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One chart shows who's feeling the most burned out at work — and teachers are especially stressed

Madison Hoff   

One chart shows who's feeling the most burned out at work — and teachers are especially stressed
  • Results from a February Gallup study of US full-time workers shows who is feeling burned out.
  • Forty-four percent of K-12 education workers said they're feeling this way at work.

Americans in education are feeling especially burned out, according to a Gallup survey from February.

Gallup surveyed over 12,000 full-time workers in the US. According to the survey, K-12 education had the highest share of those reporting they feel "always" or "very often" burned out, at 44%. College or university workers followed behind this share, where just over a third said this.

"K-12 workers have consistently been among the more burned out workers nationally, but the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing challenges — and introduced new ones to a profession already struggling," Gallup wrote in a recent post about the results. "School openings and closures; parent and community member frustrations with school pandemic responses; and social, academic and mental health challenges students faced only furthered K-12 burnout."

According to Gallup, just over half of K-12 teachers are feeling burned out. Gallup noted that that makes them "the most burned out" among workers in elementary and high schools.

The following chart shows how burnout varies in 14 industries:

Among the industries in the chart, finance workers had the lowest share who said they are "always" or "very often" burned out at work.

There are also differences by gender. According to the Gallup poll, 55% of female K-12 teachers are feeling burned out "always" or "very often", higher than the 44% of male K-12 teachers who said this. Outside of just teachers, a higher share of female K-12 employees said they are feeling this way than their male peers in K-12. Overall, 34% of female workers regardless of industry feel this way compared to just 26% of male workers.

There are different ways workers can deal with feelings of burnout. According to Jonathan Malesic, who wrote "The End of Burnout", he suggests people "need to lower our ideals for work" and work less as two ways to address burnout.

Indeed Editorial Team wrote in a post about how to know if you should resign due to burnout. They suggested that you should also talk to your manager about "their expectations for your position", to connect with coworkers, and to "think before agreeing" to new work as some other ways to avoid feeling burned out.

Specifically for those working in education, educators "strongly support" increasing pay and hiring more teachers as two solutions to burnout in the field, according to a member survey from the National Education Association.


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