Elementary school teachers are below average when it comes to happiness.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, elementary school teachers rate their career happiness 2.9 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 25% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy elementary school teachers are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Special education teacher
3.1
$54k
Teacher
3.0
$38k
Kindergarten teacher
3.0
$26k
High school teacher
3.0
$47k
School psychologist
3.0
$80k
Elementary school teacher
2.9
$40k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are elementary school teachers happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do elementary school teachers find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as elementary school teachers?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are elementary school teacher’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are elementary school teachers making the best use of their abilities?

Are elementary school teachers happy with their salary?

Elementary school teachers rated their satisfaction with their salaries 2.5/5. Most elementary school teachers do not feel that their salaries adequately reflect their work, and are actively unhappy with their income.

We asked elementary school teachers how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

2.5 out of 5 stars

1051 elementary school teachers

5 Star
8%

8% of elementary school teachers rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
14%

14% of elementary school teachers rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
23%

23% of elementary school teachers rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
27%

27% of elementary school teachers rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
27%

27% of elementary school teachers rated their compensation 1 stars

Do elementary school teachers find their jobs meaningful?

On average, elementary school teachers rate the meaningfulness of their work a 3.5/5. Unlike many careers, elementary school teachers have little difficulty finding meaning in their work, and it likely constitutes one of the main reasons people become elementary school teachers.

We asked elementary school teachers how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

3.5 out of 5 stars

1055 elementary school teachers

5 Star
25%

25% of elementary school teachers rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
30%

30% of elementary school teachers rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
23%

23% of elementary school teachers rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
14%

14% of elementary school teachers rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
8%

8% of elementary school teachers rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as elementary school teachers?

Elementary school teachers rated their personality fit with their work an average of 3.7/5. The majority of elementary school teachers find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked elementary school teachers how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

3.7 out of 5 stars

1165 elementary school teachers

5 Star
28%

28% of elementary school teachers rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
33%

33% of elementary school teachers rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
23%

23% of elementary school teachers rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
11%

11% of elementary school teachers rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
4%

4% of elementary school teachers rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is an elementary school teacher’s work environment?

As a whole, elementary school teachers rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.3/5. Most of them tend to enjoy, or at least not be actively bothered by, their work environment.

We asked elementary school teachers how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.3 out of 5 stars

1162 elementary school teachers

5 Star
18%

18% of elementary school teachers rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
28%

28% of elementary school teachers rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
27%

27% of elementary school teachers rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
19%

19% of elementary school teachers rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
8%

8% of elementary school teachers rated their work environment 1 stars

Are elementary school teachers making the best use of their abilities?

Former elementary school teachers on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 3.2/5. Most elementary school teachers are satisfied with how well their abilities are skills are made of use.

We asked elementary school teachers how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

3.2 out of 5 stars

1166 elementary school teachers

5 Star
17%

17% of elementary school teachers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
25%

25% of elementary school teachers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
27%

27% of elementary school teachers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
20%

20% of elementary school teachers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
10%

10% of elementary school teachers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars