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, teachers rate their career happiness 3.0 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 36% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy 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
Education administrator
3.2
$48k
Childcare worker
3.2
$27k
Distance learning coordinator
3.2
$91k
Preschool teacher
3.2
$30k
Special education teacher
3.1
$53k
Teacher
3.0
$61k
Kindergarten teacher
3.0
$61k
High school teacher
3.0
$62k
School psychologist
3.0
$80k
Elementary school teacher
2.9
$61k

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

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

Are teachers happy with their salary?

Teachers rated their satisfaction with their salaries 2.7/5. Teachers tend to be quite unhappy with their salary, with very few reporting satisfaction with their pay.

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

2.7 out of 5 stars

17488 teachers

5 Star
9%

9% of teachers rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
19%

19% of teachers rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
26%

26% of teachers rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
25%

25% of teachers rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
21%

21% of teachers rated their compensation 1 stars

Do teachers find their jobs meaningful?

On average, teachers rate the meaningfulness of their work a 3.4/5. Unlike many careers, teachers have little difficulty finding meaning in their work, and it likely constitutes one of the main reasons people become teachers.

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

3.4 out of 5 stars

17578 teachers

5 Star
23%

23% of teachers rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
30%

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

3 Star
23%

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

2 Star
14%

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

1 Star
10%

10% of teachers rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

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

Teachers rated their personality fit with their work an average of 3.8/5. The majority of teachers find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

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

3.8 out of 5 stars

18668 teachers

5 Star
30%

30% of teachers rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
37%

37% of teachers rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
20%

20% of teachers rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
9%

9% of teachers rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
5%

5% of teachers rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is a teacher’s work environment?

As a whole, teachers rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.4/5. A solid majority of teachers enjoy their work environment, probably contributing to overall higher satisfaction with working as a teacher.

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

3.4 out of 5 stars

18645 teachers

5 Star
19%

19% of teachers rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
33%

33% of teachers rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
26%

26% of teachers rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
15%

15% of teachers rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
7%

7% of teachers rated their work environment 1 stars

Are teachers making the best use of their abilities?

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

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

3.2 out of 5 stars

18693 teachers

5 Star
17%

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

4 Star
26%

26% of teachers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
27%

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

2 Star
20%

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

1 Star
10%

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