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20 states with the most experienced public school teachers

Research shows experienced teachers can lead to better outcomes for students. INSIDER found the top 20 states with the most experienced teachers.

© US Department of Education/flickr

By Mack DeGeurin, INSIDER

Experienced teachers can be the defining factor between a just average and incredible education. Most people can probably remember at least one teacher who went beyond the routine and inspired a desire to learn. And there's a good chance that the teacher had a boatload of experience to lean on.

Research conducted in 2016 by the Learning Policy Institute illustrated how increased teacher experience can lead to better results for kids. The report combed through 15 years of academic research and found that students learn more - and attend class more often - when there's an experienced teacher in the room.

INSIDER previously determined which states had the least experienced teachers. Now, we've flipped the script and have used US Department of Education data to find which states employ the highest percentage of educators who have taught for at least 20 years.

Two decades might initially seem like an immense amount of time to work one continuous job, yet every state on INSIDER's top 20 list had at least 27% of its teachers doing just that. Talk about commitment!

In addition to years of teaching, INSIDER also determined how much formal education teachers in these states tended to have, and how well they were paid. For some added context, INSIDER also included the national ranking of each state's public school system, as determined by the personal finance site, WalletHub.

Continue scrolling below to see if your state made it into the top 20.


© AP Photo/Stephen J. Boitano

Total number of teachers in 2012: 46,200

Average teacher salary in 2017: $45,245

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012:
26.9%



19: Connecticut’s public school system is ranked third nationally, and 23.8% of its teachers have over 20 years of teaching experience.

© cybrarian77/flickr

Total number of teachers in 2012: 44,900

Average teacher salary in 2017: $72,561

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 64.4%


18: 24% of Idaho’s public school teachers have more than 20 years of teaching experience. The state's public school system is ranked 32nd nationally.

© John Moore/Getty Images

Total number of teachers in 2012: 16,300

Average teacher salary in 2017: $47,504

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 35.3%


17: Virginia’s public school system is ranked fourth nationally, and 25.5% of its teachers have over 20 years of teaching experience.

© woodleywonderworks/flickr

Total number of teachers in 2012: 88,500

Average teacher salary in 2017: $51,049

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 41.6%


16: West Virginia’s public school system is ranked 47th nationally, and 26.3% of its teachers have more than 20 years of teaching experience.

© Darren Hauck/Getty Images

Total number of teachers in 2012: 24,200

Average teacher salary in 2017: $45,701

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 43.2% 


15: 26.8% of Washington’s teachers have more than 20 years of experience, and the state's education system is ranked 29th nationally

© Tim Durkan/Flickr

Total number of teachers in 2012: 55,500

Average teacher salary in 2017: $54,147

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 62.9%


14: Ranked 50th, Louisiana has one of the worst public education systems in the country, yet its teachers are still pretty experienced; 26.8% of Louisiana teachers have more than 20 years of teaching experience.

© Reuters

Total number of teachers in 2012: 44,500

Average teacher salary in 2017: $50,000

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 27%


13: 27.3% of teachers in Arkansas have taught for over 20 years. The state's public school system is ranked 41st nationally.

© Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Total number of teachers in 2012: 37,700

Average teacher salary in 2017: $48,616

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 35%


12: Kansas’ public school system is ranked 20th nationally, and 27.4% of its teachers have over 20 years of teaching experience.

© REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Total number of teachers: 36,500

Average teacher salary in 2017: $47,984

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 47%


11: New Hampshire's public school system is ranked seventh nationally, and 27.5% of its teachers have over 20 years of teaching experience.

© woodleywonderworks/flickr

Total number of teachers in 2012: 15,700

Average teacher salary in 2017: $57,253

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 48.7%


10: 27.6% of Nebraska’s teachers have over 20 years of experience. The state's education system ranks eighth nationally.

© Robert Benson/Getty Images

Total number of teachers in 2012: 23,900

Average teacher salary in 2017: $52,338

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 45.9%


9: Vermont’s public school system is ranked fifth nationally, and 28% of its teachers have over 20 years of teaching experience.

© US Department of Education/flickr

Total number of teachers in 2012: 9,400

Average teacher salary in 2017: $60,187

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 52%


8: 28.3% of Indiana teachers have taught for over 20 years. The state's public school system is ranked 22nd nationally.

© Unsplash/Tra Nguyen

Total number of teachers in 2012: 64,000

Average teacher salary in 2017: $50,554

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 47.4%


7: Montana’s public school system is ranked 25th nationally, and 28.6% of its teachers have over 20 years of teaching experience.

© Unsplash/Tra Nguyen

Total number of teachers in 2012: 12,400

Average teacher salary in 2017: $51,422

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 34.6%


6: South Carolina’s public school system is ranked 39th nationally, and 28.9% of its teachers have over 20 years of teaching experience.

© Wikimedia Commons

Total number of teachers in 2012: 51,800

Average teacher salary in 2017: $48,598

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 57.9%


5: Iowa’s public school system is ranked 14th nationally and 29.2% of its teachers have more than 20 years of teaching experience.

© iStock / Getty Images Plus

Total number of teachers in 2012: 36,100

Average teacher salary in 2017: $55,443

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 39.7%


4: Maine's public school system is ranked 15th nationally, and 30.6% of its teachers have over 20 years of teaching experience.

© AP

Total number of teachers in 2012: 18,400

Average teacher salary in 2017: $51,077

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 42.8%


3: Wyoming’s public school system is ranked 10th nationally, and 32.1% of its teachers have over 20 years of teaching experience.

© Reuters

Total number of teachers in 2012: 8,500

Average teacher salary in 2017: $58,650

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 41.2%


2: North Dakota’s public school system is ranked ninth nationally, and 32.6% of its teachers have over 20 years of teaching experience.

© THINK Global School, CC BY-NC-ND

Total number of teachers in 2012: 10,300

Average teacher salary in 2017: $51,618

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 30.1%


1: South Dakota’s public school system is ranked 21st nationally, and 33.7% of its teachers have more than 20 years of teaching experience.

© Scott Olson/Getty Images

Total number of teachers in 2012: 10,800

Average teacher salary in 2017: $42,668

Percent of teachers with a master's degree in 2012: 26.6%

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Career Magazine: 20 states with the most experienced public school teachers
20 states with the most experienced public school teachers
Research shows experienced teachers can lead to better outcomes for students. INSIDER found the top 20 states with the most experienced teachers.
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