The social studies, math and science courses students take in the fourth grade can challenge their cognitive and organizational skills and better prepare them for middle school, according to the Scholastic website. Fourth grade teachers, like other elementary school teachers, plan and teach lessons and track their students' progress. They also prepare them for standardized tests required in their states. If you want to work as a fourth grade teacher, you can expect to earn a salary averaging nearly $60,000 annually once you have 10 years of experience.
The average annual salary for a fourth grade teacher with 10 years' experience was $58,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. This salary is approximately $2,000 more than the average salary the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported for elementary school teachers in 2012. Some states, such as Texas, lower the overall average for these teachers. For example, in 2013, the minimum salary for all teachers in Texas after 10 years of service was only $37,040, according to the Texas Education Agency.
New York Pays Most
Average salaries for fourth grade teachers with 10 years of experience varied the most within the West region in 2013, according to Indeed, where they earned the lowest salaries of $38,000 in Hawaii and the highest of $63,000 in California. Those in the Midwest made the most in Illinois and the least in Nebraska and South Dakota, at $64,000 and $43,000 per year, respectively. If you were a fourth grade teacher with 10 years of experience in Louisiana or Washington, D.C., you'd earn an average of $50,000 or $69,000 -- the lowest and highest earnings in the South. In the Northeast, you'd make $50,000 to $70,000 in Maine or New York, respectively.
Geographical Area Has Most Impact
Geographical area probably impacts salary differences for fourth grade teachers with 10 years of experience more than any other factor. Living costs are higher in states such as New York and California and less in Louisiana and South Dakota. Elementary school employers may account for living expenses when paying these fourth grade teachers. For example, if you earned $60,000 as a fourth grade teacher after 10 years of service in Baton Rouge, La., you'd need to make $67,278 in Rochester, N.Y., to maintain the same living standard, according to the CNN cost of living calculator. In Fresno, Calif., a salary of $68,772 would equate to your $60,000 salary in Baton Rouge, when factoring in living expenses -- a 14.6-percent increase. You may also earn more in a larger school district, which typically has more financial resources to support your higher salary.
Average Job Growth
The BLS predicts a 17-percent increase in employment for kindergarten and elementary school teachers through 2020 -- about average. Enrollment increases coupled with decreases in teacher-student rations may increase jobs for elementary school teachers, including those that teach the fourth grade. You'll find that these job opportunities are contingent on local and state budgets, which are typically higher during strong economies.