Eye on Education

Metlife Survey Shows Teachers Are at Least as Happy With Their Jobs as Other People

Peyri Herrera / Flickr

You might not know it from much of the coverage of MetLife’s annual survey of teachers and principals, but teachers are about as satisfied with their jobs as workers in other fields — and perhaps even more satisfied.

About 82 percent of teachers surveyed reported being very or somewhat satisfied with their jobs, according to the 2012 Metlife survey.

How satisfied are workers in other fields? Depends whom you ask. Three surveys give different answers:

But the Metlife survey does suggest that the number of teachers who are thrilled about going to work every day is falling to “normal” levels.

About 39 percent of  teachers responding to the most recent Metlife survey were very satisfied with their jobs. About 38 percent of workers responding to the Society for Human Resource Management survey said the same thing.

Just nine years ago, nearly 60 percent of teachers were very satisfied with their jobs.

That means that, as our colleagues at StateImpact Indiana write, there are more teachers today writing things like this:

I am beginning to hate getting out of bed each morning to teach.”

The fine print: For both the 2012 and 2003 reports, Metlife surveyed nationally representative groups of about 1,000 public school, K-12 teachers. Both the Metlife surveys and the Society for Human Resource Management survey report margins of errors or sampling errors. Margins of error for the Right Management and Conference Board surveys are not publicly available.



  • duckmonkeyman

    I love teaching. It is the clueless politicians, uninformed public, ignorant reformers, greedy billionaires, disengaged parents, ivory towered experts, careless statisticians, teacher-hating governors, detached bureaucrats, and biased media that annoy teachers.

  • rayy

    They should be happy–they get a gold-plated benefits package.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740953741 Dov Rosenberg

      This sentiment perfectly depicts how much damage has been done to the teaching profession. As educators face more pressure from all angles every single day, the average American consumer, who has no idea what it’s like to teach in a public school, dismissively assumes that teachers should just be happy with what they have. Reports from the media like this make things even worse for teachers. How will our schools improve when the basic premise behind education reform is to blame teachers for everything that is wrong with education? Most of our best teachers have already left the profession. Surveys like this show that that trend will continue.

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