Over eight million people are employed in elementary and secondary schools, making education one of the largest employment sectors in the country—more than either the entire retail or construction industries.
While many only think of teachers and principals when considering a school’s workforce, there are numerous other jobs required to operate a successful educational program. All schools have limited resources, and how they allocate those resources among these various roles can have critical consequences.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows the number of people employed as teachers has dropped 3 percent from the 2015–2016 school year to the 2020–2021 school year. While the percentage of teachers has dropped slightly, from 50.5 percent of the total of employees to 49.6 percent, the overall break down of positions has remained relatively unchanged with slight increases in other categories. According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR), turnover for teachers in 2015–2016 was 16.5 percent compared to 14.3 percent during the 2020–2021 school year. In the state of Texas, the number of employees in education has increased 8.31 percent.
During this same period salaries have increased as follows:
- Teachers: 11.08 percent
- Professional support: 11.26 percent
- Campus administration: 10.27 percent
- Central administration: 10.65 percent
According to Education Week, of the eight million people who work in education nationwide, 66 percent work in instruction and librarian roles, 4 percent work in administration, and 23 percent work in other roles such as maintenance, food service, transportation, health care and financial operations.
So how does Texas measure up in the distribution of jobs?
- From the 2015–2016 school year to the 2020–2021 school year, total employees increased 8.3 percent overall from 688,142.2 to 745,316.2.
- The number of teachers serving students during this time period increased 11.1 percent but decreased in representation of percent of all staff employed in school districts from 50.5 percent to 49.6 percent.
- Individuals employed in professional support positions increased by 16.3 percent from the 2015–2016 school year to the 2020–2021 school year, and representation of total personnel increased from 9.8 to 10.6 percent.
- The number of educational aides increased by 20.6 percent from the 2015–2016 school year to the 2020–2021 school year, representing the largest increase in a specific group of employees. Educational aides now represent 10.6 percent of the total staff in the school district, up from 9.6 percent in the 2015–2016 school year.
- Like teachers, auxiliary employees (e.g., maintenance, custodial, child nutrition, transportation, and clerical staff) increased overall by 3.8 percent from the 2015–2016 school year to the 2020–2021 school year but decreased in representation of the percent of all staff employed from 26.1 to 25.1 percent.
- Campus and central administration staff have increased slightly but remained stable in the percent of total personnel represented.
Additional information on this topic can be found in EducationWeek’s article School Staffing by the Numbers.
Nicolle Gee-Guzman joined the HR Services team as an HR and compensation consultant in 2022. She has more than 28 years of experience working in various roles in human resources within the public sector. Most recently, Gee-Guzman was the director of human resources for a Texas public school district.
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