Median Pay1: $50,900

LICENSURE/RECIPROCITY2: Tennessee Department of Education

  • Education/Experience Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from regionally accredited school and state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Testing Requirements: Praxis Core, Praxis PLT, and Praxis Subject Assessments required for most subjects and grade levels.
  • Temporary Certificate Offered?: No
  • Other Notes: Initial certificate issued is Practitioner Teacher.

RETIREMENT: Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS)

  • Teacher Pensions Overall Grade3: C – Click here to see why.
    • 5-year vesting period.
    • Employees/employers DO pay social security tax and therefore ARE eligible for social security benefits.
  • Hybrid Pension Plan (employees hired ON/AFTER July 1, 2014)
    • Pension Contributions: 5% employEE + 3.87% employER
      • mandatory
      • 1.00% benefit multiplier
    • 401(k) Contributions: 2% employEE + 5% employER
      • auto-enrolled with opt-out feature (not mandatory)
    • Service Retirement – age 65 and vested or rule of 90
    • Early Retirement – age 60 and vested or rule of 80
    • Hybrid Plan Details
  • Legacy Pension Plan (employees hired BEFORE July 1, 2014)
    • Pension Contribution: 5% employEE + 0% employER
      • mandatory
      • 1.50% benefit multiplier
    • Service Retirement – age 60 and vested or 30 years of service
    • Early Retirement – age 55 and vested
    • Legacy Plan Details
  • Other Retirment Vehicles:
  • Make sure to create an account on RetireReadyTN to view your personal retirement benefits.


  • Every child in TN under 24 years of age whose parent is employed as a full-time certified teacher in any public school in TN or as a full-time technology coordinator in any LEA in TN shall receive a 25% discount on tuition to any state operated intituion of higher learning.
  • TN Stars 529 Plan
    • TN Stars does accept rollovers from other qualified plans.
    • Since TN doesn’t have a state-income tax, there is no state tax deduction for contributions made to this plan.
      • This means if you aren’t happy with the plan’s Investment Fund Options or fees you should consider using a different state’s 529 Plan.

1Median Pay: sourced from 2018 data collected by National Education Association (NEA). See their Full Report for more information.

2Teacher Reciprocity: sourced from data aggregated by Teacher Certification Degrees. View the full state-by-state list here. Additionally, in some states special considerations for reciprocity, application expedition, fee waivers, etc. may be available to teachers married to activity duty military personnel; be sure to contact the respective State Dept. Of Education to learn more.

3Teacher Pensions Rating: sourced from https://www.teacherpensions.org/. Visit their website to learn about their mission or view a State Comparison.

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