What is the Typical High School Teacher’s Salary?

Though it may not be the primary reason many men and women choose careers in education, salary is normally among the top considerations. A high school teacher’s salary varies considerably depending on one’s education and the region of the country where one is employed. Below is an overview of what kind of compensation and job responsibilities you can expect if you choose to become a high school teacher.

Education Requirements

A high school teacher must earn a bachelor degree in his or her teaching specialty or in education. Public school teachers (and most charter school teachers) must also be certified by the state in which they teach. Virtually all states require that prospective teachers intern in a classroom setting as part of their education. Career advancement and additional salary are generally offered to teachers who have taken graduate coursework and/or earned a masters or doctorate degree. Although education classes are required for a teaching certificate in most states, the degree can be in a variety of subjects, such as history, art or English.

Career Options: What you can do with a Degree in Secondary Education

The most obvious choice of careers for someone with a degree in secondary education is to become a high school teacher. However, that isn’t the only avenue open to someone with an education degree. A secondary education degree is the first step to becoming a school administrator. Though positions as school principals and assistant principals generally require an advanced degree, most people in these positions begin as teachers.

Another career path for an education degree holder is that of special education, working with students with learning or behavioral issues. Such positions generally require additional coursework in special education. Those with secondary education degrees also sometimes work with high school students on choosing their career paths and post-secondary education.

What to Consider if you Pursue a Degree in Secondary Education

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for a high school teacher in the United States is $53,230. This figure varies considerably among different regions of the country. In addition, teachers generally make a higher salary after having completed graduate studies and even more after earning a masters or doctorate degree.

The BLS estimates that there will be approximately 71,900 new high school teaching jobs created within the next eight years. That equals about a seven percent increase, a growth rate that lags behind the US average.

America’s schools will continue to need knowledgeable, motivated high school teachers for years to come. Though teaching doesn’t offer the highest wages available, this career provides a living wage and a chance to make a difference with students of the next generation.

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