2016’s Best Cities for K-12 Teachers to Live and Work

Summer vacation is either here or right around the corner for most school districts across the country. And for many teachers, that means a well-deserved break.

In 2015, we wrote about how teaching is one of the most demanding (and lowest-paid) professions. However, according to teachers, it’s also one of the most rewarding. According to recent studies, a vast majority of teachers are satisfied with their jobs and would even recommend the career to others. The main reason? The effect they have on students’ lives.

However, competitive salaries, great schools, and locations with affordable housing and lots to do don’t hurt, either. GoodCall analysts looked at nearly 1,000 metropolitan areas across the country to find out – where are the best places for K-12 teachers to live and work?

The Trends
The majority of the top ranking cities were concentrated in the Midwest and the Northeast with Pennsylvania and Minnesota cities showing up the most frequently. Noticeably missing from the top 20 are cities on the west coast.  The smallest ranking metro area in the top 20 is Butte-Silver Bow, Montana and the largest- Canton-Missillon, Ohio.

Read on for GoodCall’s 2016 list of best places for teachers:

Can’t find your city? See the full list of 913 ranking cities by clicking here


  • Affordability: Teacher salaries in each metropolitan area were pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data was compared against the average salary for all job positions in the same area and weighed against the average cost of housing from the U.S. Census Bureau to calculate an affordability score specific to teachers. This represents 35% of the overall score.
  • School Ratings: School quality is important when it comes to teacher satisfaction. GoodCall also considered average weighted SchoolGrades scores for each city or town. SchoolGrades looks at schools’ math and reading scores on national exams, while adjusting for socioecomic status.This represents 35% of the overall score.
  • Job Availability / Competition: Job competition was calculated by weighing the number of available jobs in each area against the number of resumes currently posted on Indeed.com. We also compared the total number of available jobs per 1,000 residents. This represents 20% of the overall score.
  • Amenities: A town or city that is great for teachers must also offer a good lifestyle outside of the classroom. For this report, we also weighed the number of arts, entertainment and restaurant venues from the U.S. Census Bureau for each town and city. This represents 10% of the overall score.

Questions? Contact carrie@goodcall.com

Carrie Wiley

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Carrie is graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She has a degree in English and Journalism with a concentration in Professional Writing. She served as news editor of The Seahawk campus newspaper. Since college, Carrie has worked in various digital marketing roles focusing mostly on media relations. Her writing has been featured in Yahoo! Homes and AOL Real Estate. In addition to being GoodCall's Public Relations and Communications expert, Carrie is also a regular contributor to the GoodCall newsroom, covering higher education trends and career news.

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