Teacher Unemployment and Job Projections

If you’re currently an educator or you’re considering becoming one, it’s important to understand the current unemployment rate of teachers in the country. You need to know your chances of actually finding a job if you want to become a teacher or you want to find another teaching job. The good news is that, in general, teachers are needed, so you’re likely to be able to find a teaching position.

U.S. News Money reports that elementary teachers have a 2.8 percent unemployment rate with a median salary of $55,800 per year, and there are about 104,100 jobs will be available between 2016 and 2026 because of an expected up in the number of children going to school. Job growth stands at 7 percent between 2016 and 2026.

Middle school teachers have an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent as well, and they earn a median salary of $56,720 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2016 and 2026, the number of new positions for middle school teachers will be 47,300. The position is expected to grow at a rate of 8 percent.

High school teachers also have a low 2.8 percent unemployment rate, and the BLS projects that the number of new jobs for high school teachers between 2016 and 2026 will be 76,800. The median salary of a high school teacher is $53,030. This position is expected to grow by 8 percent in this period.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the estimated job growth for all teachers between 2014 and 2024 is between 0 and 7 percent. The 0 percent job growth belongs to the category of secondary career and technical education teachers, where the projected new job openings between 2014 and 2024 is 19,200. Middle school career and technical education teachers will likely see a 6 percent increase in job growth, or 3,900 job openings.

This older data shows that there is an increase in the demand for both elementary and high school teachers, 1 percent for elementary and 2 percent for high school teachers. For middle school teachers, the projection increased by 2 percent as well between the 2014-2024 and the 2016-2026 projections.

It’s important to note that growth will vary by the area you live in. Increased school enrollment in different areas of the country is fueled, in part, by the state of the local and state economies, which have an effect on jobs. The amount that state and local governments set aside for new teaching jobs also varies throughout the country.

For the 2017 to 2018 school year, teacher shortages were reported across the country. This also included substitute teachers. Teachers are giving up planning periods and more to cover their colleagues’ classes when they are absent. A 2016 report from the nonprofit Learning Policy Institute found that students are not choosing teacher education as much as in the past, with a 35 percent drop between 2009 and 2014, and the attrition rate for teachers is almost 8 percent, with most leaving before they are of retirement age, according to the Washington Post.

Additionally, some states are changing the laws on certification requirements, making it easier for those without a license to become teachers if they have the required education in a specific area and/or work experience.

You can find a list of areas of shortages in a report here.