How Many Teachers Are There in the USA? 2023 Data Stats👩‍🏫

How Many Teachers Are There in the USA

Did you know that over 4.2 million people make up the education workforce in the USA?

Around 2.5% of the entire country’s workforce comprises teachers, yet there needs to be more educators in the school systems nationwide.

Teachers play a pivotal role in shaping the future of societies. As the cornerstones of education, They influence the next generation’s minds, fostering potential and building the foundations of a prosperous society.

Let’s quickly dive into the distribution and demographics of US teachers’ supply and demand and understand critical trends and challenges facing the teaching profession.

US Teachers Statistics

US Teachers Statistics

Teachers in the USA (The Big Number)

  • The United States has a vast educational staff workforce comprising over 4.2 million teachers. This staggering number includes educators in public schools, charter schools, and private institutions, collectively contributing to the development and growth of the nation.
  • Public schools account for over 3,525,39 teachers, 88% of US teachers.
  • Approximately 362,186 teachers are working in private schools across the United States.
  • Public school teacher numbers are rising, increasing 5% since 2017-18 to 3.5 million in 2020-21.
  • In the United States, 198,621 teachers are employed in charter schools.
  • The number of private school teachers has declined slightly, with 466,000 in 2020-21 compared to 509,000 in 2017-18.
  • The US has 2,006,810 elementary teachers (50.1% of the total), 641,485 middle and junior high teachers (16.0% of the total), and 992,386 high school teachers (22.8% of the total).
  • On average, there are 3.17 female teachers for every male teacher.

Public vs. Private Breakdown

To understand the statistics, it’s essential to break down these numbers. 

Public schools are funded by the local, state, and federal governments. Most of their school funding comes from taxes, such as property taxes and state allocations. This includes state, country, and BIA schools. 

Private schools are exclusively run by tuition paid by students’ families, private donations, and, in some cases, endowments. This includes both Catholic and Non-Catholic schools. 

General Statistics on Teachers in the USA

  • Public schools employ 88% of the country’s total educational workforce, about 3.5 million people. 
  • While the number of public school teachers increased by 5% since the 2017-18 academic year, the private school teacher numbers have experienced a slight decline, with 466,000 teachers in 2020-21 compared to 509,000 in 2017-18. 
  • There are 2,857 teachers who work in schools run by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).
  • There are 23,159 teachers who work in STEM schools.
  • There are 234,682 teachers in private non-Catholic schools and 127,504 in Catholic schools.

Student-Teacher Ratios in USA

The student-teacher ratio is among the best ways to assess the education system’s health.

A lower student-to-teacher ratio indicates a smaller classroom size and healthier teaching environments than a higher ratio. 

  • In public schools, this ratio averages 15.4 students for every teacher. In contrast, private schools maintain a lower ratio of 12.5:1. 
  • According to the projections, the number of teachers in the United States will increase by 2029. This will result in an overall student-to-teacher ratio of 14.5. However, the ratio will be 15.1 in public and 11.0 in private schools.

Teacher’s Salaries and Compensation In USA

  • A public school teacher’s median annual salary in the US is between $68,000 and $114,000 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • This may also vary depending on the grade they teach in. High school teachers earn an average of approximately $64.30K per annum. Middle school teachers have an average salary of $61.90K, while elementary teachers in public schools earn an average of $58.70K per year.
  • This compensation varies based on location, experience, and educational background. Private school teachers, though fewer in number, also play a vital role, earning salaries that may differ from their public school counterparts.
  • According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), teachers possessing a doctorate earn an average base salary of $71,300, which is 36% higher than the salary earned by teachers having a bachelor’s degree, 6% higher than those with a master’s degree, and 1% higher than those with an education specialist degree or certificate.
  • However, as the national average income is $63,685, a teacher’s salary in the US is usually considered moderate, even regarded as low for the amount of work they put into it.
  • It has also been estimated that they earn 23.5% less than comparable college graduates in other fields, resulting in teacher burnout nationwide.
  • On an hourly basis, on average, 52 hours a week are spent on teaching and work-related activities by all teachers in the US. That equals 998 hours per year of classroom teaching.
  • This results in teacher stress and burnout, and 33% of teachers expect to leave the profession within five years.
  • Teachers may earn additional income through optional activities like coaching, clubs, and tutoring.
  • However, teachers also work 400 hours of overtime each year.
  • The advantage of being a public teacher in the US is that teachers typically retire four years earlier than the average American, as the state provides pension plans.

Why do These Numbers Matter?

1. Implications for Education: The number of teachers directly influences the quality of education and student learning outcomes. Teacher shortages exist, particularly in high-demand areas like special education and STEM subjects.

This challenges maintaining educational standards. However, on the brighter side, it also means there is more scope for employment. Understanding the state’s requirements is vital for policymakers and educators to improve student outcomes and the overall education policy.

2. Initiatives and Challenges:  Due to excessive work hours and an average payroll, over 300,000 public school teachers and other staff quit due to burnout between February 2020 and May 2022, of whom 55% were females.

To counter this, the Department of Education has launched programs to recruit and retain diverse teachers while supporting professional development, loan forgiveness, and resources for early-career educators. This will promote educator well-being and proper education policy among students.

Acknowledging Diversity and Dedication

Teachers in the USA come from various backgrounds, bringing unique perspectives to education. Recognizing and celebrating diversity is integral to fostering an inclusive and dynamic learning environment for students.

According to NCES, in 2020-21, 80% of public school instructors were white and 9% were Hispanic. Among them, 6% were Black, 2% were Asian, less than one percent were American Indian/Alaska Native, and less than half were Pacific Islander.

From innovative teaching methods to acts of kindness that resonate beyond the classroom, teachers showcase the heart and dedication required to build the country’s future of young minds.

A Call for Appreciation for Teachers

As the article draws to a close, it is essential to remind readers of the importance of appreciating and supporting educators.

The challenges teachers face, from high-stress levels to the impact of societal perceptions and burnout, are still essential parts of society.

According to studies, roughly 51% of US people consider teaching a notable profession. However, the numbers should go up to the cent.

Conclusion: How Many Teachers In USA?

With over 4.2 million people representing this workforce, teachers in the USA are responsible for shaping societies and paving student futures.

The numbers, trends, and stories behind the statistics emphasize the need for continued support and appreciation for the individuals who play a pivotal role in building the future. 


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