|Number of Jobs:||71,900|
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Social Services Jobs||#8|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#38|
You'll need a talent for dealing with teens and a keen interest in teaching at least one specialized subject if you're going to be a high-school teacher (also known as secondary-school teachers). Teachers at this level specialize in subjects such as English, math, chemistry and art. In a typically large suburban high school, where the student body circulates among five or six classes, you could teach more than 100 different students every day. You'll also have a counseling role, helping students with adult issues that they are already experiencing or soon will, and advising them on college and career plans. Additional responsibilities can include study-hall duty, advising, organizing field trips, and leading extracurricular activities.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 6.9 percent employment growth for high-school teachers between 2010 and 2020, adding 71,900 more positions. The demand for teachers mirrors population growth.
The BLS reports the median annual wage for high-school teachers was $54,270 in 2011. The best-paid 10 percent in the field made approximately $84,000, while the bottom 10 percent made approximately $35,940. The highest-paid in the profession work in the metropolitan areas of New York City and Chicago. Compensation is usually subject to years of experience and educational level. Additionally, salaries and benefit packages can differ at public and private institutions.
The requirements for a high-school teacher depend on whether they're employed by 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, and often complete a student-teaching internship as part of their training. Future educators should attend a nationally accredited program. 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, but usually require a bachelor's degree.
"Schools do not just want someone who is an excellent lecturer or has great 'platform' skills," says National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel in an email. "Secondary students don't want someone to stand there and lecture." Schools want dynamic, knowledgeable educators who are attuned to the needs of individual students. While shaping and presenting yourself as the ideal candidate is important, how you convey that information to prospective schools is equally crucial. "On securing a secondary-school position, I would NEVER advise anyone only to go through HR," says Van Roekel. "Prospective secondary teachers should target the principals and department chairs of the schools where they would like to teach and let them know why they would like to teach there." Further, Van Roekel recommends: "Prospective candidates would be well served to seek out opportunities to become part of the community in advance of seeking employment."
|Upward Mobility||Below Average|