A look at elementary and secondary school employment

September 06, 2018

As school swings back into session, it’s important to recognize the dedicated faculty and staff who work in our elementary, middle, and secondary schools. With employment of more than 5.5 million in May 2017, teachers and instructors make up 65 percent of employment in elementary, middle, and secondary schools nationwide. There are over 2 million elementary and middle school teachers, representing 24 percent of total school employment. There are nearly 1.1 million secondary school teachers.

Employment of teachers and instructors in elementary and secondary schools, May 2017
Occupation Employment

Elementary and middle school teachers

2,034,720

Secondary school teachers

1,094,750

Teacher assistants

1,051,410

Substitute teachers

527,780

Special education teachers

444,870

Preschool and kindergarten teachers

206,710

Teachers and instructors, all other, except substitute teachers

92,460

Instructional coordinators

72,800

Adult basic and secondary education and literacy teachers and instructors

24,860

Self-enrichment education teachers

12,980

Teachers and instructors make up most employment in our schools, but many other occupations also make schools run smoothly. There are over 300,000 janitors and cleaners working in elementary and secondary schools in the United States, making up close to 4 percent of school employment. There are nearly 250,000 education administrators in elementary and secondary schools. Combined, the top ten occupations other than teachers make up over 21 percent of total school employment nationwide.

Largest occupations in elementary and secondary schools, excluding teachers and instructors, May 2017
Occupation Employment

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

324,500

Education administrators, elementary and secondary school

244,690

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

240,460

Bus drivers, school or special client

211,210

Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food

154,770

Educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors

133,780

Cooks, institution and cafeteria

125,210

Childcare workers

123,610

Office clerks, general

118,570

Maintenance and repair workers, general

58,930

These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more about elementary and secondary school employment, see the Elementary and Secondary School industry estimates.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, A look at elementary and secondary school employment on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/a-look-at-elementary-and-secondary-school-employment.htm (visited September 26, 2018).

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