21 Pros and Cons of Working for a School District

Working for a school district means you’ll be working in the public sector.

It’s a civil service job, which means that you are a government employee.

Like any job, this has its benefits and disadvantages. 

Pros of Working for a School District

There are plenty of benefits of working for a school district. 

Pros of working for a school district include:

  1. Training
  2. Good benefits
  3. Work-life balance
  4. Job security 
  5. Summers and holidays off
  6. Regular schedule
  7. Leave and vacation time 
  8. Working with children
  9. Camaraderie
  10. Making a difference

1. Training

Generally, you’ll get some training from the school district.

This will vary depending on the type of work you are doing.

Training is typically paid, and can help you get started on the right foot. 

2. Good Benefits

Like other civil service jobs, you can expect a great benefits package.

This will include health insurance and typically a 401k or retirement plan.

You may also receive other benefits as part of your benefits package.

Pay and benefits are usually non-negotiable but generous. 

3. Work-life Balance

If work life balance is important to you, working in a school district may be a good fit.

You’ll have steady hours with evenings and weekends off.

If you have children, you will be off when they are out of school.

This can eliminate the stress of finding childcare when school is out. 

4. Job Security 

Working for a school district provides you with job security.

Basically, you are unlikely to be fired unless you do something highly unprofessional.

Layoffs are very rare, which adds to your job security.

Once you are hired, you have a job indefinitely. 

5. Summers and Holidays Off

You’ll enjoy summers and holidays off work when working for a school district.

Many employees say this one of the best parts of working in the school system. 

6. Regular Schedule

Schools have a regular schedule.

You won’t need to worry about working odd hours.

If you enjoy predictability and routine, this is a big benefit.

You’ll know exactly when you will be working each day. 

7. Leave and Vacation Time 

Leave and vacation time are generous when working for a school district.

The exact amount of time you will receive varies based on the school’s policy.

However, you can expect to get both sick leave and vacation time each year.  

8. Working With Children

If you love kids, this may be the most important reason to work in a school district.

If you are a teacher, a teacher aide, or in an administrative position, you’ll be working directly with students each day. 

If you are in a different field, like IT, you’ll still have regular interactions with students.

You’ll form relationships with students, and influence them in small and big ways. 

9. Camaraderie

School districts often have a close sense of camaraderie.

It feels like you are part of a family, and you’ll feel a connection to the other members of the staff. 

If you prefer to be part of a group that is working for the greater good, you’ll enjoy working for a school district. 

10. Making a Difference 

No matter what position you hold, you’ll be making a difference when working for a school district.

You’ll be interacting with students and providing the right environment for them to learn. 

Cons of Working for a School District 

Working for a school district has a lot of benefits, but there are some downsides as well. 

Cons of working for a school district include: 

  1. Low pay
  2. Lack of funding
  3. Promotions can be tough to get
  4. Budget constraints
  5. Professional development days
  6. Lack of administrative support and resources
  7. Unruly students
  8. Angry parents
  9.  Difficult coworkers
  10. Contracts
  11. Tied to the area

1. Low Pay

School districts typically pay less than the private sector, so don’t expect a stunning salary.

No one chooses to work for a school district for the pay.

They may be motivated by the benefits or retirement package, but the pay itself is rarely the main selling point for these positions. 

2. Lack of Funding

Along with relatively low pay, you’ll need to deal with a lack of funding.

This is a common problem for school districts and has some impact on all areas of the school and employees. 

3. Promotions can be Tough to Get

Promotions may be hard to get when working for a school district.

If you are a teacher, promotions are very rare.

Other positions within the district also offer few promotions. 

If you want to move up quickly in your career, working for a school district may not be the best option for you. 

4. Budget Constraints

Budget constraints can make it difficult to do your job properly.

If you are a teacher, you may not have money for the curriculum or supplies you need.

If you are in IT, you’ll probably deal with a poor infrastructure with little funds to update it.

You may need to get spending approved before purchasing things you need. 

Many employees find themselves paying for things out of their own pocket rather than going without what they need, or going through the red tape of getting spending approved. 

5. Professional Development Days

You may be required to be there on professional development days. Sometimes, you’ll actually need to be there.

However, there may be days when you don’t actually need to be there, but you have to show up anyway.

This can be frustrating. 

6. Lack of Administrative Support and Resources

You’ll also encounter a lack of administrative support and resources when working for a school district.

This is a common complaint from teachers and other school employees. 

You may feel unsupported by your principal.

They may simply be too busy to be available when you need them.

Resources are typically limited, which can make it tough to do your job. 

7. Unruly Students

This is a major complaint from teachers, but other school employees also have to deal with unruly students at times.

Schools have many kids, and not all of them will be well-behaved.

This can be hard to cope with. Troubled children often have issues.

They may have a poor home life or mental health issues that cause them to act out.

Their behavior is frustrating, but it can also be very sad to see them struggling.

8. Angry Parents

Along with unruly students, you have angry parents.

Parents may be upset because their child is in trouble.

Some parents think their children can’t do anything wrong and will defend them no matter what.

Other parents may be upset with their children when they learn that they’ve misbehaved or performed poorly. 

Angry customers are hard to deal with, but angry parents are on another level.

It’s natural for parents to feel very strongly about their child, their behavior, and how they are treated.

However, interacting with them can be very uncomfortable. 

9.  Difficult Coworkers

You can expect some students and parents to be difficult, but you may be surprised by coworkers who are hard to work with.

In some cases, it’s just because you have very different personalities.

Perhaps you are very social and they are more reserved, or you are easygoing and they are more serious. 

However, some people are just difficult for anyone to get along with.

The job security that comes with working for a school district is a double-edged sword.

Coworkers who do a poor job or are unprofessional may keep their jobs, making their job more difficult.  

10. Contracts 

Teachers and many other professionals who work for a school district are required to sign a contract before beginning work.

This contract typically lasts for one year and covers the duration of the upcoming school year. 

This can be seen as a benefit because you are guaranteed employment unless you breach the contract, but it can also be a downside.

If you want to leave the job before your contract is up, you may have legal consequences.  

11. Tied to the Area

Today, many companies are global.

If you want to move, you can find a job with the same company in another area, or even another country.

However, when you work for a school district, you can’t move to a different area and keep your job. 

21 Pros and Cons of Working for a School District – Summary Table

Pros of Working for a School DistrictCons of Working for a School District
TrainingLow pay
Good benefitsLack of funding
Work-life balancePromotions can be tough to get
Job securityBudget constraints
Summers and holidays offProfessional development days
Regular scheduleLack of administrative support and resources
Leave and vacation timeUnruly students
Working with childrenAngry parents
CamaraderieDifficult coworkers
Making a differenceContracts
Tied to the area

Should You Work for a School District? 

Whether or not you should work for a school district depends on what’s most important to you.

If you value a healthy work-life balance, job security, plenty of time off, and a great benefits package, yes you should work for a school district.

It’s also a good choice if you want job security. 

If you want a position that allows you to move up quickly and offers competitive pay, working for a school district is not the best option for you.

If you find it hard to get along with others or don’t have lots of patience, you’ll want to look elsewhere for work. 

Generally, working for a school district is a good idea.

However, it’s not the right fit for everyone. 

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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