Humanities Indicators
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K-12 Education  >  Primary- and Secondary-School Faculty
Job Satisfaction of Humanities Teachers
(Updated July 2017)

The levels of job satisfaction among those in a particular career track can provide useful guidance to those considering that type of employment and may also serve as a predictor of long-term retention of employees. The Humanities Indicators offers measures of job satisfaction for three populations: 1) teachers of humanities subjects at the precollegiate level (presented here); 2) the humanities professoriate; and 3) humanities majors in any type of employment.

Findings and Trends

  • In 2011–2012, 42.5% of humanities teachers indicated that if they “could go back to [their] college days and start over again” they would certainly become teachers (Indicator I-12).
  • The level of job satisfaction found among humanities teachers was similar (within five percentage points) to that found among other subject-area teachers, with the exception of the science teachers. Only 33.6% of these educators reported the same level of enthusiasm for their teaching careers. General education teachers (early childhood or pre-K, elementary, and special education teachers, most of whom spent a portion of their time teaching language arts, reading, history, and other humanities material) were the most likely to report high levels of satisfaction with their work, with 46% indicating they would certainly become teachers again.
  • When the shares of those who reported they “certainly would” choose to become a teacher are combined with those who “probably would,” almost 70% of humanities teachers indicated a preference for their profession.
I-12: Percentage of Teachers Who Would Teach Again, by Main Teaching Assignment, 2011–2012*

* Public and private schools (excluding Bureau of Indian Education schools, for which data were unavailable). Includes regular full- and part-time teachers, itinerant teachers, and long-term substitutes.
** General education includes: early childhood or pre-K, elementary grades, and special education.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey, “Public and Private School Teacher Data Files,” 2011–2012. Data analyzed by National Center for Education Statistics staff. Data presented by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (

About this DataRelated Indicators
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