Cover: Teacher Well-Being and Intentions to Leave in 2024

Teacher Well-Being and Intentions to Leave in 2024

Findings from the 2024 State of the American Teacher Survey

Published Jun 18, 2024

by Sy Doan, Elizabeth D. Steiner, Rakesh Pandey

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This report presents selected findings from the 2024 State of the American Teacher survey, an annual survey of kindergarten through grade 12 public school teachers across the United States. The findings focus on teacher well-being and a small set of high-interest factors related to teacher retention: sources of job-related stress, pay, hours worked, and teachers' intentions to leave their current jobs. The authors track teachers' reported well-being over time and compare teachers' responses with those of comparable working adults.

The findings in this report are descriptive and intended to inform federal, state, and local education leaders and policymakers about the state of the teacher workforce, although the authors note that teachers' perceptions and experiences likely vary by state and locality.

Key Findings

  • Teachers' reported well-being in January 2024 was consistent with that in 2023, but compared with comparable working adults, about twice as many teachers reported experiencing frequent job-related stress or burnout and roughly three times as many teachers reported difficulty coping with job-related stress.
  • Teachers were as likely to say that they intend to leave their jobs by the end of the 2023–2024 school year as comparable working adults.
  • Teachers reported working nine hours per week more than comparable working adults (53 hours per week compared with 44 hours), but they reported earning about $18,000 less in base pay, on average (roughly $70,000 compared with roughly $88,000).
  • Thirty-six percent of teachers considered their base pay adequate, compared with 51 percent of comparable working adults. Teachers desired a roughly $16,000 increase in base pay, on average, to consider their pay adequate.
  • Female teachers reported significantly higher rates of frequent job-related stress and burnout than male teachers, a consistent pattern since 2021. Female teachers also reported significantly lower base pay than male teachers, but there were no differences in the number of hours worked per week.
  • Black teachers were less likely to report experiencing job-related stress than White teachers, but they were significantly more likely to say that they intend to leave their job at their school. Black teachers were also significantly less likely than their peers to say that their base pay was adequate, and they were more likely to report lower base pay than their peers.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was supported by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers and conducted by RAND Education and Labor.

This report is part of the RAND research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.