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Learn more about average salaries, cost of living, and expenses in Nashville and Chattanooga. The details shared on this page reflect the landscape of both cities and should be used as a frame of reference as the cost of living varies annually. 

Certification Exam and Upfront Certification Cost

  • $180
  • Depends on the test. Praxis can range anywhere between $80-$180. Also, this is only the cost of a single test. If CMs have to retake a test (or have to take more than one), they should take that into consideration as well.

There is no teaching certification restriction. If a CM holds a license in another state that the state of TN recognizes (and can thus be transferred), they are fine. If they hold a license that cannot be transferred, we can still accept them, they just have to enroll at one of our EPPs.


  • First Year 

    • Minimum salary: $46,000 (depends on charter vs public)
    • Maximum salary: $50,000 (depends on charter vs public)
  • Second Year
    • Minimum salary: $48,000 (depends on charter vs public)
    • Maximum salary: $52,000 (depends on charter vs public)

Date of first paycheck: August 13, 2023*

*This may change as we do not have official start dates for the 2023-2024 School Year (which would impact first paycheck), but I think it's fine to keep the same date as this year for now. It is also important to note that the date a CM receives their first paycheck is heavily influenced by if they are hired at a traditional public or charter school. Charter schools typically start in July, which means those CMs typically receive their first paycheck in July. While our CMs at traditional public schools likely won't see their first paycheck until August.


  • Health benefits
  • Medical, dental, vision, and hearing care
  • Employee Clinics
  • Routine preventative care
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Family-planning services
  • Life and Accidental Death and Disbursement Insurance
  • Disability
  • Retirement benefits

Moving Costs

  • Average Deposit $750
  • Average Moving costs (local) $1500

Rent & Utilities

  • $1,400 (shared)

    • Assuming that housing is found on the lower end (i.e. $1400) and costs are shared with only one other person.
  • $1,400 (single, per month)

Living Expenses

  • Food: $150-$200 per month per person 
  • Health insurance: $321 per month (average)
  • Utilities: $200 (single, not shared; factoring in electricity and water)
  • Gas: $2 per gallon (average)
  • Insurance: $246 a month (average)
  • In Tennessee, you are required to carry liability insurance to cover injuries or damages you may cause to someone after a car accident.


Most corps members find that a car is required to get around.