I’ll say it: Hawaii is an amazing place to live. And I mean it — year-round great weather, an exceptional culture, and beautiful scenery make for an extraordinary life.

BUT before you pack up and move, make sure you do your homework, especially when it comes to articles/blogs that promise “Hawaii will pay you to move to paradise” (Woman’s Day has published similar articles, and the New York Post told readers, “Hawaii will pay you $50,000 a year to work in paradise”). Many articles even describe work as a second-tier priority to surfing, hiking, and sightseeing, among other Hawaii activities.

Here’s the truth: In the VAST amount of cases, Hawaii will NOT pay you to move to paradise, and the misleading articles/blogs are causing a big headache for the Hawaii Department of Education, since most of the content promises teaching jobs in Hawaii, even for those who don’t have any experience.

two people in a hammock on the beach

Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Sure Hawaii can be relaxing! But locals usually have to work long hours to make enough money to live well here.

For example, according to Civil Beat, accredited teachers’ salaries here run from $44,538 into the low-$80,000s for highly educated teachers with decades of experience. But although Hawaii may be in the middle of national rankings for average teacher pay, when the cost of living is factored in, teachers’ salaries in paradise drop to dead last.

Some articles/posts have been shared 190,000 times, which means the Hawaii Department of Education is being flooded with applications. Civil Beat reports that the department received more than 600 inquiries last weekend alone.

What’s worse? Our schools really need permanent teachers, not those looking for an extended vacation. Yet Civil Beat quotes an article by Melissa Locker in Travel + Leisure as saying, “The move doesn’t need to be permanent, either, but an extended working vacation.”

Bottom line? For those looking to move to Hawaii, I highly recommend taking the plunge (I did three times!). But it’s unlikely the state will pay you to move here and hand you a job without any education or experience. So read the articles/blogs with caution — and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!


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