Teacher Burnout Statistics: Why Teachers Quit in 2024

Devlin Peck
. Updated on 
January 11, 2024
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What are the main reasons for teacher burnout? Today, you’ll get the top teacher burnout statistics and understand why teachers burn out and quit.

However, before we dive into the data, let’s unpack what burnout is and why it’s affecting teachers today more than ever.

Want to learn more? Read on!

What is teacher burnout?

According to the National Education Association, teacher burnout can be defined as “a condition in which an educator has exhausted the personal and professional resources necessary to do the job.”

While burnout is a common phenomenon in all professions, teachers tend to see higher levels of burnout. In fact, one survey by Rand shows that teachers are more than twice as likely to be stressed as other working adults.

And according to a study from the American Educational Research Association, teachers in the U.S. are 40% more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety in comparison with healthcare workers, 20% more likely than office workers, and 30% more likely than workers in other professions like farming and military.

Some of the warning signs of teacher burnout are (depending on the level of burnout):

If not taken care of, these burnout symptoms can lead to chronic depression and serious physical health problems.

Burnout in teachers is not only impacting their lives, but also their students who are missing adequate attention and guidance. Students under teachers with high anxiety tend to perform worse academically, particularly in subjects like math, and can develop negative feelings and behaviors.

Now that you know what teacher burnout looks like, what causes it? A multitude of factors.

What are the most common causes for teacher burnout?

There are plenty of reasons for teacher burnout. Teachers report:

Teachers are also exposed to continuous criticism because of modern-day parenting. These criticisms often come from teachers having different teaching styles that aren’t respected by parents.

Lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic has enhanced the overall stress within teaching professions. Many schools opted for a hybrid model which included both online teaching and face-to-face classroom time. Teachers were not prepared for this change and had to undergo quick upskilling to use technology effectively personally and for their students.

During that time period, many teachers resigned from their jobs leading to ample staff shortages and a lack of resources to plan students' curriculum.

Why is teacher burnout on the rise in 2024?

As teachers quit their jobs, more and more positions go unfulfilled. Teachers who have stayed in their jobs are forced to compensate for the missing educators and non-teaching staff.

At the same time, their workload isn’t shrinking and salaries aren’t increasing. No wonder burnout is rising and a growing number of teachers are planning on quitting.

With that, let’s dive into more teacher burnout statistics.

The top teacher burnout statistics of 2024

What is the rate of teacher burnout?

1. Almost half of K-12 teachers feel burned out at work “very often”


In the 2022 Gallup Poll on occupational burnout, 44% of American K-12 teachers reported feeling burned out often or always. In the case of teachers at universities and colleges, the figure stood at 35%. This figure may be lower since K-12 teachers must deal with student-parent dynamics while college students are independent.

2. 67% of educators considered burnout to be a “very serious” issue in 2022

(National Education Association)

A survey of 3,621 members of the National Education Association (NEA) revealed that 67% of these leading educators consider burnout to be a “very serious” issue. Meanwhile, 90% of the respondents think it to be a “somewhat serious issue” faced by educators. This survey attributed unfilled vacancies as one of the major reasons for increased stress on the teachers and other staff.

3. 37% of senior leaders in education experience signs of burnout, the highest among all categories in education staff

(Teacher Wellbeing Index 2022)

A 2022 research study conducted on a group of teachers in the United Kingdom showed that senior leaders (headteachers, principals, deputy and assistant headteachers and principals, and head and deputy heads of year and departments) showed the highest number of signs of burnout, exhaustion, and acute stress. This affected 37% of senior leaders compared to 27% of school teachers. When it comes to the signs of exhaustion, an astounding 41% of senior leaders reported this compared to 30% of school teachers.

4. Over 1/5 of school and teaching support staff also experience burnout

(Teacher Wellbeing Index 2022)

Burnout isn't just affecting teachers, but school support staff too. This same UK-based poll found that 21% of school support staff experienced burnout and another 15% reported exhaustion.

5. Approximately 60% of teachers experience job-related stress frequently or always

(Education Week)

According to a survey by EdWeek Research Center conducted in July 2021, about six in every 10 teachers experience job-related stress either always or frequently. This survey revealed that this job-related stress had effects on their sleep cycle, ability to enjoy time with family and friends, and physical health. As a result, 41% reported that their efficiency at work goes down when they get stressed. Only 9% of the teachers surveyed report not or rarely feeling any stress.

What is the teacher quit rate because of burnout?

6. More than 300,000 public school teachers and other education-related staff left their jobs between February 2020 and May 2022

(The Wall Street Journal)

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 300,000 public school teachers and other related staff left the education field from February 2020-May 2022. This large exodus was approximately 3% of that workforce.

7. 55% of teachers reported plans to leave the education field sooner than planned

(The Wall Street Journal)

In a 2022 poll by the National Education Association, 55% of teachers responded that they plan to quit their current education roles earlier than they originally intended. Just one year earlier in August 2021, only 37% of teachers reported this same feeling.

8. 44% of public schools posted teaching vacancies in early 2022

(The Wall Street Journal)

At the beginning of 2022, data from the National Center for Education Statistics found that 44% of public schools posted full or part-time teaching vacancies due to unforeseen resignations and forceful reliability on non-teaching staff. That means nearly half of all American public schools were actively seeking new teachers, and meanwhile, were short-staffed.

9. More than 61% of school administrators have found it difficult to hire personnel


School administrators are having a hard time filling their open positions, including roles for teachers, substitutes, counselors, administrators, and mental health professionals. This is set to worsen as fewer college students (one-third since 2008) enter and complete teacher education and preparation programs.

10. There are 500,000+ fewer educators in the American public school systems post-pandemic

(National Education Association)

According to data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022, there were 567,000 fewer educators in public schools than there were before the pandemic. According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), the national ratio of hires to job openings in the education field has declined to 0.57 in 2022.

11. Approximately 86% of NEA members have seen more educators leaving the field since the COVID-19 pandemic

(National Education Association)

A whopping 86% of members within the National Education Association report seeing more educators leave the industry since the start of the pandemic. These leaves are either due to career changes or early retirement. For comparison, in 1992, just 5% of teachers left the profession. By 2005 and onward, the turnover rate had rested around 8% until the unforeseen pandemic.

12. The #1 reason why teachers leave education is compensation


48% of educators are planning on leaving the field due to compensation, while 42% have already left because of the same reason. Expectations are the second most common reason – 33% plan on leaving while 31% have left due to this reason. Well-being is third (31%/23%), leadership fourth (30%/31%), and workplace flexibility fifth (26%/21%).

At the same time, 58% stay because of meaningful work, 39% because of their coworkers, 34% because of compensation, 28% because of geography, and 27% because of community.

13. Almost 30% of teachers were found to be chronically absent

(SEF, Southern Education Foundation)

Almost one in three teachers, a reported 29%, were chronically absent in 2021. “Chronically absent” is defined as missing more than 10 school days during the academic school year. Teacher absence negatively affects students’ test scores, school budgeting, and results in the additional expense of hiring substitute teachers.

To tackle this issue, several districts in the Southern United States have started to offer monetary incentives to increase teacher attendance and bring down the need for substitutes.

Why is teacher burnout so high?

14. Three-fourths of educators had to take up additional work due to staff shortages

(National Education Association)

It’s no surprise that schools are short-staffed and have fewer teachers than required. Around 74% of teachers said they had to take up extra duties to cover the staff shortages. Meanwhile, 80% of teachers reported that they had to do more work than their expected roles and responsibilities due to unfilled job vacancies.

15. Over 80% of schools report that student behavior has worsened significantly in recent years

(National Center for Education Statistics)

The NCES published a study in 2022 that helped explain the teacher burnout statistics of 2023. First being that either in 10 schools think student behavior has gotten worse in recent years. There is an increase in classroom disruptions from student misconduct (56%) rowdiness outside the classroom (49%) and acts of disrespect toward teaching staff (48%).

16. There have been over 400 school shooting incidents in the last 2 years

(Center for Homeland Defense and Security)

Since 2018, there have been over 750 shooting incidents in American schools. There were 250 shooting incidents in 2021 and 156 in 2022. For obvious reasons, the fears associated with the safety and security of schools are a huge reason for teacher burnout, forcing many to explore new fields or occupations.

17. More than 75% of teachers have reported having stress-related health issues

(Not Waiting for Superman)

A survey revealed that more than three in every four teachers have experienced health problems arising from the failure to handle stress. Approximately 38% of the respondents experienced regular headaches or stomach aches, while another 17% experienced heart palpitations or chest pain. Another quarter, 25%, experienced shortness of breath and dizziness.

18. One-third of teachers felt unsafe because of implementation problems with COVID-19 rules


More than 65% of teachers had a positive outlook during the pandemic thinking COVID-19 testing and vaccinations would make schools safer, but it didn’t turn out that way. More than ⅓ reported feeling unsafe because of the lack of rule-following. There were not many serious legal consequences for breaking COVID-related rules at schools like not wearing masks or social distancing.

19. 85% of teachers report that their jobs are “unsustainable”

(Not Waiting for Superman)

To put it simply, teachers can’t keep up with what schools and students are demanding of them. A survey said 85% of teachers define their work as “unsustainable” and claimed it significantly increased risks to their health as a result. 43% of these teachers sleep less than 6 hours per night, and 31% use their weekends to catch up on classroom work.

What is the burnout gap between teachers and other professions?

20. Teachers in K-12 grades are the #1 most burnt-out profession in the U.S.


A poll revealed that compared to all other occupations in the U.S. workforce, K-12 teachers are the most burned out. A reported 52% of all of these teachers reported this feeling. That’s more than half! Why? Factors including low wages in comparison to other sectors and everchanging national and state-level policies have made teaching particularly difficult.

21. The burnout rate of K-12 teachers is 14% higher than in other industries


Gallup conducted a survey of 12,319 U.S. full-time employees, including 1,263 K-12 teachers to study workplace stress and burnout. In 2020, 36% of K-12 teachers reported that they very often or always feel burned out at work compared to 28% of other industries’ workers. This gap increased to 14% in 2022 to 44% and 30%, respectively.

22. About 28% of educators experience symptoms of depression, almost double other professions


More than a quarter, 28%, of teachers in a survey reported that they have experienced symptoms related to depression. This figure compares to just 17% of the workforce in non-teaching occupations. Additionally, roughly one-quarter, 24%, of teachers have expressed the inability to cope with job stress compared to just 12% of workers in other professions.

Teacher burnout statistics based on demographics, gender, and age

23. Over 1 in 2 female teachers feel burnout due to higher stress levels


Female teachers experience higher burnout, emotional exhaustion, and neuroticism levels than their male counterparts. More than half of all female teachers, 55%, report being more prone to burnout compared to male teachers, at 44%. Men were found to have higher scores in quality of life than women in several domains including psychological, physical health, and social relationships.

24. Data shows Black and Hispanic educators are 5.5% more likely to quit education occupation earlier than they planned

(National Education Association)

According to a poll by the National Education Association, Black (62%) and Hispanic/Latino (59%) teachers plan to leave the teaching profession earlier than they planned to resign. They are already underrepresented in the teaching profession and their increased exodus will only widen that race gap. Now, only 1 in 5 principals and teachers in US public schools are educators of color.

25. Younger teachers and teachers who work in lower-income districts and/or with pre-K or high school students are more likely to leave


38% of younger teachers (ages 25-35) say they plan to leave compared to 30% of older teachers. Similarly, there are socio-economic differences – 40% of teachers in districts where most students receive FRL (free or reduced-price lunches) say they plan to leave compared to 25% of teachers in districts where fewer than one in four of all students receive FRL.

And while 37% of educators who work with pre-K or high school students are planning on leaving, 28% of teachers working in elementary or middle schools say the same.

26. The longer teachers have taught, the more likely they are to consider quitting

(National Education Association)

At the same time, another survey shows that half of teachers with 10 or fewer years of experience plan to leave, while 58% of educators with 11-20 years of experience have these same thoughts. 57% of teachers with 21 years or more of experience say they are likely to quit earlier than planned.

What are schools doing to minimize teacher burnout?

Now that you know how real teacher burnout is, you may be thinking: What are we doing to help teachers and minimize this?

Some schools are taking action by focusing on mental health programs and services to help teachers cope with stress. Members of NEA strongly support the thought of raising teachers’ salaries, offering additional mental health support for students and teachers, hiring additional teachers and support staff to fill the existing vacancies and reduction of paperwork. However, many may find these efforts to be too little, too late.

To fix this problem in the future, schools must target the root causes of burnout. For example, staff shortage issues could be resolved through an employee-friendly environment, sufficient funding from authorities, and higher incentivized employment programs.

Ultimately, many teachers decide to leave teaching for good and find alternative careers for former teachers. A few of their career options include instructional design, curriculum development, and educational consulting.


There you have it! Those are the most important teacher burnout statistics. Ultimately, teachers are experiencing a high level of stress and pressure, which makes many of them leave the field for good.  

Learn more:

Top Online Learning Statistics



National Education Association

National Education Association (2)

Teacher Wellbeing Index

Southern Education Foundation

Education Week

Wall Street Journal


National Center for Education Statistics


Center for Homeland Defense and Security



Devlin Peck
Devlin Peck
Devlin Peck is the founder of DevlinPeck.com, where he helps people build instructional design skills and break into the industry. He previously worked as a freelance instructional designer and graduated from Florida State University.
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