subject they will be teaching, such as history or mathematics. Also, they must attend a preparation program to obtain a license that authorizes them to teach in Hawaii.

How to Become a High School Teacher in Hawaii

To become a high school teacher in Hawaii, you need to have a Bachelor’s Degree or a Master’s Degree in Education that qualifies you with the critical skills necessary for teaching at the high school level. If you have a master’s degree or higher, it will serve to validate your content-specific knowledge. Otherwise, you will need to complete a teacher preparation program.

Average Teacher Salary in Hawaii: Other Types of Teachers

Type Number Employed in Hawaii Average Salary in Hawaii Average Salary in the United States
Preschool Teachers 950 $40,480 $30,210
Career and Technical Education Teachers 980 $63,920 $61,160
Adult Basic Education Teachers 100 $46,310 $59,720
Substitute Teachers 2,500 $47,940 $38,410

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Hawaii: Preschool

  • Teacher preparation program. To enter the teaching profession as a preschool teacher, you must complete a teacher preparation program at a university or college that is approved by the State of Hawaii. There are two types of programs potential teachers can take at the preschool level, which are the Early Childhood Education PK-K and the Early Childhood Education PK-3. 
  • Teacher license. Preschool teachers must apply for a license after completing the preparation program. The first teaching license that may be obtained is the provisional license.
  • Professional fitness check. Preschool teachers must pass the criminal background check and cannot have a revoked or unapproved license to practice as full-time teachers.

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Hawaii: Career and Technical Education

  • Bachelor’s degree. To become a career and technical education teacher, you must have a bachelor’s degree in the subject you wish to teach. 
  • Career and Technical Education Program. The CTE Licensure program must be completed to practice. These programs are taught at various Colleges of Education in Hawaii.
  • Teaching experience. Most of the fields taught in career and technical education require a few years of experience, such as nursing. A technically experienced teacher is a well-prepared professional.

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Hawaii: Adult Basic Education

  • Bachelor’s degree. Adult basic education teachers need at least a bachelor’s degree to work in a public school for adults. However, a Master’s Degree in Adult Education may also be required.
  • Teacher education program. This is a program that must be completed at a regionally accredited university or college.
  • State license. State licensure can be applied for after completing the teacher education program. This license entitles you to teach in public schools for adults.

Requirements to Become a Substitute Teacher in Hawaii

  • Substitute Teacher Certification program. This certification is offered by the Hawaii State Department of Education. It is valid for five years, after which you can opt for recertification.
  • High school diploma or equivalent. A high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum requirement to become a substitute teacher.
  • College or University transcripts. Transcripts must be sent with the application. Transcripts from a foreign college are not evaluated.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test clearance. Applicants must have a TB test of not more than one year.
  • Attestation of COVID-19 testing or vaccination. Currently, the Hawaii Department of Education requires proof of vaccination for COVID-19 with one or two doses. Otherwise, a test must be performed.

Average Teacher Salary in Hawaii: Special Education

Special Education Level Number Employed in Hawaii Average Salary in Hawaii Average Salary in the United States
Preschool 100 $52,250 $62,420**
Kindergarten and Elementary 220 $63,890 $61,640**
Middle School 250 $68,570 $61,820**
High School 480 $66,460 $62,120**

**BLS reports this statistic under Special Education Teachers

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Hawaii: Special Education

  • Special education program. This program must be taken by a teacher who wishes to work with students diagnosed with learning disabilities, developmental disorders, and physical impairments in the state of Hawaii.
  • Practical teaching experience. Special education teachers who are taking the special education program must acquire practical experience in a classroom setting in which they will apply the knowledge learned in class.
  • Licensure exams. To obtain a special education license in Hawaii, qualified teachers must take the licensing exam. Among the exams available is the Praxis Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications and other more specific exams. 

Is a Teacher’s Salary in Hawaii Worth My Time and Money? 

Yes, a teacher’s salary is worth it in Hawaii. The annual salaries of teachers in the state of Hawaii are higher than in most states in the United States. However, Hawaii has a high cost of living, which has created a teacher shortage crisis in the islands as there is very little teacher retention.

It should be considered that due to the shortage of teachers, the vast majority of teacher vacancies can be quite good. Opportunities for advancement and the annual wage can be a good incentive for some, representing a bold step in their careers. 

Teacher Salary in Hawaii FAQ

How much do Hawaii teachers make?

The average base salary of a public school teacher in Hawaii is $45,917 per year, according to ZipRecruiter. Breaking this average down further, the 25th percentile of public education teachers earn $30,856 per year, the 75th percentile earns $54,930 per year, and the 90th percentile earns $68,511 per year.

Do teachers in Hawaii get paid well?

Yes, teachers in Hawaii are paid well. The average salary for teachers in Hawaii is higher than the national average, which means the earning potential is higher for teachers who teach on the islands than elsewhere in the country. A teacher’s career path, in general, can be quite profitable, especially if they focus on their professional development as well.

Is Hawaii a good state for teachers?

Yes, Hawaii is an attractive location for teachers. However, there is currently a chronic teacher shortage on the island with many job openings, which is a complex issue due in part to the cost of housing and cost of health care. This problem means that the collective bargaining contract for thousands of teachers in Hawaii does not meet expectations.

Is there a demand for teachers in Hawaii?

Yes, there is a high demand for teachers in Hawaii as many teachers choose to go to practice in other states that have lower-cost cities and more affordable housing. Moreover, there are many top companies that also hire teachers on the mainland, which is something that deters professionals from looking for teacher jobs on the islands.

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