Which profession has the highest burnout rate? Teachers, according to a Gallup study

Do you really feel exhausted at work? Chances are you are an educator.

The recently published results of the Gallup Panel Workforce Study out of 12,319 full-time workers in the United States shows that 52% of K-12 teachers “always” or “very often” feel burnt out at work – outpacing all other industries nationally.

For all K-12 employees, 44% said they “always” or “very often” felt burnt out, compared to 30% for all other occupations in the study.

While female educators reported higher degrees of burnout than their male colleagues, male K-12 workers are significantly more burnt out than their male peers working in other industries — 38% vs. 26%, according to the study conducted earlier this year.

College and university workers reported the second highest level of burnout, at 35%, making educators one of the most burnt-out groups in the U.S. workforce.

Both were higher than health care workers and those in the legal profession at 31%. According to the study, the least job burnout was reported among people working in construction, community/social services and finance. Only 21% of workers in financial industries said they felt burnt out “always” or “very often.”

Teaching has always been “very useful but challenging work – relatively low wages compared to other public sector workers, working with students and navigating family/parent dynamics, and ever-changing national and state policies have made a difficult job. But the pandemic has exacerbated those challenges and added new ones,” according to Gallup News.

“In addition to the well-known issues caused by COVID-19, a growing number of states are navigating complex political environments related to the K-12 curriculum. And educators are feeling the impact in conversations and interactions with parents and families.

One consequence of teacher burnout is that educators are leaving the profession at a high rate, the study found.

The gist of the study is: “For teachers nationwide, the focus on reducing burnout has never been more important.”

The Gallup study backs up the findings of a 2018 University of Utah report that identified emotional exhaustion, stress, and burnout as the top reasons educators change careers.

The Utah Education Policy Center report within the U.’s College of Education was released pre-pandemic and social justice reckoning following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Teachers who left the profession or moved to a new school cited education reform measures, salary, performance-related pay for their students and the level of support they received to prepare students on assessments as their top reasons for seeking change, according to Utah. report.

Mark Peterson, spokesperson for state Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson, said state education officials are “sensitive to the burden placed on our teachers and support staff. We listen to calls and read emails from teachers and staff. A recent check showed that even though Utah has the highest retention rates, turnover remains far too high among new teachers, which is at least partly indicative of stress and burnout in the field.

Peterson said a climate survey of teachers, students and parents is underway to better identify the factors that contribute to educator burnout.

“With all of this, we would like to thank our partners in the Legislature and Governor’s Office for recent teacher bonuses and weighted student unit increases as a way to financially recognize the hard work of teachers and thank them for this work,” Peterson said.

In recent years, Utah lawmakers have allocated record amounts of funding to public schools, allowing most urban school districts to raise starting salaries for educators above $50,000.

The Murray School District, for example, will increase teacher salaries by 4% in the next school year. His starting salary will be $56,000 per year.

Michael A. Bynum