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Types of teachers who are more likely to work 40+ hours a week | Nation & World

The average teacher is usually obligated to work 40 hours per week, but the reality is many educators work much longer hours to meet the academic and social needs of their students. In fact, teachers work 54 hours per week on average (only 25 of which is spent teaching).

Using survey data from O*NET, Study.com analyzed which types of teachers work over 40 hours a week most and least frequently. The data specifically looks at K-12 teachers and includes their annual median salary in 2021, total employment numbers, and projected job growth between 2020 and 2030, and for each teacher category. These secondary data points were pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment projections.

School teachers typically juggle a busy workload that includes planning lessons, communicating with students and parents, filing paperwork and administrative forms, and many often spend evenings and weekends grading assignments—all on top of in-classroom teaching.

The pandemic pushed stress and workloads to new heights as many educators teach in-person and remotely at the same time and are expected to adapt quickly to a rapidly changing environment. Among K-12 educators, 52% expressed higher levels of stress and burnout, according to a 2021 report prepared by the MissionSquare Research Institute. A shortage of teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and substitute teachers have also increased workloads as fewer staff have to do more. In a January 2022 poll from The National Education Association (NEA), 55% of teachers plan to retire or leave the profession sooner than they intended due to the pandemic.

Despite these challenges, many educators still love teaching and said they were more likely to stay in the teaching compared to workers in other public sector fields, according to the NEA. Indeed, teaching can still be a rewarding career as educators help to simultaneously inspire and challenge young minds. Teachers can also be influential and motivating figures in a student’s life.

The average expected job growth between 2020 and 2030 for K-12 teachers is about 7%–8% depending on the category, according to an analysis by the BLS. This rate is “as fast as the average” of other occupations, per the BLS.

While the percentages may vary for teachers who work more than 40 hours per week, the annual median salary hardly varies between teacher categories—the five included in this data set earn around $61,000 per year.


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