Tennessee Teaching Salaries and Benefits


Many teachers enter the profession to instill a sense of lifelong learning in students – a goal recognized by leaders throughout the country. Educators in Tennessee gain access to a selection of benefits in return for their services, including ample vacation time, relative job security, and reasonable working hours.

Even aside from these benefits, Tennessee teachers are additionally supported by retirement planning services and health insurance options, further rewarding them for their dedication to the field. This variety of benefits offers teachers and their dependents added financial security through their careers and future lives.

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

Retiring in Tennessee

When you start your career as a teacher in Tennessee, you are enrolled in a pension program through the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS). This is a defined benefit program, meaning that your future benefit is determined by a formula and not your actual account balance.

As a teacher, you are required to contribute 5% of your salary to the pension system. Employers will contribute a percentage as well; however, the percentage is determined by each employer and can change from year to year. Check with local school districts to find actual percentages.

Upon retirement age, your monthly pension will be calculated using a formula that takes into account your average final compensation, years of creditable service, and the social security integration level (an average of social security wages). You can determine your likely benefits using the retirement calculator provided by the Tennessee Department of Treasury.

In order to become eligible to claim your benefit, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Age 60 or older with five years of service
  • Any age with 30 years of service

Beyond retirement benefits, the TCRS program offers death and disability benefits to members and their beneficiaries. To learn more about all of the retirement benefits available for Tennessee teachers, contact the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System.

Access to Affordable Health Insurance

Tennessee offers its teachers full health insurance coverage benefits through a state group insurance program. This program offers a Partnership PPO plan and a Standard PPO plan, allowing members to choose the best one that fits their needs.

While these plans differ in exact details and costs, they do provide coverage for similar services. Additionally, the Partnership PPO plan also requires that you enter into a wellness contract in exchange for lower costs.

The following services are covered under each plan:

  • Routine Physicals
  • Well Child Visits
  • Hospital Care
  • Emergency Room
  • Prescriptions

To further add to the health and welfare of teachers and their families, the state of Tennessee offers other benefits such as dental, vision, and life insurance. These benefits are optional and vary depending on your employer.

To learn more about all of the health benefits available to you as a teacher in Tennessee, contact the Department of Finance and Administration.

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