How to Become a History Teacher

If you thirst to learn about history and you enjoy sharing your knowledge, you can find an outlet for your passion as a history teacher. History forms a crucial component of general education for all students because it draws lessons from the past that can be applied to the present.

Here’s an overview of the career path to become a history teacher:

Education Requirements

All history teachers must earn a bachelor degree and become licensed to teach through their state board of education.

History teachers in public schools must hold four-year degrees combining history with a teacher-education program. Graduation from a teacher-education program is mandatory in some states before a person is eligible to obtain a teaching license. Teacher-education programs feature a student-teaching component where college students can gain valuable classroom experience before graduation.

Teacher-education programs cover all of the basic elements of the classroom experience. Student teachers learn how to do everything from curriculum development to employing specific teaching methods. Some states also require teachers to complete technology training and demonstrate proficiency in computer usage.

For college professors, academic requirements can vary based where they teach. Professors who teach at a community college need to hold at least a master’s degree in history. Universities and four-year colleges, on the other hand, typically hire professors who hold a doctorate in history.

Job Duties of a History Teacher

History teachers develop course work based on the facts, events and people of the past and draw parallels with current events.

A history curriculum varies in complexity according to student ages. Lessons designed for a middle school are more basic than those of a high school class. History teachers are expected to create a series of homework assignments and tests drawn from material in the curriculum.

History teachers should be proficient in giving presentations and lectures to an entire class. They should also excel at providing one-on-one instruction to individual students who need a little extra help in grasping the lesson material.

History teachers in high schools and colleges may be required to specialize in certain historical eras or geographic regions. History courses can include focal topics ranging from Roman history to U.S. history.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job openings for middle school teachers are expected to increase by 17 percent from through 2020. Job openings for high school teachers are expected to rise by 7 percent over the same 10-year time frame. For college history professors, rising enrollment rates and an increase in retirements have boosted the number of available jobs. Job openings for history professors are also expected to rise by 17 percent by 2020.

The BLS says middle school teachers earn a median annual salary of $51,960 while high school teachers earn a median salary of $53,230. College professors enjoyed an median salary of $62,050 per year.

History teachers can typically find work at any number of public schools or private schools. Magnet schools and charter schools offer a good career option.

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