title bar

Updated Facts and Data page (draft)

Teachers in the United States rate their lives better than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians.

Find out how we know that by reviewing the facts and sources below.

Most teachers seem to love their jobs.
Fact:Non-supporting sources:Comments:
Overall satisfaction
Teachers rate their lives better
than other occupation groups,
trailing only physicians.
U.S. Teachers Love Their Lives, but Struggle in the WorkplaceYes, that's right: A majority of teachers are happy and satisfied
with their jobs. Teaching often ranks in the top 10 jobs with the
happiest workers and in the top 10 most satisfying careers. In
2018, 90% of teachers surveyed agreed that they were satisfied
with their jobs. In a Gallup survey of over 170,000 working
Americans, it was found that teachers rated their lives higher
than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians. These,
and other data strongly suggest that teaching is often a career
that leads to a happy and fulfilling life. See the below articles to
learn more.
Happiest Careers: 20 Jobs that People Love the Most To Do
Think You Understand What's On Teachers' Minds? Think Again
The 10 Jobs With The Happiest Workers
Science says these are the 12 most satisfying jobs. They share one key characteristic.
Survey: Despite long working hours, US teachers satisfied with jobs
The State Of The Humanities 2018: Graduates In The Workforce & Beyond (pdf)
Retention
Over 78% of high school science
teachers are still in the classroom
after 5 years of teaching.
Public School Teacher Attrition and Mobility in the First Five Years (pdf)The U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)
conducted a longitudinal study to follow a cohort of new
teachers for their first five years in the classroom. They found
that at the five-year mark, 78% of the teachers in the original
cohort were still teaching. When you think about the fact that
teachers in the United States rate their lives better than all
other occupation groups trailing only physicians, this really
makes a lot of sense.
Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in Kentucky Public Schools from 2008 to 2012
Leaving Schools Behind: The Impact of School Student Body and Working Conditions on Teacher Retention and Migration
Teachers leave the profession less
frequently than most other
professions.
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Work-life balance
Teachers have a great work-life
balance because of flexible
summers that they can use to
travel, learn, spend time with
family and friends, recharge,
and plan for the next year.
Most careers you can get with a science or math degree require
you to work 12 months a year with only a few weeks of vacation
time. However, with teaching, there are holiday breaks and a
long summer break that you can use flexibly to travel, learn,
spend time with family and friends, recharge, and plan for the
next year. And these breaks are scheduled far in advance. In
fact, in nearly all our conversations with teachers for our blog
series, we find that they take advantage of their summer breaks
in fun and exciting ways! What a great benefit that comes with
the teaching profession!
There are programs across the
country designed for full-time
practicing teachers to be able
to earn their masters or
doctorate degrees while
teaching?
Fast Facts: Teacher qualificationsAccording to the NCES, in 2018, 58% of public-school teachers
held a master's degree or higher. This is likely because there
are many master's and doctoral degree programs across the
country designed to be completed by teachers who are in the
classroom full time, earning a full salary. On top of that, further
education also equates to substantial raises as a grade 7-12
teacher, so getting a higher degree will pay off financially as well
as intellectually.
In the classroom
Grade 7-12 teachers have control
over what and how they teach and
can use their creative license in
the classroom.
Educator Quality of Life surveyIn a 2017 survey of nearly 5,000 teachers, over 90% of them
reported having control over what teaching techniques they use
and control over the content, topics, and skills to be taught. One
great thing about being a teacher is the autonomy you are given.
You are the CEO in your own classroom.
The majority of teachers feel
respected by parents.
Educator Quality of Life surveyWhere Do Teachers Get the Most Respect? (In the U.S., teachers get about as much respect as librarians.)That is right. In the same 2017 Quality-of-Life survey, only 13% of
teachers disagreed with the statement that they were respected
by parents. Teachers also indicated similar levels of respect from
their students.
Classroom management is NOT
one of the biggest challenges that
grade 7-12 teachers face.
2015 Work-Life SurveyTraining our future teachers: Classroom Management (pdf)
Perspectives of Irreplaceable Teachers (pdf)
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher Preparation Programs for Support and Accountability (pdf)
A Comparison of Beginning and Experienced Teachers' Concerns (pdf)
More so for beginning teachers than experienced
Grade 7-12 math and science
teaching is equally or less stressful
on average than other careers.
Educator Quality of Life survey
Teachers suffer more stress than other workers, study finds.
Educators Are More Stressed at Work Than Average People, Survey Finds
School Mental Health Is Not Just for Students: Why Teacher and School Staff Wellness Matters
Research shows that the
classroom teacher has a
greater impact on student
learning than all other
aspects of schools (e.g.,
class size and funding
per student).
Teacher compensation is, on average, as good as for anyone with a similar degree.
Fact:Non-supporting sources:Comments:
Salaries
The middle 50% of mid-career teacher salaries ranges between $60,000 and $100,000, nationally.
Grade 7-12 science and math teachers get paid more than most college teaching faculty.That's right. On average, grade 7-12 math and science teachers get paid better than teaching faculty at most colleges. Based on data from the American Institute of Physics and from this project, we find that 1st year grade 7-12 teachers make on average $45,000; by year 15, they are making nearly $75,000. When you look at college teaching faculty, you will see that average starting salaries (after earning a Ph.D.) are around $50,000, and by year 15 only increase on average to about $60,000. So if you are interested in teaching but aren't sure at which level, know that financially speaking, grade 7-12 teaching is a better choice. (Note that regular faculty have significant research and service responsibilities and teach relatively little; they are not considered "teaching faculty.")
Grade 7-12 science and math teachers get paid comparably to other careers they can get with the same degree.Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers (pdf)Teacher Compensation: Fact vs. FictionGrade 7-12 math and science teaching has a comparable (and in many cases better) salary than other careers you could get with a bachelor's degree. In fact, based on data from the national Association of Colleges and Employers, teacher salaries fall right in the middle of the pack when compared to others who hold a math, chemistry, or physics bachelor's degree. Additionally, teacher contracts are typically for 9 or 10 months versus 12 months for other occupations. Overall, grade 7-12 math and science teachers do get paid comparably to other careers you could get with the same degree.
The Truth about Teacher Pay
Low Teacher Pay And High Teacher Pay Are Both Myths
Retirement
Most teaching jobs have better retirement benefits than other jobs you can get with the same degree.What's the Difference Between a Pension Plan and a 401(k)?When it comes to saving money for retirement, teachers often receive a pension. In a nutshell, if a teacher puts in so many years of service (typically between 25 and 35 depending on the state) they will receive a percentage of their highest earned income every year for the rest of their lives once they retire. Taking Colorado as an example, after 35 years of service a teacher would get 87.5% of their highest earned income every year! (This is why teachers retire earlier than others, on average; see the next fact.) Other professionals with a standard 401K retirement plan would have to save $21,500 per year to have an equivalent retirement. Last but not least, teachers can often retire before age 60 and not have to work after retirement. Learn more about how teachers' retirement plans work in our blog on the topic.
Grade 7-12 teachers can retire comfortably before 60 and not have to work after retirement.Average U.S. Retirement Age Rises to 62
Other compensation
There are student loan forgiveness programs and scholarships for math and science teachers.Various sourcesMany states offer student loan forgiveness programs in addition to the Federal government and even some school districts. See the list we've compiled at the source linked to the left.
Trained teachers are extremely hireable.
FactNon-supporting sourcesComments
The US has a severe shortage of math and science teachers. This means that math and science teachers are in high demand.The Mathematics and Science Teacher Shortage: Fact and MythAlthough the teacher shortage is complicated, math and science are subjects that typically have among the worst teacher shortages around the country. In fact, out of the 57 U.S. states and territories, 51 reported math teacher shortages, and 48 reported science teacher shortages in 2018. All in all, this means that as a math or science teacher you will be in high demand and can get a job almost anywhere you would like to live.
Recruiting and Retaining Underrepresented Students into Education
Teacher Shortages: What We Know (pdf)
Understanding Teacher Shortages: An Analysis of Teacher Supply and Demand in the United States
Teacher Recruitment and Retention: It's Complicated (pdf)
You can get a job almost anywhere in the U.S. or abroad as a science or math teacher.
Many STEM students have the potential to become teachers.
FactNon-supporting sourcesComments
About half of all science and math majors report an interest in becoming a teacher.Recruiting Teachers in High-needs STEM Fields: A Survey of Current Majors and Recent STEM GraduatesInterest in grade 7-12 teaching is high! Data from our project and from other sources show that over half of STEM majors have an interest in becoming a grade 7-12 teacher.
Research shows that faculty and students have deeply held but often misinformed perceptions about the teaching profession.College faculty support for grade 7-12 teaching careers: survey results and comparisons to student perceptions Our research shows that college students and faculty both hold misperceptions about the teaching career. These misperceptions tend to revolve around financial stability, teacher happiness, and teacher work environment. However, the facts about grade 7-12 teaching show that most teachers are financially secure, satisfied with their jobs, and have control over their work environment/classrooms. It is important for students to educate themselves on the teaching profession so they can give these this great career an honest look. It's also important for faculty to learn the facts so they can advise their students accurately about becoming a grade 7-12 teacher.
A New Survey Uncovers Strong Misperceptions About the Teaching Profession. What Can We Do to Get the Facts Out?
Students who are taught by science teachers who have a degree in their subject are significantly more likely to go to college and major in STEM.Understanding the role cumulative exposure to highly qualified science teachers plays in students' educational pathwaysWe all know that teachers make a big difference, but with a background in math or science, a teacher is more likely to influence their students go to college and major in STEM disciplines. Make an impact on the future and become a grade 7-12 math or science teacher!
Most teachers seem to love their jobs.
Fact Supporting sources Non-supporting sources Comments
Overall satisfaction
Teachers rate their lives better than other occupation groups. U.S. Teachers Love Their Lives, but Struggle in the Workplace Yes, that’s right: A majority of teachers are happy and satisfied with their jobs. Teaching often ranks in the top 10 jobs with the happiest workers and in the top 10 most satisfying careers. In 2018, 90% of teachers surveyed agreed that they were satisfied with their jobs. In a Gallup survey of over 170,000 working Americans, it was found that teachers rated their lives higher than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians. These, and other data strongly suggest that teaching is often a career that leads to a happy and fulfilling life. See the supporting sources to learn more.
Happiest Careers: 20 Jobs that People Love the Most To Do
(Teachers have the 8th most satisfying career.)
Think You Understand What's On Teachers' Minds? Think Again
The 10 Jobs With The Happiest Workers
(Teachers are the 6th happiest.)
Science says these are the 12 most satisfying jobs. They share one key characteristic.
Survey: Despite long working hours, US teachers satisfied with jobs
(90% of U.S. teachers are satisfied.)
The State Of The Humanities 2018: Graduates In The Workforce & Beyond (pdf)
(Education majors are satisfied with their lives.)
Retention
Over 78% of high school science teachers are still in the classroom after 5 years of teaching. Public School Teacher Attrition and Mobility in the First Five Years (pdf) The U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) conducted a longitudinal study to follow a cohort of new teachers for their first five years in the classroom. They found that at the five-year mark, 78% of the teachers in the original cohort were still teaching. When you think about the fact that teachers in the United States rate their lives better than all other occupation groups trailing only physicians, this really makes a lot of sense.
Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in Kentucky Public Schools from 2008 to 2012
Leaving Schools Behind: The Impact of School Student Body and Working Conditions on Teacher Retention and Migration
Teachers leave the profession less frequently than most other professions. Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Work-life balance
Teachers have a great work-life balance because of flexible summers that they can use to travel, learn, spend time with family and friends, recharge, and plan for the next year. Most careers you can get with a science or math degree require you to work 12 months a year with only a few weeks of vacation time. However, with teaching, there are holiday breaks and a long summer break that you can use flexibly to travel, learn, spend time with family and friends, recharge, and plan for the next year. And these breaks are scheduled far in advance. In fact, in nearly all our conversations with teachers for our blog series, we find that they take advantage of their summer breaks in fun and exciting ways! What a great benefit that comes with the teaching profession!
There are programs across the country designed for full-time practicing teachers to be able to earn their masters or doctorate degrees while teaching. Fast Facts: Teacher qualifications According to the NCES, in 2018, 58% of public-school teachers held a master’s degree or higher. This is likely because there are many master’s and doctoral degree programs across the country designed to be completed by teachers who are in the classroom full time, earning a full salary. On top of that, further education also equates to substantial raises as a grade 7-12 teacher, so getting a higher degree will pay off financially as well as intellectually.
In the classroom
Grade 7-12 teachers have control over what and how they teach and can use their creative license in the classroom. Educator Quality of Life survey In a 2017 survey of nearly 5,000 teachers, over 90% of them reported having control over what teaching techniques they use and control over the content, topics, and skills to be taught. One great thing about being a teacher is the autonomy you are given. You are the CEO in your own classroom.
The majority of teachers feel respected by parents. Educator Quality of Life survey Where Do Teachers Get the Most Respect? That is right. In the same 2017 Quality-of-Life survey, only 13% of teachers disagreed with the statement that they were respected by parents. Teachers also indicated similar levels of respect from their students.
(In the U.S., teachers get about as much respect as librarians.)
Classroom management is NOT one of the biggest challenges that grade 7-12 teachers face. 2015 Work-Life Survey Training our future teachers: Classroom Management (pdf)
Perspectives of Irreplaceable Teachers (pdf)
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher Preparation Programs for Support and Accountability (pdf)
A Comparison of Beginning and Experienced Teachers' Concerns (pdf)
(More so for beginning teachers than experienced)
Grade 7-12 math and science teaching is equally or less stressful on average than other careers. Educator Quality of Life survey To most people, “stress” is a negative, emotionally loaded term. But that’s different than what researchers mean when they study it. When you look at real research carried out by those who study stress, you find that they recognize that there are good and bad types of stress. Good stress is needed for people to be productive and happy and aligns with the types of “stress” most often experienced by teachers. This may well contribute to the very high life satisfaction reported by teachers.
Teachers suffer more stress than other workers, study finds.
Educators Are More Stressed at Work Than Average People, Survey Finds
School Mental Health Is Not Just for Students: Why Teacher and School Staff Wellness Matters
Research shows that the classroom teacher has a greater impact on student learning than all other aspects of schools (e.g., class size and funding per student).
Teacher compensation is, on average, as good as for anyone with a similar degree.
Fact Supporting sources Non-supporting sources Comments
Salaries
The middle 50% of mid-career teacher salaries ranges between $60,000 and $100,000, nationally. Our own collection of publicly-available public teacher salary schedules
Grade 7-12 science and math teachers get paid more than most college teaching faculty. College teaching faculty: Internal data given to GFO directly from the American Institute for Physics
Grade 7-12 teachers: Our own collection of publicly-available public teacher salary schedules
That’s right. On average, grade 7-12 math and science teachers get paid better than teaching faculty at most colleges. Based on data from the American Institute of Physics and from this project, we find that 1st year grade 7-12 teachers make on average $45,000; by year 15, they are making nearly $75,000. When you look at college teaching faculty, you will see that average starting salaries (after earning a Ph.D.) are around $50,000, and by year 15 only increase on average to about $60,000. So if you are interested in teaching but aren’t sure at which level, know that financially speaking, grade 7-12 teaching is a better choice. (Note that regular faculty have significant research and service responsibilities and teach relatively little; they are not considered “teaching faculty.”)
Grade 7-12 science and math teachers get paid comparably to other careers they can get with the same degree. Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers (pdf) Teacher Compensation: Fact vs. Fiction Grade 7-12 math and science teaching has a comparable (and in many cases better) salary than other careers you could get with a bachelor’s degree. In fact, based on data from the national Association of Colleges and Employers, teacher salaries fall right in the middle of the pack when compared to others who hold a math, chemistry, or physics bachelor’s degree. Additionally, teacher contracts are typically for 9 or 10 months versus 12 months for other occupations. Overall, grade 7-12 math and science teachers do get paid comparably to other careers you could get with the same degree.
The Truth about Teacher Pay
Low Teacher Pay And High Teacher Pay Are Both Myths
Retirement
Most teaching jobs have better retirement benefits than other jobs you can get with the same degree. What's the Difference Between a Pension Plan and a 401(k)? When it comes to saving money for retirement, teachers often receive a pension. In a nutshell, if a teacher puts in so many years of service (typically between 25 and 35 depending on the state) they will receive a percentage of their highest earned income every year for the rest of their lives once they retire. Taking Colorado as an example, after 35 years of service a teacher would get 87.5% of their highest earned income every year! (This is why teachers retire earlier than others, on average; see the next fact.) Other professionals with a standard 401K retirement plan would have to save $21,500 per year to have an equivalent retirement. Last but not least, teachers can often retire before age 60 and not have to work after retirement. Learn more about how teachers’ retirement plans work in our blog on the topic.
(Pensions are typically better than 401-k's.)
Grade 7-12 teachers can retire comfortably before 60 and not have to work after retirement. Average U.S. Retirement Age Rises to 62
Other compensation
There are student loan forgiveness programs and scholarships for math and science teachers. Various sources Many states offer student loan forgiveness programs in addition to the Federal government and even some school districts. See the list we’ve compiled at the source linked to the left.
Trained teachers are extremely hireable.
Fact Supporting sources Non-supporting sources Comments
The US has a severe shortage of math and science teachers. This means that math and science teachers are in high demand. The Mathematics and Science Teacher Shortage: Fact and Myth Although the teacher shortage is complicated, math and science are subjects that typically have among the worst teacher shortages around the country. In fact, out of the 57 U.S. states and territories, 51 reported math teacher shortages, and 48 reported science teacher shortages in 2018. All in all, this means that as a math or science teacher you will be in high demand and can get a job almost anywhere you would like to live.
(Due to retention and not teacher production)
Recruiting and Retaining Underrepresented Students into Education
Teacher Shortages: What We Know (pdf)
Understanding Teacher Shortages: An Analysis of Teacher Supply and Demand in the United States
Teacher Recruitment and Retention: It's Complicated (pdf)
You can get a job almost anywhere in the U.S. or abroad as a science or math teacher.
Many STEM students have the potential to become teachers.
Fact Supporting sources Non-supporting sources Comments
About half of all science and math majors report an interest in becoming a teacher. Recruiting Teachers in High-needs STEM Fields: A Survey of Current Majors and Recent STEM Graduates Interest in grade 7-12 teaching is high! Data from our project and from other sources show that over half of STEM majors have an interest in becoming a grade 7-12 teacher.
GFO internal data
Research shows that faculty and students have deeply held but often misinformed perceptions about the teaching profession. College faculty support for grade 7-12 teaching careers: survey results and comparisons to student perceptions  Our research shows that college students and faculty both hold misperceptions about the teaching career. These misperceptions tend to revolve around financial stability, teacher happiness, and teacher work environment. However, the facts about grade 7-12 teaching show that most teachers are financially secure, satisfied with their jobs, and have control over their work environment/classrooms. It is important for students to educate themselves on the teaching profession so they can give these this great career an honest look. It’s also important for faculty to learn the facts so they can advise their students accurately about becoming a grade 7-12 teacher.
A New Survey Uncovers Strong Misperceptions About the Teaching Profession. What Can We Do to Get the Facts Out?
Students who are taught by science teachers who have a degree in their subject are significantly more likely to go to college and major in STEM. Understanding the role cumulative exposure to highly qualified science teachers plays in students' educational pathways We all know that teachers make a big difference, but with a background in math or science, a teacher is more likely to influence their students go to college and major in STEM disciplines. Make an impact on the future and become a grade 7-12 math or science teacher!

Other attempts below…

Google sheets converted to html with Convertio.co

Fact Supporting sources Non-supporting sources Comments
Overall satisfaction
Teachers rate their lives
better than other
occupation groups.
U.S. Teachers Love Their Lives, but
Struggle in the Workplace
Yes, that’s right: A majority of teachers are happy and satisfied with
their jobs. Teaching often ranks in the top 10 jobs with the happiest
workers and in the top 10 most satisfying careers. In 2018, 90% of
teachers surveyed agreed that they were satisfied with their jobs. In a
Gallup survey of over 170,000 working Americans, it was found that
teachers rated their lives higher than all other occupation groups,
trailing only physicians. These, and other data strongly suggest that
teaching is often a career that leads to a happy and fulfilling life. See the
below articles to learn more.
Happiest Careers: 20 Jobs that People
Love the Most To Do
(Teachers have the 8th most satisfying career.)
Think You Understand What's On
Teachers' Minds? Think Again
The 10 Jobs With The Happiest Workers
(Teachers are the 6th happiest.)
Science says these are the 12 most
satisfying jobs. They share one key
characteristic.
Survey: Despite long working hours, US
teachers satisfied with jobs
(90% of U.S. teachers are satisfied.)
The State Of The Humanities 2018:
Graduates In The Workforce & Beyond
(pdf)
(Education majors are satisfied with their lives.)
Retention
Over 78% of high school
science teachers are still in
the classroom after 5 years
of teaching.
Public School Teacher Attrition and
Mobility in the First Five Years (pdf)
The U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) conducted a
longitudinal study to follow a cohort of new teachers for their first five
years in the classroom. They found that at the five-year mark, 78% of
the teachers in the original cohort were still teaching. When you think
about the fact that teachers in the United States rate their lives better
than all other occupation groups trailing only physicians, this really
makes a lot of sense.
Teacher Retention, Mobility, and
Attrition in Kentucky Public Schools
from 2008 to 2012
Leaving Schools Behind: The Impact of
School Student Body and Working
Conditions on Teacher Retention and
Migration
Teachers leave the
profession less frequently
than most other
professions.
Job Openings and Labor Turnover
Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Work-life balance
Teachers have a great work-
life balance because of
flexible summers that they
can use to travel, learn,
spend time with family and
friends, recharge, and plan
for the next year.
Most careers you can get with a science or math degree require you to
work 12 months a year with only a few weeks of vacation time.
However, with teaching, there are holiday breaks and a long summer
break that you can use flexibly to travel, learn, spend time with family
and friends, recharge, and plan for the next year. And these breaks are
scheduled far in advance. In fact, in nearly all our conversations with
teachers for our blog series, we find that they take advantage of their
summer breaks in fun and exciting ways! What a great benefit that
comes with the teaching profession!
There are programs across
the country designed for
full-time practicing
teachers to be able to earn
their masters or doctorate
degrees while teaching.
Fast Facts: Teacher qualifications According to the NCES, in 2018, 58% of public-school teachers held a
master’s degree or higher. This is likely because there are many master’
s and doctoral degree programs across the country designed to be
completed by teachers who are in the classroom full time, earning a full
salary. On top of that, further education also equates to substantial
raises as a grade 7-12 teacher, so getting a higher degree will pay off
financially as well as intellectually.
In the classroom
Grade 7-12 teachers have
control over what and how
they teach and can use
their creative license in the
classroom.
Educator Quality of Life survey In a 2017 survey of nearly 5,000 teachers, over 90% of them reported
having control over what teaching techniques they use and control over
the content, topics, and skills to be taught. One great thing about being
a teacher is the autonomy you are given. You are the CEO in your own
classroom.
The majority of teachers
feel respected by parents.
Educator Quality of Life survey Where Do Teachers Get the Most
Respect?
That is right. In the same 2017 Quality-of-Life survey, only 13% of
teachers disagreed with the statement that they were respected by
parents. Teachers also indicated similar levels of respect from their
students.
(In the U.S., teachers get about as much respect
as librarians.)
Classroom management is
NOT one of the biggest
challenges that grade 7-12
teachers face.
2015 Work-Life Survey Training our future teachers:
Classroom Management (pdf)
Perspectives of Irreplaceable Teachers
(pdf)
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher
Preparation Programs for Support and
Accountability (pdf)
A Comparison of Beginning and
Experienced Teachers' Concerns (pdf)
(More so for beginning teachers than
experienced)
Grade 7-12 math and
science teaching is equally
or less stressful on average
than other careers.
Educator Quality of Life survey To most people, “stress” is a negative, emotionally loaded term. But
that’s different than what researchers mean when they study it. When
you look at real research carried out by those who study stress, you
find that they recognize that there are good and bad types of stress.
Good stress is needed for people to be productive and happy and
aligns with the types of “stress” most often experienced by teachers.
This may well contribute to the very high life satisfaction reported by
teachers.
Teachers suffer more stress than other
workers, study finds.
Educators Are More Stressed at Work
Than Average People, Survey Finds
School Mental Health Is Not Just for
Students: Why Teacher and School
Staff Wellness Matters
Research shows that the
classroom teacher has a
greater impact on student
learning than all other
aspects of schools (e.g.,
class size and funding per
student).
Fact Supporting sources Non-supporting sources Comments
Salaries
The middle 50% of mid-
career teacher salaries
ranges between $60,000 and
$100,000, nationally.
Grade 7-12 science and
math teachers get paid
more than most college
teaching faculty.
College teaching faculty: Internal data
given to GFO directly from the
American Institute for Physics
Grade 7-12 teachers: Our own
collection of publicly-available public
teacher salary schedules
Grade 7-12 science and
math teachers get paid
comparably to other
careers they can get with
the same degree.
Salary Survey, National Association of
Colleges and Employers (pdf)
Teacher Compensation: Fact vs. Fiction
The Truth about Teacher Pay
Low Teacher Pay And High Teacher Pay
Are Both Myths
Retirement
Most teaching jobs have
better retirement benefits
than other jobs you can get
with the same degree.
What's the Difference Between a
Pension Plan and a 401(k)?
When it comes to saving money for retirement, teachers often receive a
pension. In a nutshell, if a teacher puts in so many years of service
(typically between 25 and 35 depending on the state) they will receive a
percentage of their highest earned income every year for the rest of
their lives once they retire. Taking Colorado as an example, after 35
years of service a teacher would get 87.5% of their highest earned
income every year! (This is why teachers retire earlier than others, on
average; see the next fact.) Other professionals with a standard 401K
retirement plan would have to save $21,500 per year to have an
equivalent retirement. Last but not least, teachers can often retire
before age 60 and not have to work after retirement. Learn more about
how teachers’ retirement plans work in our blog on the topic.
(Pensions are typically better than 401-k's.)
Grade 7-12 teachers can
retire comfortably before
60 and not have to work
after retirement.
Average U.S. Retirement Age Rises to
62
Other compensation
There arestudent loan
forgiveness programs and
scholarshipsfor math and
science teachers.
Various sources Many states offer student loan forgiveness programs in addition to the
Federal government and even some school districts. See the list we’ve
compiled at the source linked to the left.
Fact
Supporting sources
Non-supporting sources
Comments
Overall satisfaction
Teachers rate their lives better
than other occupation groups.
U.S. Teachers Love Their Lives, but Struggle in
the Workplace
Yes, that’s right: A majority of teachers are happy and satisfied with their jobs.
Teaching often ranks in the top 10 jobs with the happiest workers and in the top
10 most satisfying careers. In 2018, 90% of teachers surveyed agreed that they
were satisfied with their jobs. In a Gallup survey of over 170,000 working
Americans, it was found that teachers rated their lives higher than all other
occupation groups, trailing only physicians. These, and other data strongly suggest
that teaching is often a career that leads to a happy and fulfilling life. See the
below articles to learn more.
Happiest Careers: 20 Jobs that People Love
the Most To Do
(Teachers have the 8th most satisfying career.)
Think You Understand What's On Teachers'
Minds? Think Again
The 10 Jobs With The Happiest Workers
(Teachers are the 6th happiest.)
Science says these are the 12 most satisfying
jobs. They share one key characteristic.
Survey: Despite long working hours, US
teachers satisfied with jobs
(90% of U.S. teachers are satisfied.)
The State Of The Humanities 2018: Graduates
In The Workforce & Beyond (pdf)
(Education majors are satisfied with their lives.)
Retention
Over 78% of high school science
teachers are still in the
classroom after 5 years of
teaching.
Public School Teacher Attrition and Mobility in
the First Five Years (pdf)
The U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) conducted a longitudinal
study to follow a cohort of new teachers for their first five years in the classroom.
They found that at the five-year mark, 78% of the teachers in the original cohort
were still teaching. When you think about the fact that teachers in the United
States rate their lives better than all other occupation groups trailing only
physicians, this really makes a lot of sense.
Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in
Kentucky Public Schools from 2008 to 2012
Leaving Schools Behind: The Impact of School
Student Body and Working Conditions on
Teacher Retention and Migration
Teachers leave the profession
less frequently than most other
professions.
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, U.
S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Work-life balance
Teachers have a great work-life
balance because of flexible
summers that they can use to
travel, learn, spend time with
family and friends, recharge,
and plan for the next year.
Most careers you can get with a science or math degree require you to work 12
months a year with only a few weeks of vacation time. However, with teaching,
there are holiday breaks and a long summer break that you can use flexibly to
travel, learn, spend time with family and friends, recharge, and plan for the next
year. And these breaks are scheduled far in advance. In fact, in nearly all our
conversations with teachers for our blog series, we find that they take advantage
of their summer breaks in fun and exciting ways! What a great benefit that comes
with the teaching profession!
There are programs across the
country designed for full-time
practicing teachers to be able to
earn their masters or doctorate
degrees while teaching.
Fast Facts: Teacher qualifications
According to the NCES, in 2018, 58% of public-school teachers held a master’s
degree or higher. This is likely because there are many master’s and doctoral
degree programs across the country designed to be completed by teachers who
are in the classroom full time, earning a full salary. On top of that, further
education also equates to substantial raises as a grade 7-12 teacher, so getting a
higher degree will pay off financially as well as intellectually.
In the classroom
Grade 7-12 teachers have control
over what and how they teach
and can use their creative
license in the classroom.
Educator Quality of Life survey
In a 2017 survey of nearly 5,000 teachers, over 90% of them reported having
control over what teaching techniques they use and control over the content,
topics, and skills to be taught. One great thing about being a teacher is the
autonomy you are given. You are the CEO in your own classroom.
The majority of teachers feel
respected by parents.
Educator Quality of Life survey
Where Do Teachers Get the Most
Respect?
That is right. In the same 2017 Quality-of-Life survey, only 13% of teachers
disagreed with the statement that they were respected by parents. Teachers also
indicated similar levels of respect from their students.
(In the U.S., teachers get about as much
respect as librarians.)
Classroom management is NOT
one of the biggest challenges
that grade 7-12 teachers face.
2015 Work-Life Survey
Training our future teachers:
Classroom Management (pdf)
Perspectives of Irreplaceable
Teachers (pdf)
Evaluating the Effectiveness of
Teacher Preparation Programs for
Support and Accountability (pdf)
A Comparison of Beginning and
Experienced Teachers' Concerns
(pdf)
More so for beginning teachers than
experienced
Grade 7-12 math and science
teaching is equally or less
stressful on average than other
careers.
Educator Quality of Life survey
To most people, “stress” is a negative, emotionally loaded term. But that’s different
than what researchers mean when they study it. When you look at real research
carried out by those who study stress, you find that they recognize that there are
good and bad types of stress. Good stress is needed for people to be productive
and happy and aligns with the types of “stress” most often experienced by
teachers. This may well contribute to the very high life satisfaction reported by
teachers.
Teachers suffer more stress than
other workers, study finds.
Educators Are More Stressed at
Work Than Average People, Survey
Finds
School Mental Health Is Not Just
for Students: Why Teacher and
School Staff Wellness Matters
Research shows that the
classroom teacher has a greater
impact on student learning than
all other aspects of schools (e.g.,
class size and funding per
student).
Fact
Supporting sources
Non-supporting sources
Comments
Overall satisfaction
Teachers rate their lives better
than other occupation groups.
U.S. Teachers Love Their Lives, but Struggle in
the Workplace
Yes, that’s right: A majority of teachers are happy and satisfied with their jobs.
Teaching often ranks in the top 10 jobs with the happiest workers and in the top
10 most satisfying careers. In 2018, 90% of teachers surveyed agreed that they
were satisfied with their jobs. In a Gallup survey of over 170,000 working
Americans, it was found that teachers rated their lives higher than all other
occupation groups, trailing only physicians. These, and other data strongly suggest
that teaching is often a career that leads to a happy and fulfilling life. See the
below articles to learn more.
Happiest Careers: 20 Jobs that People Love
the Most To Do
(Teachers have the 8th most satisfying career.)
Think You Understand What's On Teachers'
Minds? Think Again
The 10 Jobs With The Happiest Workers
(Teachers are the 6th happiest.)
Science says these are the 12 most satisfying
jobs. They share one key characteristic.
Survey: Despite long working hours, US
teachers satisfied with jobs
(90% of U.S. teachers are satisfied.)
The State Of The Humanities 2018: Graduates
In The Workforce & Beyond (pdf)
(Education majors are satisfied with their lives.)
Retention
Over 78% of high school science
teachers are still in the
classroom after 5 years of
teaching.
Public School Teacher Attrition and Mobility in
the First Five Years (pdf)
The U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) conducted a longitudinal
study to follow a cohort of new teachers for their first five years in the classroom.
They found that at the five-year mark, 78% of the teachers in the original cohort
were still teaching. When you think about the fact that teachers in the United
States rate their lives better than all other occupation groups trailing only
physicians, this really makes a lot of sense.
Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in
Kentucky Public Schools from 2008 to 2012
Leaving Schools Behind: The Impact of School
Student Body and Working Conditions on
Teacher Retention and Migration
Teachers leave the profession
less frequently than most other
professions.
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, U.
S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Work-life balance
Teachers have a great work-life
balance because of flexible
summers that they can use to
travel, learn, spend time with
family and friends, recharge,
and plan for the next year.
Most careers you can get with a science or math degree require you to work 12
months a year with only a few weeks of vacation time. However, with teaching,
there are holiday breaks and a long summer break that you can use flexibly to
travel, learn, spend time with family and friends, recharge, and plan for the next
year. And these breaks are scheduled far in advance. In fact, in nearly all our
conversations with teachers for our blog series, we find that they take advantage
of their summer breaks in fun and exciting ways! What a great benefit that comes
with the teaching profession!
There are programs across the
country designed for full-time
practicing teachers to be able to
earn their masters or doctorate
degrees while teaching.
Fast Facts: Teacher qualifications
According to the NCES, in 2018, 58% of public-school teachers held a master’s
degree or higher. This is likely because there are many master’s and doctoral
degree programs across the country designed to be completed by teachers who
are in the classroom full time, earning a full salary. On top of that, further
education also equates to substantial raises as a grade 7-12 teacher, so getting a
higher degree will pay off financially as well as intellectually.
In the classroom
Grade 7-12 teachers have control
over what and how they teach
and can use their creative
license in the classroom.
Educator Quality of Life survey
In a 2017 survey of nearly 5,000 teachers, over 90% of them reported having
control over what teaching techniques they use and control over the content,
topics, and skills to be taught. One great thing about being a teacher is the
autonomy you are given. You are the CEO in your own classroom.
The majority of teachers feel
respected by parents.
Educator Quality of Life survey
Where Do Teachers Get the Most
Respect?
That is right. In the same 2017 Quality-of-Life survey, only 13% of teachers
disagreed with the statement that they were respected by parents. Teachers also
indicated similar levels of respect from their students.
(In the U.S., teachers get about as much
respect as librarians.)
Classroom management is NOT
one of the biggest challenges
that grade 7-12 teachers face.
2015 Work-Life Survey
Training our future teachers:
Classroom Management (pdf)
Perspectives of Irreplaceable
Teachers (pdf)
Evaluating the Effectiveness of
Teacher Preparation Programs for
Support and Accountability (pdf)
A Comparison of Beginning and
Experienced Teachers' Concerns
(pdf)
More so for beginning teachers than
experienced
Grade 7-12 math and science
teaching is equally or less
stressful on average than other
careers.
Educator Quality of Life survey
To most people, “stress” is a negative, emotionally loaded term. But that’s different
than what researchers mean when they study it. When you look at real research
carried out by those who study stress, you find that they recognize that there are
good and bad types of stress. Good stress is needed for people to be productive
and happy and aligns with the types of “stress” most often experienced by
teachers. This may well contribute to the very high life satisfaction reported by
teachers.
Teachers suffer more stress than
other workers, study finds.
Educators Are More Stressed at
Work Than Average People, Survey
Finds
School Mental Health Is Not Just
for Students: Why Teacher and
School Staff Wellness Matters
Research shows that the
classroom teacher has a greater
impact on student learning than
all other aspects of schools (e.g.,
class size and funding per
student).
Fact Supporting sources Non-supporting sources Comments
Overall satisfaction
Teachers rate their
lives better than
other occupation
groups.
U.S. Teachers Love Their Lives, but
Struggle in the Workplace
Yes, that’s right: A majority of teachers are happy and satisfied with their jobs.
Teaching often ranks in the top 10 jobs with the happiest workers and in the
top 10 most satisfying careers. In 2018, 90% of teachers surveyed agreed that
they were satisfied with their jobs. In a Gallup survey of over 170,000 working
Americans, it was found that teachers rated their lives higher than all other
occupation groups, trailing only physicians. These, and other data strongly
suggest that teaching is often a career that leads to a happy and fulfilling life.
See the supporting sources to learn more.
Happiest Careers: 20 Jobs that People
Love the Most To Do
(Teachers have the 8th most satisfying career.)
Think You Understand What's On
Teachers' Minds? Think Again
The 10 Jobs With The Happiest Workers
(Teachers are the 6th happiest.)
Science says these are the 12 most
satisfying jobs. They share one key
characteristic.
Survey: Despite long working hours, US
teachers satisfied with jobs
(90% of U.S. teachers are satisfied.)
The State Of The Humanities 2018:
Graduates In The Workforce & Beyond
(pdf)
(Education majors are satisfied with their lives.)
Retention
Over 78% of high
school science
teachers are still in
the classroom after 5
years of teaching.
Public School Teacher Attrition and
Mobility in the First Five Years (pdf)
The U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) conducted a
longitudinal study to follow a cohort of new teachers for their first five years
in the classroom. They found that at the five-year mark, 78% of the teachers
in the original cohort were still teaching. When you think about the fact that
teachers in the United States rate their lives better than all other occupation
groups trailing only physicians, this really makes a lot of sense.
Teacher Retention, Mobility, and
Attrition in Kentucky Public Schools
from 2008 to 2012
Leaving Schools Behind: The Impact of
School Student Body and Working
Conditions on Teacher Retention and
Migration
Teachers leave the
profession less
frequently than
most other
professions.
Job Openings and Labor Turnover
Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Work-life balance
Teachers have a
great work-life
balance because of
flexible summers
that they can use to
travel, learn, spend
time with family and
friends, recharge,
and plan for the next
year.
Most careers you can get with a science or math degree require you to work
12 months a year with only a few weeks of vacation time. However, with
teaching, there are holiday breaks and a long summer break that you can use
flexibly to travel, learn, spend time with family and friends, recharge, and
plan for the next year. And these breaks are scheduled far in advance. In fact,
in nearly all our conversations with teachers for our blog series, we find that
they take advantage of their summer breaks in fun and exciting ways! What a
great benefit that comes with the teaching profession!
There are programs
across the country
designed for full-
time practicing
teachers to be able
to earn their masters
or doctorate degrees
while teaching.
Fast Facts: Teacher qualifications According to the NCES, in 2018, 58% of public-school teachers held a master’s
degree or higher. This is likely because there are many master’s and doctoral
degree programs across the country designed to be completed by teachers
who are in the classroom full time, earning a full salary. On top of that,
further education also equates to substantial raises as a grade 7-12 teacher,
so getting a higher degree will pay off financially as well as intellectually.
In the classroom
Grade 7-12 teachers
have control over
what and how they
teach and can use
their creative license
in the classroom.
Educator Quality of Life survey In a 2017 survey of nearly 5,000 teachers, over 90% of them reported having
control over what teaching techniques they use and control over the content,
topics, and skills to be taught. One great thing about being a teacher is the
autonomy you are given. You are the CEO in your own classroom.
The majority of
teachers feel
respected by
parents.
Educator Quality of Life survey Where Do Teachers Get the Most
Respect?
That is right. In the same 2017 Quality-of-Life survey, only 13% of teachers
disagreed with the statement that they were respected by parents. Teachers
also indicated similar levels of respect from their students.
(In the U.S., teachers get about as much respect
as librarians.)
Classroom
management is NOT
one of the biggest
challenges that
grade 7-12 teachers
face.
2015 Work-Life Survey Training our future teachers:
Classroom Management (pdf)
Perspectives of Irreplaceable Teachers
(pdf)
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher
Preparation Programs for Support and
Accountability (pdf)
A Comparison of Beginning and
Experienced Teachers' Concerns (pdf)
(More so for beginning teachers than
experienced)
Grade 7-12 math and
science teaching is
equally or less
stressful on average
than other careers.
Educator Quality of Life survey To most people, “stress” is a negative, emotionally loaded term. But that’s
different than what researchers mean when they study it. When you look at
real research carried out by those who study stress, you find that they
recognize that there are good and bad types of stress. Good stress is needed
for people to be productive and happy and aligns with the types of “stress”
most often experienced by teachers. This may well contribute to the very
high life satisfaction reported by teachers.
Teachers suffer more stress than other
workers, study finds.
Grade 7-12 math and
science teaching is
equally or less
stressful on average
than other careers.
Educators Are More Stressed at Work
Than Average People, Survey Finds
To most people, “stress” is a negative, emotionally loaded term. But that’s
different than what researchers mean when they study it. When you look at
real research carried out by those who study stress, you find that they
recognize that there are good and bad types of stress. Good stress is needed
for people to be productive and happy and aligns with the types of “stress”
most often experienced by teachers. This may well contribute to the very
high life satisfaction reported by teachers.
School Mental Health Is Not Just for
Students: Why Teacher and School
Staff Wellness Matters
Research shows that
the classroom
teacher has a
greater impact on
student learning
than all other
aspects of schools (e.
g., class size and
funding per student).
Teacher compensation is, on average, as good as for anyone with a similar degree.
Fact Supporting sources Non-supporting sources Comments
Salaries
The middle 50% of
mid-career teacher
salaries ranges
between $60,000 and
$100,000, nationally.
Grade 7-12 science
and math teachers
get paid more than
most college
teaching faculty.
College teaching faculty: Internal data
given to GFO directly from the
American Institute for Physics
Grade 7-12 teachers: Our own
collection of publicly-available public
teacher salary schedules
That’s right. On average, grade 7-12 math and science teachers get paid better
than teaching faculty at most colleges. Based on data from the American
Institute of Physics and from this project, we find that 1st year grade 7-12
teachers make on average $45,000; by year 15, they are making nearly
$75,000. When you look at college teaching faculty, you will see that average
starting salaries (after earning a Ph.D.) are around $50,000, and by year 15
only increase on average to about $60,000. So if you are interested in
teaching but aren’t sure at which level, know that financially speaking, grade
7-12 teaching is a better choice. (Note that regular faculty have significant
research and service responsibilities and teach relatively little; they are not
considered “teaching faculty.”)
Grade 7-12 science
and math teachers
get paid comparably
to other careers they
can get with the
same degree.
Salary Survey, National Association of
Colleges and Employers (pdf)
Teacher Compensation: Fact vs. Fiction
Grade 7-12 math and science teaching has a comparable (and in many cases
better) salary than other careers you could get with a bachelor’s degree. In
fact, based on data from the national Association of Colleges and Employers,
teacher salaries fall right in the middle of the pack when compared to others
who hold a math, chemistry, or physics bachelor’s degree. Additionally,
teacher contracts are typically for 9 or 10 months versus 12 months for other
occupations. Overall, grade 7-12 math and science teachers do get paid
comparably to other careers you could get with the same degree.
The Truth about Teacher Pay
Low Teacher Pay And High Teacher Pay
Are Both Myths
Retirement
Most teaching jobs
have better
retirement benefits
than other jobs you
can get with the
same degree.
What's the Difference Between a
Pension Plan and a 401(k)?
When it comes to saving money for retirement, teachers often receive a
pension. In a nutshell, if a teacher puts in so many years of service (typically
between 25 and 35 depending on the state) they will receive a percentage of
their highest earned income every year for the rest of their lives once they
retire. Taking Colorado as an example, after 35 years of service a teacher
would get 87.5% of their highest earned income every year! (This is why
teachers retire earlier than others, on average; see the next fact.) Other
professionals with a standard 401K retirement plan would have to save
$21,500 per year to have an equivalent retirement. Last but not least,
teachers can often retire before age 60 and not have to work after
retirement. Learn more about how teachers’ retirement plans work in our
blog on the topic.
(Pensions are typically better than 401-k's.)
Grade 7-12 teachers
can retire
comfortably before
60 and not have to
work after
retirement.
Average U.S. Retirement Age Rises to
62
Other compensation
There arestudent
loan forgiveness
programs and
scholarshipsfor
math and science
teachers.
Various sources Many states offer student loan forgiveness programs in addition to the
Federal government and even some school districts. See the list we’ve
compiled at the source linked to the left.
Trained teachers are extremely hireable.
Fact Supporting sources Non-supporting sources Comments
The US has a severe
shortage of math
and science
teachers. This means
that math and
science teachers are
in high demand.
The Mathematics and Science Teacher
Shortage: Fact and Myth
Although the teacher shortage is complicated, math and science are subjects
that typically have among the worst teacher shortages around the country.
In fact, out of the 57 U.S. states and territories, 51 reported math teacher
shortages, and 48 reported science teacher shortages in 2018. All in all, this
means that as a math or science teacher you will be in high demand and can
get a job almost anywhere you would like to live.
(Due to retention and not teacher production)
Recruiting and Retaining
Underrepresented Students into
Education
Teacher Shortages: What We Know
(pdf)
Understanding Teacher Shortages: An
Analysis of Teacher Supply and
Demand in the United States
Teacher Recruitment and Retention:
It's Complicated (pdf)
You can get a job
almost anywhere in
the U.S. or abroad as
a science or math
teacher.
Many STEM students have the potential to become teachers.
Fact Supporting sources Non-supporting sources Comments
About half of all
science and math
majors report an
interest in becoming
a teacher.
Recruiting Teachers in High-needs
STEM Fields: A Survey of Current
Majors and Recent STEM Graduates
Interest in grade 7-12 teaching is high! Data from our project and from other
sources show that over half of STEM majors have an interest in becoming a
grade 7-12 teacher.
GFO internal data
Research shows that
faculty and students
have deeply held but
often misinformed
perceptions about
the teaching
profession.
College faculty support for grade 7-12
teaching careers: survey results and
comparisons to student perceptions
Our research shows that college students and faculty both hold
misperceptions about the teaching career. These misperceptions tend to
revolve around financial stability, teacher happiness, and teacher work
environment. However, the facts about grade 7-12 teaching show that most
teachers are financially secure, satisfied with their jobs, and have control over
their work environment/classrooms. It is important for students to educate
themselves on the teaching profession so they can give these this great
career an honest look. It’s also important for faculty to learn the facts so they
can advise their students accurately about becoming a grade 7-12 teacher.
A New Survey Uncovers Strong
Misperceptions About the Teaching
Profession. What Can We Do to Get the
Facts Out?
Students who are
taught by science
teachers who have a
degree in their
subject are
significantly more
likely to go to college
and major in STEM.
Understanding the role cumulative
exposure to highly qualified science
teachers plays in students' educational
pathways
We all know that teachers make a big difference, but with a background in
math or science, a teacher is more likely to influence their students go to
college and major in STEM disciplines. Make an impact on the future and
become a grade 7-12 math or science teacher!

What Google Sheets gave me:

ABCD
1
FactSupporting sourcesNon-supporting sourcesComments
2
Overall satisfaction
3
Teachers rate their lives better than other occupation groups.U.S. Teachers Love Their Lives, but Struggle in the WorkplaceYes, that’s right: A majority of teachers are happy and satisfied with their jobs. Teaching often ranks in the top 10 jobs with the happiest workers and in the top 10 most satisfying careers. In 2018, 90% of teachers surveyed agreed that they were satisfied with their jobs. In a Gallup survey of over 170,000 working Americans, it was found that teachers rated their lives higher than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians. These, and other data strongly suggest that teaching is often a career that leads to a happy and fulfilling life. See the supporting sources to learn more.
4
Happiest Careers: 20 Jobs that People Love the Most To Do
5
(Teachers have the 8th most satisfying career.)
6
Think You Understand What's On Teachers' Minds? Think Again
7
The 10 Jobs With The Happiest Workers
8
(Teachers are the 6th happiest.)
9
Science says these are the 12 most satisfying jobs. They share one key characteristic.
10
Survey: Despite long working hours, US teachers satisfied with jobs
11
(90% of U.S. teachers are satisfied.)
12
The State Of The Humanities 2018: Graduates In The Workforce & Beyond (pdf)
13
(Education majors are satisfied with their lives.)
14
Retention
15
Over 78% of high school science teachers are still in the classroom after 5 years of teaching.Public School Teacher Attrition and Mobility in the First Five Years (pdf)The U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) conducted a longitudinal study to follow a cohort of new teachers for their first five years in the classroom. They found that at the five-year mark, 78% of the teachers in the original cohort were still teaching. When you think about the fact that teachers in the United States rate their lives better than all other occupation groups trailing only physicians, this really makes a lot of sense.
16
Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in Kentucky Public Schools from 2008 to 2012
17
Leaving Schools Behind: The Impact of School Student Body and Working Conditions on Teacher Retention and Migration
18
Teachers leave the profession less frequently than most other professions.Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
19
Work-life balance
20
Teachers have a great work-life balance because of flexible summers that they can use to travel, learn, spend time with family and friends, recharge, and plan for the next year.Most careers you can get with a science or math degree require you to work 12 months a year with only a few weeks of vacation time. However, with teaching, there are holiday breaks and a long summer break that you can use flexibly to travel, learn, spend time with family and friends, recharge, and plan for the next year. And these breaks are scheduled far in advance. In fact, in nearly all our conversations with teachers for our blog series, we find that they take advantage of their summer breaks in fun and exciting ways! What a great benefit that comes with the teaching profession!
21
There are programs across the country designed for full-time practicing teachers to be able to earn their masters or doctorate degrees while teaching.Fast Facts: Teacher qualificationsAccording to the NCES, in 2018, 58% of public-school teachers held a master’s degree or higher. This is likely because there are many master’s and doctoral degree programs across the country designed to be completed by teachers who are in the classroom full time, earning a full salary. On top of that, further education also equates to substantial raises as a grade 7-12 teacher, so getting a higher degree will pay off financially as well as intellectually.
22
In the classroom
23
Grade 7-12 teachers have control over what and how they teach and can use their creative license in the classroom.Educator Quality of Life surveyIn a 2017 survey of nearly 5,000 teachers, over 90% of them reported having control over what teaching techniques they use and control over the content, topics, and skills to be taught. One great thing about being a teacher is the autonomy you are given. You are the CEO in your own classroom.
24
The majority of teachers feel respected by parents.Educator Quality of Life surveyWhere Do Teachers Get the Most Respect?That is right. In the same 2017 Quality-of-Life survey, only 13% of teachers disagreed with the statement that they were respected by parents. Teachers also indicated similar levels of respect from their students.
25
(In the U.S., teachers get about as much respect as librarians.)
26
Classroom management is NOT one of the biggest challenges that grade 7-12 teachers face.2015 Work-Life SurveyTraining our future teachers: Classroom Management (pdf)
27
Perspectives of Irreplaceable Teachers (pdf)
28
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher Preparation Programs for Support and Accountability (pdf)
29
A Comparison of Beginning and Experienced Teachers' Concerns (pdf)
30
(More so for beginning teachers than experienced)
31
Grade 7-12 math and science teaching is equally or less stressful on average than other careers.Educator Quality of Life surveyTo most people, “stress” is a negative, emotionally loaded term. But that’s different than what researchers mean when they study it. When you look at real research carried out by those who study stress, you find that they recognize that there are good and bad types of stress. Good stress is needed for people to be productive and happy and aligns with the types of “stress” most often experienced by teachers. This may well contribute to the very high life satisfaction reported by teachers.
32
Teachers suffer more stress than other workers, study finds.
33
Educators Are More Stressed at Work Than Average People, Survey Finds
34
School Mental Health Is Not Just for Students: Why Teacher and School Staff Wellness Matters
35
Research shows that the classroom teacher has a greater impact on student learning than all other aspects of schools (e.g., class size and funding per student).
36
37
38
Teacher compensation is, on average, as good as for anyone with a similar degree.
39
FactSupporting sourcesNon-supporting sourcesComments
40
Salaries
41
The middle 50% of mid-career teacher salaries ranges between $60,000 and $100,000, nationally.
42
Grade 7-12 science and math teachers get paid more than most college teaching faculty.College teaching faculty: Internal data given to GFO directly from the American Institute for Physics
Grade 7-12 teachers: Our own collection of publicly-available public teacher salary schedules
That’s right. On average, grade 7-12 math and science teachers get paid better than teaching faculty at most colleges. Based on data from the American Institute of Physics and from this project, we find that 1st year grade 7-12 teachers make on average $45,000; by year 15, they are making nearly $75,000. When you look at college teaching faculty, you will see that average starting salaries (after earning a Ph.D.) are around $50,000, and by year 15 only increase on average to about $60,000. So if you are interested in teaching but aren’t sure at which level, know that financially speaking, grade 7-12 teaching is a better choice. (Note that regular faculty have significant research and service responsibilities and teach relatively little; they are not considered “teaching faculty.”)
43
Grade 7-12 science and math teachers get paid comparably to other careers they can get with the same degree.Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers (pdf)Teacher Compensation: Fact vs. FictionGrade 7-12 math and science teaching has a comparable (and in many cases better) salary than other careers you could get with a bachelor’s degree. In fact, based on data from the national Association of Colleges and Employers, teacher salaries fall right in the middle of the pack when compared to others who hold a math, chemistry, or physics bachelor’s degree. Additionally, teacher contracts are typically for 9 or 10 months versus 12 months for other occupations. Overall, grade 7-12 math and science teachers do get paid comparably to other careers you could get with the same degree.
44
The Truth about Teacher Pay
45
Low Teacher Pay And High Teacher Pay Are Both Myths
46
Retirement
47
Most teaching jobs have better retirement benefits than other jobs you can get with the same degree.What's the Difference Between a Pension Plan and a 401(k)?When it comes to saving money for retirement, teachers often receive a pension. In a nutshell, if a teacher puts in so many years of service (typically between 25 and 35 depending on the state) they will receive a percentage of their highest earned income every year for the rest of their lives once they retire. Taking Colorado as an example, after 35 years of service a teacher would get 87.5% of their highest earned income every year! (This is why teachers retire earlier than others, on average; see the next fact.) Other professionals with a standard 401K retirement plan would have to save $21,500 per year to have an equivalent retirement. Last but not least, teachers can often retire before age 60 and not have to work after retirement. Learn more about how teachers’ retirement plans work in our blog on the topic.
48
(Pensions are typically better than 401-k's.)
49
Grade 7-12 teachers can retire comfortably before 60 and not have to work after retirement.Average U.S. Retirement Age Rises to 62
50
Other compensation
51
There are student loan forgiveness programs and scholarships for math and science teachers.Various sourcesMany states offer student loan forgiveness programs in addition to the Federal government and even some school districts. See the list we’ve compiled at the source linked to the left.
52
53
54
Trained teachers are extremely hireable.
55
FactSupporting sourcesNon-supporting sourcesComments
56
The US has a severe shortage of math and science teachers. This means that math and science teachers are in high demand. The Mathematics and Science Teacher Shortage: Fact and MythAlthough the teacher shortage is complicated, math and science are subjects that typically have among the worst teacher shortages around the country. In fact, out of the 57 U.S. states and territories, 51 reported math teacher shortages, and 48 reported science teacher shortages in 2018. All in all, this means that as a math or science teacher you will be in high demand and can get a job almost anywhere you would like to live.
57
(Due to retention and not teacher production)
58
Recruiting and Retaining Underrepresented Students into Education
59
Teacher Shortages: What We Know (pdf)
60
Understanding Teacher Shortages: An Analysis of Teacher Supply and Demand in the United States
61
Teacher Recruitment and Retention: It's Complicated (pdf)
62
You can get a job almost anywhere in the U.S. or abroad as a science or math teacher.
63
64
65
Many STEM students have the potential to become teachers.
66
FactSupporting sourcesNon-supporting sourcesComments
67
About half of all science and math majors report an interest in becoming a teacher.Recruiting Teachers in High-needs STEM Fields: A Survey of Current Majors and Recent STEM GraduatesInterest in grade 7-12 teaching is high! Data from our project and from other sources show that over half of STEM majors have an interest in becoming a grade 7-12 teacher.
68
GFO internal data
69
Research shows that faculty and students have deeply held but often misinformed perceptions about the teaching profession.College faculty support for grade 7-12 teaching careers: survey results and comparisons to student perceptions Our research shows that college students and faculty both hold misperceptions about the teaching career. These misperceptions tend to revolve around financial stability, teacher happiness, and teacher work environment. However, the facts about grade 7-12 teaching show that most teachers are financially secure, satisfied with their jobs, and have control over their work environment/classrooms. It is important for students to educate themselves on the teaching profession so they can give these this great career an honest look. It’s also important for faculty to learn the facts so they can advise their students accurately about becoming a grade 7-12 teacher.
70
A New Survey Uncovers Strong Misperceptions About the Teaching Profession. What Can We Do to Get the Facts Out?
71
Students who are taught by science teachers who have a degree in their subject are significantly more likely to go to college and major in STEM.Understanding the role cumulative exposure to highly qualified science teachers plays in students' educational pathwaysWe all know that teachers make a big difference, but with a background in math or science, a teacher is more likely to influence their students go to college and major in STEM disciplines. Make an impact on the future and become a grade 7-12 math or science teacher!
like icon

What Excel gave me:

 

Most teachers seem to love their jobs.
Fact Supporting sources Non-supporting sources Comments
Overall satisfaction      
Teachers rate their lives better than other occupation groups. U.S. Teachers Love Their Lives, but Struggle in the Workplace   Yes, that’s right: A majority of teachers are happy and satisfied with their jobs. Teaching often ranks in the top 10 jobs with the happiest workers and in the top 10 most satisfying careers. In 2018, 90% of teachers surveyed agreed that they were satisfied with their jobs. In a Gallup survey of over 170,000 working Americans, it was found that teachers rated their lives higher than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians. These, and other data strongly suggest that teaching is often a career that leads to a happy and fulfilling life. See the supporting sources to learn more.
Happiest Careers: 20 Jobs that People Love the Most To Do
(Teachers have the 8th most satisfying career.)
Think You Understand What's On Teachers' Minds? Think Again
The 10 Jobs With The Happiest Workers
(Teachers are the 6th happiest.)
Science says these are the 12 most satisfying jobs. They share one key characteristic.
Survey: Despite long working hours, US teachers satisfied with jobs
(90% of U.S. teachers are satisfied.)
The State Of The Humanities 2018: Graduates In The Workforce & Beyond (pdf)
(Education majors are satisfied with their lives.)
Retention      
Over 78% of high school science teachers are still in the classroom after 5 years of teaching. Public School Teacher Attrition and Mobility in the First Five Years (pdf)   The U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) conducted a longitudinal study to follow a cohort of new teachers for their first five years in the classroom. They found that at the five-year mark, 78% of the teachers in the original cohort were still teaching. When you think about the fact that teachers in the United States rate their lives better than all other occupation groups trailing only physicians, this really makes a lot of sense.
Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in Kentucky Public Schools from 2008 to 2012
Leaving Schools Behind: The Impact of School Student Body and Working Conditions on Teacher Retention and Migration
Teachers leave the profession less frequently than most other professions. Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics  
Work-life balance      
Teachers have a great work-life balance because of flexible summers that they can use to travel, learn, spend time with family and friends, recharge, and plan for the next year.     Most careers you can get with a science or math degree require you to work 12 months a year with only a few weeks of vacation time. However, with teaching, there are holiday breaks and a long summer break that you can use flexibly to travel, learn, spend time with family and friends, recharge, and plan for the next year. And these breaks are scheduled far in advance. In fact, in nearly all our conversations with teachers for our blog series, we find that they take advantage of their summer breaks in fun and exciting ways! What a great benefit that comes with the teaching profession!
There are programs across the country designed for full-time practicing teachers to be able to earn their masters or doctorate degrees while teaching. Fast Facts: Teacher qualifications   According to the NCES, in 2018, 58% of public-school teachers held a master’s degree or higher. This is likely because there are many master’s and doctoral degree programs across the country designed to be completed by teachers who are in the classroom full time, earning a full salary. On top of that, further education also equates to substantial raises as a grade 7-12 teacher, so getting a higher degree will pay off financially as well as intellectually.
In the classroom      
Grade 7-12 teachers have control over what and how they teach and can use their creative license in the classroom. Educator Quality of Life survey   In a 2017 survey of nearly 5,000 teachers, over 90% of them reported having control over what teaching techniques they use and control over the content, topics, and skills to be taught. One great thing about being a teacher is the autonomy you are given. You are the CEO in your own classroom.
The majority of teachers feel respected by parents. Educator Quality of Life survey Where Do Teachers Get the Most Respect? That is right. In the same 2017 Quality-of-Life survey, only 13% of teachers disagreed with the statement that they were respected by parents. Teachers also indicated similar levels of respect from their students.
(In the U.S., teachers get about as much respect as librarians.)
Classroom management is NOT one of the biggest challenges that grade 7-12 teachers face. 2015 Work-Life Survey Training our future teachers: Classroom Management (pdf)  
Perspectives of Irreplaceable Teachers (pdf)
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher Preparation Programs for Support and Accountability (pdf)
A Comparison of Beginning and Experienced Teachers' Concerns (pdf)
(More so for beginning teachers than experienced)
Grade 7-12 math and science teaching is equally or less stressful on average than other careers. Educator Quality of Life survey To most people, “stress” is a negative, emotionally loaded term. But that’s different than what researchers mean when they study it. When you look at real research carried out by those who study stress, you find that they recognize that there are good and bad types of stress. Good stress is needed for people to be productive and happy and aligns with the types of “stress” most often experienced by teachers. This may well contribute to the very high life satisfaction reported by teachers.
Teachers suffer more stress than other workers, study finds.
Educators Are More Stressed at Work Than Average People, Survey Finds
School Mental Health Is Not Just for Students: Why Teacher and School Staff Wellness Matters
Research shows that the classroom teacher has a greater impact on student learning than all other aspects of schools (e.g., class size and funding per student).