Wisconsin Teaching Salaries and Benefits


As you reflect on your teaching studies and prepare for the future, it may help to think even further ahead than you might consider. Even beyond earning certification and applying for a job, you'll need to start thinking about your health and retirement. For teachers in Wisconsin, these considerations start early in their careers, giving them more time to prepare for the future.

With a competent benefits package, Wisconsin makes sure its teachers have access to sufficient health and retirement options. These benefits are one of the major attractions of a career in teaching, giving you the financial security needed for many of life's challenges.

Learn more about becoming a teacher. Contact schools offering teacher education/certification programs in Wisconsin.

Retiring in Wisconsin

As you begin your career as a teacher in Wisconsin, you enroll in a retirement plan through the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). In the WRS, you contribute to a general retirement fund that helps you live comfortably in older age.

In order to be eligible for retirement benefits, you must be at least 55 and become vested. You become vested if you earn at least five years of service credit.

You are required to contribute 5.9 percent of your salary to your pension fund, and your employer will match it with another 5.9 percent. However, the actual employee and employer contributions are adjusted annually.

Your retirement benefits generally won’t be given as a lump sum. Instead, you will receive a monthly pension based on a formula. The formula benefit is:

Years of Service
Final Average Monthly Earnings
Formula Factor(s)

  • Years of Service – How many consecutive years you were employed
  • Final Average Monthly Earnings – The average of the highest three years of service
  • Formula Factor(s) – Percentage based on when credible employment took place, currently set at 1.6%.

For example, if you worked for 30 years, your final average monthly earnings were $4,200, and you begin working after June 29, 2011, your monthly pension would be $2,016. To estimate your monthly retirement benefits, visit the WRS retirement calculator.

Access to Affordable Health Insurance

Depending on which school district you are hired in, your health insurance benefits will differ. However, all school districts do offer health insurance benefits for teachers and their families.

Most districts offer a choice of plans through a variety of health insurance companies. You will be required to pay a monthly fee based on what plan you choose and how many dependents you want covered. The fee will automatically be taken out of your salary.

All of the health plans will have a set deductible, and will cover a percentage of medical services. Most plans will cover a majority of these charges:

  • Hospital Charges
  • Surgical Services
  • Emergency Medical Care
  • X-ray and Laboratory Testing
  • Oral Surgery
  • Ambulance Services

To ensure the health and well-being of employees and families, most school districts offer other benefits like short and long term disability, dental, vision, and life insurance policies. You will either be automatically enrolled in the benefits, or will have to voluntarily sign up, depending on the school district and the benefit program.

If you’re interested in learning more about health insurance benefits for Wisconsin teachers, contact your local school district.

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