If you're a teacher in Minnesota, then head to St. Paul for the best money.
St. Paul teachers can take home more money during a 30-year career than almost anywhere else in the country, ranking 12th out of 113 districts studied nationally by the National Council on Teacher Quality based on 2013-14 figures.
On average, it takes a teacher in St. Paul just 11 years to reach a salary of more than $75,000, rewarding those teachers who stay in the district, while over 30 years a teacher can expect to earn an inflation-adjusted $2.051 million.
This compares to $1.858 million in Minneapolis, $1.808 million in Anoka County, and $1.972 million in Fargo.
Starting pay for teachers in the St. Paul school district is lower at $37,409, only 45th highest in the NCTQ rankings, but the Pioneer Press reports the prospect of higher pay is being used as a tool to retain teachers.
The St. Paul Federation of Teachers told the newspaper it's important to reward teachers who stay in urban districts rather than fleeing to the suburbs.
Laurin Cathey, human resources director for the St. Paul school district, added the pay structure gives them a chance to see if new hires "have what it takes to succeed" before they get pay bumps.
"We want to reward tenured teachers. We want them to feel valued, because we know those things are tied to engagement," she told the Pioneer Press.
St. Paul offers the second best pay for teachers in Minnesota, with the Star Tribune reporting its average salary of $65,840 is behind only the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district, where average pay is $67,848.
Minneapolis is third, with an average salary of $65,224, though the NCTQ report notes starting and finishing salaries for Minneapolis teachers are higher than in St. Paul, but it takes them 15 years to reach $75,000.
In 2013, the Washington Post found teacher salaries in Minnesota stood at $56,268 – $115 below the national average, but 17th out of the 50 states.
The national average is dragged higher because of bigger payouts in the more densely-populated areas of New York, Massachusetts and California.