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Table 73. Selected characteristics of public school teachers: Selected years, spring 1961 through spring 2006
Selected characteristic 1961 1966 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 2001 2006
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Number of teachers (in thousands) 1,408   1,710 2,055 2,196 2,185 2,206 2,398 2,164 2,979 3,588
                       
Sex (percent)                      
Male 31.3   31.1 34.3 32.9 33.1 31.2 27.9 25.6 21.0 29.9
Female 68.7   68.9 65.7 67.1 66.9 68.8 72.1 74.4 79.0 70.1
                       
Median age (years)                      
All teachers 41   36 35 33 37 41 42 44 46 46
Males 34   33 33 33 38 42 43 46 47 44
Females 46   40 37 33 36 41 42 44 45 47
                       
Marital status (percent)                      
Single 22.3   22.0 19.5 20.1 18.5 12.9 11.7 12.4 15.2 13.2
Married 68.0   69.1 71.9 71.3 73.0 75.7 75.7 75.9 73.1 73.1
Widowed, divorced, or separated 9.7   9.0 8.6 8.6 8.5 11.4 12.6 11.8 11.7 13.8
                       
Highest degree held (percent)                      
Less than bachelor's 14.6   7.0 2.9 0.9 0.4 0.3 0.6 0.3 0.2 1.0
Bachelor's 61.9   69.6 69.6 61.6 50.1 48.3 46.3 43.6 43.1 37.2
Master's or specialist degree1  23.1   23.2 27.1 37.1 49.3 50.7 52.6 54.5 56.0 60.4
Doctor's 0.4   0.1 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.7 0.5 1.7 0.8 1.4
                       
College credits earned in last 3 years                      
Percent who earned credits   60.7 63.2 56.1 53.1 50.3 50.2 46.3 55.7
Mean number of credits earned2    14 9 4 4
                       
Full-time teaching experience (percent)                      
1 year 8.0   9.1 9.1 5.5 1.6 2.5 2.8 2.1 3.1 1.8
2-4 years 19.5   23.7 23.3 21.8 11.9 6.9 10.9 11.9 15.2 11.3
5-9 years 19.4   21.7 24.0 28.9 26.2 17.7 16.3 16.6 19.1 20.7
10-14 years 15.1   14.2 15.6 17.3 23.0 22.3 17.2 16.9 13.3 15.8
15-19 years 10.4   9.8 9.7 12.5 15.4 23.1 18.2 14.3 11.5 14.3
20 years or more 27.6   21.4 18.3 14.1 21.9 27.7 34.7 38.1 37.8 36.0
                       
Median years of full-time teaching experience 11   8 8 8 12 15 15 15 14 15
                       
Average number of pupils per class
Elementary teachers, not departmentalized
29   28 27 25 25 24 23 24 21 22
Secondary and departmentalized elementary
    teachers
27   27 27 25 23 26 26 31 28 29
                       
                       
Average number of students taught per day by
   secondary and departmentalized elementary
   teachers
  132 135 127 118 97 93 97 86 87
Average number of hours in required school day 7.4   7.3 7.3 7.3 7.3 7.3 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.4
                       
Average number of hours per week spent on
   all teaching duties
                     
All teachers 47   47 47 46 46 49 47 49 50 52
Elementary teachers 49   47 46 44 44 47 44 47 49 52
Secondary teachers 46   48 48 48 48 51 50 52 52 53
                       
Average number of days of classroom teaching
   in school year
  181 181 180 180 180 180 180 181 181
                       
Average number of nonteaching days
   in school year
  5 4 5 6 5 5 6 7 7
                       
Average annual salary as classroom
   teacher (current dollars)
$5,264 3  $6,253 $9,261 $12,005 $17,209 $24,504 $31,790 $35,549 $43,262 $49,482
Average annual salary as classroom
   teacher (in constant 2008-09 dollars4 )
37,982   42,066 50,043 46,467 42,644 48,338 50,957 49,391 53,038 53,378
                       
Average total income, including spouse's (if
   married) (current dollars)
  15,021 19,957 29,831 43,413 55,491 63,171 77,739 87,630
Average total income, including spouse's (if
   married) (in constant 2008-09 dollars4 )
  81,167 77,246 73,922 85,639 88,948 87,768 95,306 94,529
                       
Willingness to teach again (percent)                      
Certainly would 49.9   52.6 44.9 37.5 21.8 22.7 28.6 32.1 31.7 38.2
Probably would 26.9   25.4 29.5 26.1 24.6 26.3 30.5 30.5 28.7 27.3
Chances about even 12.5   12.9 13.0 17.5 17.6 19.8 18.5 17.3 18.4 16.1
Probably would not 7.9   7.1 8.9 13.4 24.0 22.0 17.0 15.8 15.7 12.7
Certainly would not 2.8   2.0 3.7 5.6 12.0 9.3 5.4 4.3 5.6 5.8
—Not available.
1 Includes education specialist or professional diploma based on 6 years of college study.
2 Measured in semester hours.
3 Includes extra pay for extra duties.
4 Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index, prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis.
NOTE: Data are based on sample surveys of public school teachers. See Appendix A: Guide to Sources for information on interpreting data from this survey. Data differ from figures appearing in other tables because of varying survey processing procedures and time period coverages. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: National Education Association, Status of the American Public School Teacher, selected years, 1960-61 through 2005-06. (This table was prepared June 2010.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education