|Number of Jobs:||248,800|
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Social Services Jobs||#11|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#45|
Don't let Arnold Schwarzenegger's nightmarish experience in Kindergarten Cop scare you away from this profession. Elementary school teachers build a special bond with their students as they watch them grow and learn throughout the year. With little kids constantly on the go, jumping, playing, laughing—and, well, sometimes licking everything in sight—there's never a dull moment in this line of work. These educators are knowledgeable about a variety of subjects, as many design lesson plans across subjects to teach their students the basics of reading, writing, and mathematics. They also frequently work with students one-on-one to assess their abilities and challenge them to overcome any weaknesses. Many elementary school teachers take a hands-on approach, using props, games, and songs to actively engage their students. It's their job to not only create an academic and fun environment for the kids but to also interact with the parents to communicate the child's progress.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a steady job growth of 16.8 percent for the profession between 2010 and 2020. During that time period, 248,800 jobs will be added.
According to the BLS, in 2011, elementary school teachers earned a median average salary of $52,840. The best-paid earned about $81,230, while the lowest-paid made approximately $34,910. The highest earners worked in the metropolitan areas of Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y., and Waterbury, Conn.
There are different requirements for an elementary school teacher depending on whether they teach at a public or private institution. In addition to receiving their bachelor's degree, educators at public schools must obtain a state-issued license. These licenses are frequently achieved through a teacher education program. Prospective teachers at four-year colleges usually enroll in this program concurrently to save time and money. A student-teaching internship is often a component of such programs. Future educators should be sure to attend a nationally accredited program. In an email, National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel said, "The best programs work with candidates over a long period of time (usually a year or more) in a process of support in which candidates gradually take on increasing teaching responsibilities until they are prepared to assume full responsibility for a classroom." Each state and the District of Columbia have their own licensing requirements, although some states recognize the licenses of others and extend reciprocity to individuals holding sufficient credentials. Private school educators have noticeably less red tape. Most private institutions lack the licensing requirements of public schools; however, a bachelor's degree is usually still required.
Van Roekel says the hiring process is usually comprised of three steps. "The first step consists of either the submission of a formal application to the district or an initial interview at one of many college job fairs across the country," he says. "The second step generally is a formal interview with the district human resources office. The third step is often an additional interview with the school principal," or the school's hiring committee. However, distinguishing yourself with potential employers starts well before the application process. "Aspiring teachers can set themselves apart by gaining additional state certification for all elementary school levels," he says. Possessing knowledge or certification in special education, as well as bilingual education, can set an applicant apart from the competition.
|Upward Mobility||Above Average|
|Stress Level||Above Average|