How to Become a Teacher

People who love children and enjoy school may be interested in learning how to become a teacher. With an undergraduate degree and practical training, teachers find fulfillment as they work in a classroom or other educational setting. Ask yourself, are you interested in:

  • Making a difference in the lives of children and young people?
  • Conveying your love of learning in a specific subject area?
  • Helping students develop tools they can use throughout the rest of their lives?
  • Educating citizens who will make an impact on society?

If you answer “yes” to these questions, becoming a teacher may be the right career choice for you.

Education Requirements

Every teacher in public schools must earn a bachelor’s degree in an education-related discipline. They also must earn continuing education credits throughout their careers.

In college, teaching students take general education classes in English, math and science. They also take child-development classes and learn about classroom management.

Before earning a teacher’s certification, teaching students work in a classroom under the supervision of a certified teacher.

Post-secondary teachers must earn an advanced degree and have industry experience.

Career Options

With a bachelor degree, teachers may work in a variety of jobs, including:

  • Preschool classroom teachers or aides
  • Elementary school classroom, music, art or reading teachers or aides
  • Middle school teachers or aides
  • High school teachers or aides
  • Special education teachers or aides

Teachers may also work in specialty classrooms as support staff in schools or tutoring centers. Jobs include:

  • Reading specialists
  • Writing coaches
  • Math coaches
  • Family sciences teachers
  • Tutors

Postgraduate degrees are typically required for teachers who want to work in a college or university.

What to Consider When Pursuing a Teaching Degree

On average, teaching jobs are expected to rise between 5 and 17 percent through 2020. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teachers can expect the following average wages:

Preschool: $25,700 per year
Elementary: $51,380 per year
Middle School: $51,960 per year
High School: $53,230 per year
College: $62,050 per year
Special education: $53,220 per year

The BLS reports that job outlook for kindergarten and elementary school teachers is expected to grow by 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Growth is expected because of both declines in student–teacher ratios and increases in enrollment. However, employment growth will vary by region.

The job outlook for high school teachers high school teachers is expected to grow by 7 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Overall growth is expected because of declines in student-to-teacher ratios and increases in enrollment, according to the BLS.

Special education teachers, the BLS says, is expected to grow by 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Growth is expected because of increasing enrollment and continued demand for special education services.

Teachers make a difference in the lives of kids every day. With a love for children and a desire to educate, teachers give kids the foundation they need for life.

Post-secondary teaching job growth is expected to grow by 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

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