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How Many Teachers Are There in the U.S (Facts & Figures) – 2020

How many teachers are there in the U.S Statistics Facts

Teachers are perhaps one of the most indispensable people that we may meet. As higher education becomes increasingly necessary, most people in western countries can’t even fathom the idea of no schooling. Though some people have had negative experiences with school, there are still so many teachers that devote their life to their profession. Some teacher statistics: as of 2017, there are 3.6 million teachers across the USA, about half a million being in private schools. This demographic is the most commonly underemployed, as the government does not pay adequately for the jobs that they do. About 60% of all teachers are underemployed, but the unemployment rate among teachers is only 1.7%. In this demographic, there are more women than men. The increasing student to teacher ratio increases the burden on teachers. In addition, the pressures by the government make people hesitant to take this up as a career.

General Teacher Stats

  • The average student to teacher ratio in the US is about 1:16
  • For every male teacher, there are about 3.17 female teachers
  • The starting salary for teachers in 2016-2017 was $58,950.
  • There were 56.6 million students in high school, middle school, and elementary school in 2019.

How Many Kindergarten and Elementary Teachers Are There in the US?

 There are about 1,569,00 kindergarten and elementary school teachers in the US, which accounts for about 43.6% of all teachers.

The average yearly salary for this demographic is $46,041. The median level of education is a bachelor’s degree. To teach in public elementary schools, teachers need a state-issued certificate or license.

How Many Middle School Teachers Are There in the US?

 There are 615,700 middle school teachers in the US, which accounts for approximately 17.1% of all teachers in the US. The average pay for middle school teachers is about $45,444. The average level of education in this demographic is a bachelor’s degree. To teach in a public middle school, you need a state-issued certification.

How Many High School Teachers Are There in the US?

 There are 1,072,500 high school teachers in America, which is about 29.8% of all teachers (Excluding post-secondary). High school teachers have an average salary of $49,290 per year. The average entry-level of education is a bachelor’s degree. High school teachers also need state authorization to teach legally. The state checks their level of education, which may require an academic background in the subjects that they may wish to teach. 

High school teacher facts:

  • The lowest 10% earned less than $40,540
  • The highest 10% earned more than $99,660
  • All states require public high school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree.

How Many Post-secondary Teachers Are There in the US?

 There are approximately 1.54 million post-secondary teachers as of 2017. The average pay for post-secondary teachers is roughly $57,997. The top 10% get paid 100,000+ per year whilst, the bottom 10% get paid >50,000. The average post-secondary teacher has a level of education equal to a master’s degree or Ph.D. 

How Many Public School Teachers Are There in the US?

 There are 3.1 million public school teachers in the US. The average salary for public school teachers is approximately $34,368 per year. They all need state certification to teach. The average level of educational attainment is a bachelor’s degree, although a significant portion of them have a higher level of education.

How Many Special Education Teachers Are There in the US?

 There are approximately 35,600 special education teachers in the US. These teachers assist students that need extra help with learning. The average salary for this demographic of teachers is about $50,980. The average level of education for this demographic is a special education bachelor’s degree. In addition to that, they also have to get state certification.

How Many ESL Teachers Are There in the US?

 There is one ESL teacher per 150 ESL students; the average regular student to teacher ratio is about 1:16. ESL teachers help students that often have English as their second language to learn to speak English more fluently. The average salary for ESL teachers is $18 an hour. The average level of educational attainment for ESL teachers is a bachelor’s degree and state certification. Although, ESL teachers are commonly required to be certified TESOL teachers, (TESOL stands for: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.)

What Percent of Teachers Are Women?

About 75% of all teachers, not including post-secondary, are women.

  • Elementary: The ratio of female to male teachers is: 89 female teachers to 11 male teachers.
  • High school: the ratio of female to male teachers is: 64 female teachers to 36 male teachers.

Percent of Teachers by Race

 The majority of teachers are white, about 79% of all teachers are white.

Teacher demographics:

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  • Percentage of white teachers: 79%
  • Percentage of Hispanic teachers: 9%
  • Percentage of black teachers: 7%
  • Percentage of Asian teachers: 2%
  • Percentage of American Indian teachers: 1% 
  • Teachers with two or more ethnicities: 2%

What is the Average Student to Teacher Ratio in Schools?

The average student to teacher ratio is 16 students to 1 teacher.

The state with the highest student to teacher ratio is Utah, with a ratio of 34 students to one teacher. So in Utah, the average class size is 34.

The state with the lowest teacher to student ratio is the Virgin Islands, with a teacher to student ratio of 1:11. The average class size on the Virgin Islands is 11.

The Average Salary for a Teacher in the US 

 The average yearly salary for teachers in the US is $34,368.

The top 10% of teachers get paid $99,000+, while the lowest-paid teachers get paid the lower end of $30,000. The highest end of the spectrum is mostly private schools. Public schools usually never pay that much.

College/university professors customarily get paid more, but they had to get a significantly higher level of education. The average teacher usually has educational attainment of a bachelor’s degree and state certification. The average post-secondary teacher has the educational attainment of a Ph.D. or its equivalent. The average college professor’s salary is approximately $57,990.

For context: the average American salary is $52,507.

Teacher Retention Rates

Teacher retention is the ability to reduce the mobility of teachers to provide a more uniform learning experience.

The average teacher retention rate across the US is 80.7%. That means 19.3% did not stay in the same school or, they left the occupation entirely.

By Demographic

White: 

  • 85% of white teachers stayed in the same school
  • 7% of white teachers moved schools
  • 8% of white teachers left the profession altogether 

Black:

  • 78% of black teachers stayed in the same school
  • 12% of black teachers moved schools
  • 10% of black teachers left the profession completely

Hispanic:

  • 79% of Hispanic teachers stayed in the same school 
  • 13% of Hispanic teachers moved to a different school
  • 8% of Hispanic teachers left the profession entirely

By School Poverty Level

How many teachers are there in the U.S Statistics Facts 1Low-poverty schools (wealthier schools): 

  • People that moved: 6% of teachers moved from low-poverty schools
  • People that left: 6% of teaches left from low-poverty schools

Mid-low poverty schools (still adequately funded):

  • People that moved: 6% of teachers moved from mid-low poverty schools
  • People that left: 8% of teachers left from mid-low poverty schools

Mid-high poverty schools (less adequately supported):

  • People that moved: 9% of teachers moved from mid-high poverty schools
  • People that left: 7% of teachers left from mid-high poverty schools

High-poverty schools (more impoverished schools):

  • People that moved: 12% of teachers moved from high-poverty schools
  • People that left: 10% of teachers left from high-poverty schools
Conclusion

 The path of a teacher is a long one. The higher you go, the more honed in you have to be on one specific subject. For example, in elementary, you need a basic understanding of all subjects, while in high school, you need more knowledge in one subject. The minimum level of educational attainment is a bachelor’s degree and state certification to teach in public schools. Though in university, to be a professor, you need a Ph.D. and a state certification to have a higher chance of getting a job. Teacher statistics are readily available at all levels of the education spectrum and governmental agencies since they are very vital to the development of our society. Teacher statistics inform policy-makers on the development of the system and benefit to students.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average teacher career length?

 The average teacher career length is about 14 years long and, they worked an average of 53 hours a week. Although sometimes teachers can stay for up to 30+ years. Likewise, sometimes they quit after five years of work, about 44% of teachers quit within their first five years.

What average student to teacher ratio in public schools?

 The average student-teacher ratio is 16 students to one teacher. The state with the largest student to teacher ratio is Utah, with a student to teacher ratio of 34 students to one teacher. The state with the smallest student to teacher ratio is the Virgin Islands, with a student to teacher ratio of 11 students to one teacher.

How many teachers in the US are black?

 About 7% of all teachers are black. So there are approximately 252,000 black teachers in the US. 

How many teachers in the US are white?

 About 79% of all teachers in the US are white. So there are approximately 2,844,000 white teachers in the US.

Helen Vlasova
Helen is the girlfriend of the co-founder of admissionsly.com, a thorough career guidance website for college students. She's currently trying her luck in the ever-changing digital world, ensuring the smooth stream of informative content on the site. When she isn’t working, you’ll find Helen reading on the beach, making her home, and playing the piano.

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