You’re probably tired of reading about teacher burnout.
We get it. It’s a real problem and one that affects your school, your students, and you. And while every article you read on the subject seems to offer a different solution, they all seem to lack one thing: statistics.
You want data—cold, hard facts that show how bad the problem is and where it’s getting worse. You want to be able to show your school board or administration how bad things are getting so they’ll listen when you propose solutions. But where do you find these statistics? How do you know if they’re credible? Are they even recent? And then there’s the issue of finding enough information to compile a list of stats about teacher burnout! That’s another thing entirely—so much work!
Well, take heart—we’ve done all the hard work for you! We’ve compiled the latest statistics on teacher burnout from reputable sources across the internet, broken them down into manageable chunks, and provided links so you can easily find more information if needed.
Teacher Burnout Statistics (The Highlights)
- 44% of the K-12 workers in the US say they always or very often feel burned out at work.
- 91% of teachers say their job has negatively affected their mental health in the last 12 months.
- 52% of K-12 workers say they feel burned out and stressed about Covid while at work.
- There is a 14% gap between the K-12 teachers’ burnout rate and the national average for all other professions.
- 46% of teachers say they are working more than 50 hours every week.
- 11% of teachers report suffering from insomnia and not having trouble falling asleep.
- 66% of teachers believe that their schools don’t have measures that help fight stress and burnout.
- 14% of K-12 teachers and staff say they will definitely leave their job in the next two years.
General Teacher Burnout Statistics
1. 44% of the K-12 workers in the US say they always or very often feel burned out at work.
Teachers are the most burned out segment of the K-12 employees, with 52% saying that they are burned out.
What does it mean to be “burned out?” Well, it means feeling like your job is stressful and exhausting, but there is no way out. Teachers feel trapped in a cycle of overwork and exhaustion that leaves them with little time for themselves or their families.
A recent survey on work-related stress and exhaustion reveals that education workers hold the number one and two spots for the most burned-out professionals in the US.
College and university employees are just below K-12 employees, with 35% of them saying that they feel burned out all the time, or at least very frequently.
Professional services workers and government or public policy employees are next on the list, each with a share of 33% of their workforce reporting feeling burned out constantly or most of the time. 32% of retail workers and 31% of healthcare and law employees feel the same way.
2. Each year, about 8% of teachers leave the profession.
It’s no secret that teaching is one of the most difficult jobs out there—and it’s also a profession that has a lot of turnover. The average annual attrition rate for teachers is 8%.
We’ve all been in the classroom.
Teachers are hardworking, dedicated professionals who are passionate about helping students learn. They often spend their own money on supplies and materials for their classrooms, they come up with creative ways to engage students in their lessons, and they spend hours outside of the classroom preparing new strategies to help students succeed.
But they’re also humans with lives outside of school—lives that sometimes get in the way of their work. And unfortunately, 8% of teachers leave the profession every year due to burnout or other factors.
3. 44.6% of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years of teaching.
It’s no secret that teaching is one of the most difficult careers out there. The constant stress and pressure to perform can be overwhelming, especially for new teachers who haven’t yet learned how to navigate the system.
Research shows that nearly half of all new teachers leave within the first five years, with 9.5% leaving in the first year alone.
The reasons for this are many—but they’re often related to systemic issues within public education. Teachers are often underpaid and overworked, which can make it difficult to stay in the profession for long periods of time.
To put those numbers into perspective, consider this: if you were running a business and losing nearly half of your employees within the first five years on the job, you’d likely be out of business before too long.
4. 55% of female K-12 teachers report feeling burned out always or most of the time.
In comparison, 34% of female employees across all industries report feeling the same way, while female K-12 workers are in the middle with 47%.
On the other hand, 44% of male K-12 teachers say they are constantly burned out. The burnout rate for male workers across all sectors is considerably lower at only 26%, and the rate of male K-12 workers is 38%.
5. 71% of K-12 teachers and staff describe the 2021-22 academic year as one of the worst.
Another 25% say it was an average year, while only 2% say that 2021-22 was one of the best academic years in their career.
Moreover, ‘stressful’ is the most commonly used adjective to describe their job, used by 57% of K-12 education workers. Furthermore, 50% of them describe their profession as frustrating, 46% as challenging, and 44% as overwhelming.
Only 37% of K-12 teachers say their job is rewarding, while even a smaller percentage, 15%, say it is satisfying.
6. 91% of teachers say their job negatively affected their mental health in 2021.
According to 72% of teachers, organizing remote learning has been the number one contributor to their mental health adversity. Additionally, 90% of teachers report they have experienced increased levels of work-related stress in the past 12 months as well.
The main cause of the rising stress levels is the increased workload, as cited by 52% of teachers, while the consequences of the pandemic are an aggressor for another 34%.
Moreover, 24% of them stress about student behavior and well-being, 22% about student performance, and 11% about their own financial well-being.
7. 66% of teachers believe that their schools don’t have measures that help fight stress and burnout.
The stats show that even a larger percentage, or 78%, of teachers believe that their schools don’t provide staff members with a workspace that promotes wellbeing.
Another 66% report they don’t have an available counselor at the schools, while 63% say they don’t have a safe and comfortable space to take time out from the classroom.
Finally, 53% of teachers feel like schools don’t prioritize the mental health of their employees.
8. 14% of K-12 teachers and staff say they will definitely leave their job in the next two years.
In addition, 24% say they will probably leave, though it is not a definite decision.
K-12 employees working in the city areas are the most likely to leave their jobs in the next two years, with 42% of them saying they will probably or undoubtedly do it, while the percentages for suburban and rural areas are 32% and 37%.
Even 23% of K-12 members who are satisfied with their job plan to leave it in the following 24 months, and the percentage increases to 43% for those who are unsatisfied.
Finally, 53% of K-12 employees older than 55 plan on leaving their job in the next two years, while 42% of those under 40 and 28% of those between 40 and 54 plan on doing the same.
Statistics on the Causes of Teacher Burnout
9. 75% of K-12 workers say their working conditions have worsened over the last five years.
29% of K-12 members say they are facing unrealistic expectations, more responsibilities, and workloads. An equal percentage also say the students’ attitudes, discipline, and behavior have deteriorated, while their compensations are not keeping up with inflation.
Additionally, 19% of K-12 employees feel no support or recognition from the administration, while 16% say that parents are unsupportive, uncooperative, and demanding.
10. 46% of teachers say they are working more than 50 hours every week.
With the 4% of teachers who report they are working every moment that they are awake, the stats show that at least half of the education workers are overworked and have unsustainable work hours. Moreover, 38% of teachers say they work between 40 and 45 hours a week, and only 12% work 35 hours every week.
(Not Waiting For Superman)
11. 11% of teachers report suffering from insomnia and not having trouble falling asleep.
In addition, 31% say they don’t get enough sleep during the week, so they try to compensate at the weekend.
Furthermore, 32% of teachers say they regularly sleep less than six hours at night, while only 26% say they easily fall asleep and sleep for more than seven hours every night.
As a result of long work hours and lack of sleep, 58% of teachers say they feel tired all the time and can’t wait for the next break from school.
(Not Waiting For Superman)
The stats further reveal that 54% of them largely complain when they socialize with their colleagues, while 20% almost exclusively complain about work and can’t see solutions to their problems.
Combined with the other burnout causes that teachers face, it is not surprising to understand why 32% of teachers report being easily irritated by their students’ behavior, while 36% say they easily get irritated at home as well, in addition to their workplace.
(Not Waiting For Superman)
The stats show that this is almost twice as much as the 40% of US adults who say they frequently feel job-related stress. Additionally, 27% of teachers show signs of depression, which is true for only 10% of the rest of Americans.
Teaching in-person and remotely at the same time is the number one stressor for 47% of teachers, while an additional 16% rank it as the second and 8% rank it as the third source of stress.
In total, 71% of teachers get stressed out by having to teach in-person and remotely simultaneously.
14. 55% of the teachers who left their teaching job and got a nonteaching education job say that they earn more now.
Conversely, only 24% of them say that they earn less now, while 21% report they earn about the same.
Furthermore, almost half, or 49%, of the teachers who moved on to a profession that is in no way related to education say they earn more now than when they were teaching. The remaining 21% say that they make about the same, and 30% report they earn less money now.
Statistics on the Impact of COVID-19 on Teacher Burnout
15. There is a 14% gap between the K-12 teachers’ burnout rate and the national average for all other professions.
While 44% of K-12 workers say they experience constant exhaustion at work, the average percentage of US employees across all sectors who feel this way is 30%.
The Covid pandemic has been detrimental to education workers, and the data backs it up.
A survey from March 2020, just before the pandemic kicked off, shows that the percentage of teachers who always or very often feel burned out at work was considerably lower at 36%. The national average across all industries at the time was only slightly lower at 28%, which means the gap between teachers and all other professions was much tighter at 8%.
16. A total of 39% of K-12 employees report working longer hours than before the pandemic.
More precisely, 15% say they work significantly, and 24% somewhat more hours, while just 4% work fewer hours now than before Covid.
The main reason for their prolonged work is the extra hours they put into managing working remotely, as cited by 73% of the employees. Furthermore, 45% of them say that maintaining the social distance limitations causes everything to take much longer, while 42% attribute their longer hours to the increased number of meetings.
Additionally, 36% say they dedicate a considerable amount of time to making sure everything is cleaned and disinfected, and 32% suffer prolonged work because of delays caused by technical issues.
Finally, 16% reported that they wanted to make sure they are doing everything not to get laid off.
17. 52% of K-12 workers say they feel burned out and stressed about Covid while at work.
Compared to other professions, K-12 employees are much more likely to feel this way, as 35% of other employees say they feel stressed and 34% say they feel burned out by Covid.
In addition, 34% of K-12 workers say they feel anxious, 16% say they are sad or depressed, 12% say they are lonely and pessimistic, and 11% are afraid.
18. 90% of K-12 teachers are concerned about the students falling behind because of Covid-19.
More accurately, 34% express themselves as being extremely concerned, 31% are very concerned, while 25% say they are only somewhat concerned about students falling behind.
Moreover, the statistics show that educational workers have worries of their own that contribute to their burnout and stress levels. Namely, 43% say their main concern is keeping their family safe, while 37% worry about staying protected from contracting the virus at work.
Additionally, 23% are worried their benefits package may be reduced, 21% worry about getting a pay cut, 19% are worried about losing their job, and 18% worry about getting furloughed.
(Mission Square Research Institute)
19. 86% of education workers say they have seen colleagues leaving their job or retiring early since the start of the pandemic.
Moreover, 55% of them agree that they themselves consider leaving the education profession early because of the Covid pandemic. The stats show that this percentage rises to 62% for Black teachers and 59% for Hispanic teachers.
Additionally, this trend can be noticed among teachers of all ages and experience levels. Namely, 54% of those aged 50 and older and 56% of teachers younger than 50 consider leaving their profession.
Moreover, 50% of teachers with less than ten years of experience, 58% of those with between 11 and 20 years of experience, and 57% of those with more than 21 of experience say they are likely to leave earlier than planned.
20. 45% of teachers who quit their jobs during the pandemic say their salary was not worth the risk and stress.
This is particularly true for younger teachers, as according to the stats, 31% of the teachers who left for the reason above were under 40, while the remaining 14% were older.
Additionally, 34% of educators say they had to leave because one of their close ones had a high-risk condition under Covid-19, while 31% had such a condition themselves.
Another 26% left because of childcare responsibilities, while 16% say they left because they struggled with remote learning.
Now that you’ve read through all of these statistics (and wow, you really did!), we want to leave you with a few thoughts.
First, we hope that this information has been helpful and informative for you. We know that when it comes to teacher burnout, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there about what causes it and how to prevent it—so we wanted to give you the straight facts on some of the most important aspects of this topic.
Second, we want you to remember that no matter what your situation is now or in the future, there is always something you can do to make sure that your students are getting the best education possible from their teachers.
And part of that is making sure those teachers themselves are doing well! If a teacher is feeling burned out and overwhelmed by their job responsibilities or workload, they aren’t able to give their full attention and energy to their students—and that’s not fair for anyone involved.
If you’re a teacher and are feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of your job, please remember that there is always someone who cares about your well-being. So if you’re feeling like things are getting too much for you right now, take some time off (if possible), and talk with someone about how they manage stress in their lives. Reach out if you need help!
We hope you’ve enjoyed these stats about teacher burnout, and that you find them helpful as you try to keep yourself and your colleagues from experiencing this challenging condition.