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The education sector provides rewarding education careers such as elementary school teacher and special education teacher. The education field offers careers besides teaching careers such as instructional coordinator, archivist and librarian. A lot of the education careers require postsecondary education and strong interpersonal skills.

Every state requires school teachers to have certification. State education boards provide certification to teachers for specific grade levels or specific subjects. Teachers need to have a bachelor’s degree and complete a training program, including student teaching. Sometimes specialty teachers need to have a master’s degree.

The education careers section provides important, reliable information on a variety of education careers such as employment growth, salary, education and much more. Take the time to read the information TheBestSchools.org provides about the education careers you’re interested in.

After you’ve looked over this resource on Education Careers you can keep reading our website’s thorough career guide with detailed information on job options, education requirements and salaries.

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Adult Literacy and GED Teachers

Education and Certifications Adult Literacy and GED Teachers Need

To become an adult literacy teacher or GED instructor, most states require a bachelor’s degree and a teaching license or certification. In addition, employers value adult literacy teachers and GED teachers with instructing experience as well as advanced education, such as a master’s degree.

Some master degree programs allow students to concentrate in areas such as English as a second language (ESL) or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL).

Some adult literacy teachers and GED instructors take continuing education classes to stay current with the latest research in education and advanced teaching skills.

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What They Do

An adult literacy teacher and GED instructor are noble and rewarding careers for patient, resourceful people who want to make a direct impact in the lives of others.

Adult literacy teachers and GED instructors work with adults and teens not in school who need help in writing, reading, and English language skills. Individuals can obtain Adult GED and high school diplomas through working with an adult literacy teacher or GED teacher.

Adult literacy teachers and GED instructors set up assessments to evaluate students’ areas of strength and weakness and then develop lesson plans based on the reported outcomes.

An adult literacy teacher career and a GED instructor career involve teaching students specific skill sets to meet their educational needs. An adult literacy teaching career and a GED instructor career also involve working diligently to help each student achieve their specific goals. They also help their students find jobs in the community.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $52,100
2016 number of jobs 68,200
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 -5%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $31,310
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $87,160

 

Archivists

Education and Certifications Archivists Need

People interested in an archivist career typically need a Bachelor in Library Science degree, a Bachelor of History degree or a Bachelor degree in a related field. However, some employers may desire a master’s degree, such as a Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA), as well as volunteer and internship experience. Some archival collections require advanced degrees in specific areas such as computer science or medicine.

Archives technicians with a minimum of a master’s degree and work experience can obtain the Certified Archivist credential after passing a written exam offered through the Academy of Certified Archivists.

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What They Do

People interested in preserving historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence or entertainment history such as the original reel of “The Wizard of Oz”, should consider an archivist career. A love of research, attention to detail and a love of historical documentation are just a few of the qualities needed to become an archivist.

Archivists research, protect and edit documents for historical value and/or significance. An archivist career also includes using electronic devices and computer programs to make accessing and protecting historical manuscripts and documents faster and easier.

Many archives technicians organize educational tours, conferences and classes for museums and historical sites.

Archivist careers include working with specific records such as digital records, manuscripts, photographs, movies, and sound recordings.

Career Advancement Opportunities

A doctorate in a specific program can help an archivist attain supervisory positions and further their archivist career. Workshops and additional continuing educational classes also help archivists advance in their careers.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $47,360
2016 number of jobs 31,000
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 13%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Master's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $26,260
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $85,350

 

Career Teachers and Technical Education Teachers

Education and Certifications Career Teachers and Technical Education Teachers Need

Requirements for education, work experience and licensing/certification vary by state for both career teachers and technical education teachers, but most states require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited teacher program and student teaching experience.

All public school educators need a state-issued certificate or license and many teachers are required to have a degree in the field they actually teach in. Alternatively, private school educators do not need a license.

Most states and districts require teachers take continuing education classes to keep their license and often mandate career teachers and technical education teachers attain a master’s degree following certification.

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What They Do

Working as a career teacher or a technical education teacher requires patience, the ability to connect with younger people and the desire to make a substantial difference in the lives of others.

A career teacher career and a technical education teacher career involve helping students in middle and secondary school develop future career and technical skills.

Career teacher careers and technical education teacher careers involve introducing and preparing students to enter a particular occupation such as healthcare, cosmetology or agriculture. They also work with school districts and employers to develop an educational program within an actual business or technical education school.

The typical day for both a career teacher and technical education teacher includes coordinating lessons plans, implementing educational objectives in the form of hands-on learning, assignments and tests, working with local employers to coordinate internships as well as grading papers and assessing student strengths, weaknesses and goals.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Career teachers and technical education teachers can use an advanced degree, experience and further certification to become a principal, counselor, or even a community college instructor.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $55,240
2016 number of jobs 219,400
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 4%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $33,430
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $89,880

 

Curators, Museum Technicians and Conservators

Education and Certifications Curators, Museum Technicians and Conservators Need

People seeking a museum curator career or a museum conservator career typically need a master’s degree. However, some employers allow a curator to enter a particular field, such as an art museum curator, with only a bachelor’s degree plus work experience. Alternatively, conservators need substantial experience and a degree in conservation or something very similar.

A museum technician usually needs a bachelor’s degree and many years of work experience, usually in designing museum exhibits.

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What They Do

If someone dreams of a museum career, managing an art gallery, teaching others about great archeological finds, or restoring an original Picasso painting, a job as a museum technician, museum curator or museum conservator may be in their future. Museum technicians, museum curators and museum conservators have extensive knowledge of art, business, archeology and history as well as an incredible eye for detail and art studio training.

More specifically, a museum curator deals with the business and management end of institutions such as aquariums or botanical gardens. Museum curator careers include buying, inspecting, storing and evaluating the authenticity of collections.

A museum technician career includes answering questions from the public and taking care of the collections owned or loaned to the institution.

Museum conservators preserve, restore and document archeological findings and works of art. This work requires hours upon hours of specialized laboratory research techniques such as chemical and microscopic analysis of dinosaur fossils. Museum conservator careers also include conducting educational programs and writing research articles.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Museum curators with several years of experience in their field, who also performed research and published articles can advance in their career and become a museum director.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $47,360
2016 number of jobs 31,000
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 13%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Master's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $26,260
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $85,350

 

Health Educators

Education and Certifications Health Educators Need

People seeking to begin a health educator career typically need at least a Bachelor in Health Education degree or a Bachelor in Health Promotion degree. Most programs for health education specialists include an internship. Some federal government and state public health education jobs require a master’s degree. Some colleges and universities offer a Master in Health Education degree program or a Master in Public Health degree program.

Some employers in the health education field prefer to hire Certified Health Education Specialists, which involves an exam aimed at entry-level health educators. To maintain certification, a health educator must complete 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years. Those interested in community health education can pursue an apprenticeship.

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What They Do

Health educators provide a myriad of education programs to help individuals and communities make healthy lifestyle choices. A health educator career includes teaching people what they need to do to maintain wellness. A health educator career also includes developing programming to encourage healthy decision-making at all ages.

Health education specialists can act as a generalist or focus on children, families or the elderly or a particular illness, such as heart disease or diabetes.

Health educator careers involve collecting and analyzing information to identify community needs in order to plan, implement and monitor programs to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Some professionals who work in community health education serve as a resource for individuals, other health care workers, or the broader community.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $45,360
2016 number of jobs 118,500
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 16%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $31,440
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $97,160

 

High School Teachers

Education and Certifications High School Teachers Need

People seeking a high school teacher career must have a bachelor’s degree in one or more content areas such as English or science as well as a state issued license or certificate. In most states in order to remain certified high school teachers must attend continuing education classes. However, High school teachers in private schools don’t need certifications.

While taking the mandatory college classes to fulfill secondary education requirements, high school teachers also gain real life classroom experience through participating in local school practicum instruction. In some states, attaining a master’s degree may also be necessary after becoming certified.

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What They Do

A high school teacher career attracts people who have excellent communication and listening skills, a great deal of patience, and want to make a difference in teenagers’ lives. High school teachers work with students in 9th-12th grade and prepare them for careers after high school.

A high school teaching career includes planning lessons in line with administrative, state and national curriculum objectives, supporting students through personal and academic difficulties and enforcing rules both in and out of the classroom. A high school teaching career also involves monitoring and reporting student strengths and weaknesses through regular tests, exams, parent conferences and report cards.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Through advanced training, education or certification, high school teachers can advance in their career to an administrative role such as a principal or an assistant principal. Some teachers also go on to become high school counselors or instructional coordinators.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $59,170
2016 number of jobs 1,018,700
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 8%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $39,080
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $95,380

 

Instructional Coordinators

Education and Certifications Instructional Coordinators Need

People seeking an instructional coordinator career must have a master’s degree and a license. In many school districts they must specialize in a particular field and grade level such as secondary math or language arts. Individuals seeking an instructional coordinator career benefit from teacher or educational administrative experience.

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What They Do

An instructional coordinator career attracts people deeply concerned about teaching, education and improving educational standards. Instructional coordinators work within all facets of the educational system to improve school districts’ teaching and curriculum standards.

Instructional coordinators work within their communities and educational districts to assess a school’s curriculum and teaching methods. They correct curriculum issues, instruct professional development classes and replace ineffective teaching techniques with new content to improve test scores and achievement.

Instructional coordinators work in different grade levels and specialties such as math or special education.

An instructional coordinator career includes organizing and instructing teacher-training conferences that cover everything from learning how to use instructional materials to overall classroom teaching methods. An instructional coordinator career also involves monitoring teachers and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses in classroom performance. After these workshops and in-house instruction reviews, instructional coordinators report and confer with a broad range of educational administrators and committees.

Instructional coordinator careers involve reporting all observations as well as making recommendations on specific educational materials, supplies and methods to increase teacher performance as well as overall student and academic outcomes.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $63,750
2016 number of jobs 163,200
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 11%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Master's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $35,550
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $101,500

 

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers

Education and Certifications Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers Need

Individuals interested in a kindergarten teacher career or an elementary school teacher career must have a bachelor’s degree as well as a state issued license or certificate. In many states, kindergarten and elementary school teachers must major in one or more subject areas such as math or reading as well as have student teaching experience.

Attending continuing education classes are also necessary in most states in order to remain certified. However, teachers in private schools are not required to have certifications. Some schools may also require kindergarten teachers and elementary school teachers to attain a master’s degree after certification.

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What They Do

Becoming a kindergarten and elementary school teacher is a rewarding job for people who have excellent communication and listening skills, have a great deal of patience, and want to make a difference in a child’s life. A Kindergarten teacher career and an elementary school teacher career involves working with young students and teaching them fundamental skills such as writing, reading and math.

Kindergarten teacher careers and elementary school teacher careers involve planning lessons in line with administrative and national curriculum objectives and standards, working closely with students to develop basic learning techniques and skills, monitoring a child’s physical, social and emotional health and well being, and enforcing rules both in and out of the classroom.

A kindergarten teaching career and an elementary school teaching career include monitoring and reporting student strengths and weaknesses through regular tests, parent conferences and report cards.

Kindergarten teachers and elementary school teachers educate children up to fourth or fifth grade, however in some school districts, elementary school teachers may even teach as high as sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Many kindergarten and elementary school teachers also work with special education departments to assist children with special needs and learning disabilities.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Through advanced training, education or certification kindergarten and elementary school teachers may advance in their career to an administrative role such as a principal or assistant principal.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $56,900
2016 number of jobs 1,565,300
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 7%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $37,840
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $92,770

 

Librarians

Education and Certifications Librarians Need

People interested in a librarian career typically need a master’s degree, often called a Master’s in Library Science (MLS) degree, which takes one or two years to complete.

To enter a Master in Library Science degree program, a student must have a bachelor’s degree and necessary coursework. Even though certification laws vary by state, most institutions require librarians to have certification, especially school librarians.

To work in legal sectors and corporate institutions, a librarian may substitute a MLS degree with a master’s or Ph.D. in a particular subject area.

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What They Do

A librarian career is not what it used to be. A librarian career is fast becoming a multi-media driven field, constantly changing and evolving with the advent of services such as e-borrowing, e-books and library apps. A librarian career attracts people who have a love of books as well as excellent communication, research, organizational, technological and people skills.

Librarians work with patrons to research and find information from several different forms of books, reference materials, multi-media sources, and technology.

Librarians work in many different areas such as educational institutions, museums, libraries, companies and government agencies. In these institutions, librarians perform a multitude of tasks including, but not limited to, organizing, researching, editing and collecting library collections to organizing library events and children’s activities. Librarian careers also include dealing with budgetary issues, staff training and purchasing new equipment.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $58,520
2016 number of jobs 138,200
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 9%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Master's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $34,300
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $91,620

 

Library Technicians and Assistants

Education and Certifications Library Technicians and Assistants Need

Library technicians and assistants have different levels of education ranging from college degrees to high school diplomas. Most institutions prefer some kind of a post-secondary certification and even certain teaching requirements, especially if a candidate is applying for a position such as a school library technician.

Some schools provide an Associate degree in Library Technology, an Associate in Library Technician degree or a library technician certificate. However, smaller libraries may hire someone, such as a school library assistant, with only a high school education.

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What They Do

People who have a love of books as well as excellent communication, troubleshooting, organizational, technological and people skills may be interested in a library technician career or a library assistant career.

Library technicians and assistants work with librarians to help them do their job more efficiently. They help patrons locate different forms of reference materials, library catalogues, audiovisual equipment, and other library resources.

Library technicians and library assistants do a multitude of tasks including, but not limited to, renewing and circulating books, organizing and processing library materials, distributing library cards, and assisting in special projects. However, library technicians have more areas of responsibility than library assistants.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Additional responsibilities and experience in different sections of the library can advance library technician and assistant levels to supervisory positions. However, if technicians desire to become librarians, they will need to complete a master’s degree in library science.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $29,050
2016 number of jobs 203,500
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 9%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Postsecondary certificate
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $20,238
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $54,163

 

Middle School Teachers

Education and Certifications Middle School Teachers Need

A middle school teacher must have a bachelor’s degree as well as a state issued license or certificate. In many states, middle school teachers must major in different curriculum content to be able to work effectively in such areas as a middle school science teacher or middle school English teacher. Middle school teachers also need student teaching experience.

In order to remain certified in most states middle school teachers must attend continuing education classes. However, middle school teachers in private schools don’t need certification.

Some schools may also require junior high school teachers to attain a master’s degree after certification.

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What They Do

People who have excellent instructional and listening skills, a great deal of patience, and want to make a difference in a student’s life should consider a middle school teacher career.

Middle school teachers, also known as junior high school teachers, work with students typically grades six through eight, and teach them skills to help them transition from elementary school to high school.

A middle school teacher career includes planning lessons in line with administrative and national curriculum objectives and standards as well as working closely with students to develop learning techniques and skills across several subject areas.

Middle school teachers monitor student’s social and emotional health, enforce rules both in and out of the classroom as well as monitor and report student strengths and weaknesses through regular tests, webpage bulletins, parent conferences and report cards.

Many junior high school teachers also work with special education departments to assist children with special needs and learning disabilities.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Through advanced training, education or certification junior high school teachers move on to more administrative roles such as principals and assistant principals. They also can become lead teachers as well as instructional coordinators.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $57,720
2016 number of jobs 630,300
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 8%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $38,540
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $91,670

 

Post-Secondary Education Administrators

Education and Certifications Post-Secondary Education Administrators Need

Most postsecondary education administrator positions require at least a master’s degree from a variety of fields, including social work, accounting, or marketing. Postsecondary education administrators seeking a high-level position typically need a Ph.D. either in higher education or perhaps, if they were previously a professor, in the subject they taught.

Although no specific certifications or licenses are required for postsecondary education administrators, many employers — particularly in the registrar’s office — require work experience.

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What They Do

Postsecondary education administrators have a monumental job of keeping colleges and universities running smoothly through overseeing student services, academics, and research. They generally work in one specific area of a college, thus job responsibilities may vary.

Postsecondary education administrators working in admissions determine which students receive acceptance. They typically travel to specific areas of the country and speak with high school counselors and students about their college, urging qualified students to apply.

Postsecondary education administrator careers include determining how many available spots there are for admission, meeting with prospective students and answering their questions about the school.

A postsecondary education administrator career may include reviewing all applications in a process deciding who receives admission letters. A postsecondary education administrator career may also include preparing the promotional materials for new and prospective students and frequently working with the financial aid department.

A higher education administrator working in the registrar’s office maintains student and course records. These administrators have a great deal of student interaction, as they schedule and register students for classes, help students ensure they are meeting, or on track to meet graduation requirements.

A higher education administrator career may include preparing the students’ transcripts and diplomas. Postsecondary education administrators in the registrar office also plan the commencement ceremonies.

Postsecondary education administrators working in the student affairs department create and oversee multiple different nonacademic school functions, such as student athletics, activities, and multicultural affairs. Students often visit the student’s affairs offices for advice on issues such as housing issues, personal issues, or academic issues. A Postsecondary education administrator in the student’s affairs office also creates and maintains student records.

Some postsecondary education administrators are called provosts and work with college presidents, helping them develop academic policies. Provosts may also have a part in making faculty appointments, tenure decisions, and managing budgets.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Higher education administrators may move up within their department of college, while some obtain a college president position.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $92,360
2016 number of jobs 180,100
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 10%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Master's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $52,960
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $182,150

 

Postsecondary Teachers

Education and Certifications Postsecondary Teachers Need

Candidates for jobs as post-secondary teachers at a four-year school usually need a doctoral degree in their subject area. Junior and community college administrators often consider individuals with a master’s degree for their post-secondary teacher openings. Experience or certification, however, can lead to a post-secondary teaching career at a technical or trade school.

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What They Do

A postsecondary teacher who knows how to grab young adults’ attention gives students more to look forward to than parties and spring break. Postsecondary teachers instruct student in various subjects required to earn a degree or learn a trade or profession after high school. A postsecondary teacher career often includes conducting research and writing for academic journals.

A postsecondary teacher can specialize in any of a wide variety of subjects. Some postsecondary teachers offer instruction in core subjects of liberal arts programs. Others use their hands-on skills in career-related areas to train new lawyers, nurses, culinary arts experts, pilots and more.

Postsecondary teachers working for universities often spend part of their time on research and experiments and applying for grants to fund their work. Increasingly, a postsecondary teaching career can mean teaching online courses and assigning and accepting students’ work via the Internet.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Those who pursue a postsecondary teaching career often seek tenure. Achieving tenure can require research, critical reviews and getting their work published. Tenure approval often takes seven years of working through the ranks of assistant professor, associate professor and professor.

Tenured postsecondary teachers seeking to advance further in their career can pursue administrative posts, such as dean or president.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $76,000
2016 number of jobs 197,800
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 15%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Master's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $39,040
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $170,160

 

Preschool and Childcare Center Directors

Education and Certifications Preschool and Childcare Center Directors Need

Minimum education requirements for people seeking a preschool director or childcare center director career vary by state from a high school diploma to an associate degree to a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education degree. Some states also require preschool directors and childcare center directors to have work experience in early childhood education.

In some states preschool directors and childcare center directors need a nationally recognized certification.

Many states require the Child Development Associate (CDA) certification offered through the Council for Professional Recognition. Some states also recognize the Child Care Professional (CCP) designation through the Nation Early Childhood Program Accreditation.

Preschool directors and childcare center directors need a license.

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What They Do

Preschool directors and childcare center directors rarely have a down or dull moment; not only are they working directly with a group of children on a daily basis, but they also oversee a staff and daily activities, plan lessons and activities, and they’re involved with the budget.

Preschool directors and childcare center directors have a large leadership role with their staff. Both a preschool director career and a childcare center director career involve hiring staff members and providing training as well as professional development opportunities for staff members.

Preschool director careers and childcare center director careers also involve developing all program policies for staff to follow.

When conflicts arise between children, a preschool director or a childcare center director often assist a staff member in appropriately dealing with the children; the director usually contact parents and explains the situation. Directors also regularly speak with parents about the overall progress of their children.

A preschool director career and a childcare center director career include ensuring the facility they manage is clean, safe, and meets state regulations. They are also responsible for either developing the curriculum or program, if they work for an independent facility, or if the facility is part of a larger chain, ensuring they meet the standards of the parent organization.

If the preschool or childcare center receives state and federal funding, the director must ensure the programs meet state and federal guidelines.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $46,890
2016 number of jobs 61,800
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 11%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $29,980
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $85,240

 

Preschool Teachers

Education and Certifications Preschool Teachers Need

Educational requirements for individuals pursuing a preschool teaching career vary with the school and the regulations in the state in which it operates. A candidate for a preschool teacher job could need as little as a high school diploma and certification or as much as a bachelor’s degree.

Head Start requires candidates for preschool teacher jobs to have an associate degree. At least half of a Head Start program’s teachers must have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. Preschool teachers at public schools typically need at least a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education degree.

Some states and schools require preschool teachers to have nationally recognized certification, which calls for a high school diploma, experience in the field and coursework. Preschool teachers in public schools need a license to teach early childhood education, which usually includes having a bachelor’s degree and passing a competency exam, as well as taking continuing education courses to maintain licensure.

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What They Do

Preschool teachers provide children with their earliest formal learning experiences. A preschool teacher can help children develop a positive attitude about school and what it’s like to learn in a classroom full of their peers.

Preschool teacher careers involve organizing activities which promote physical, mental and social development. Preschool teacher careers also involve reading books to entire classes or small groups and observing and evaluating children’s performance, behavior, social development and physical health.

A preschool teaching career includes teaching basic skills, such as personal hygiene, social skills and recognizing colors, shapes, numbers and letters.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Over the course of a preschool teacher career, entry-level preschool teachers can work their way up from assistant teacher to teacher to lead teacher, which can include being responsible for several classes. A preschool teacher with a bachelor’s degree often can teach up to third grade. Teaching higher grades typically pays more.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $28,990
2016 number of jobs 478,500
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 10%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Associate degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $19,970
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $54,780

 

School and Career Counselors

Education and Certifications School and Career Counselors Need

School counselors in most states must have a Master in School Counseling degree or a master’s degree in a related field. In career counseling, employers often prefer a Master in Counseling degree with a focus on career development. Many programs require supervised experience, such as an internship.

A school counselor must have state-issued credentials, sometimes called certification or endorsement. Most states require criminal background checks. While few employers require licensing for high school career counselors, career counselors who work in private practice must have a license. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, as well as passing grades on a state-recognized exam and annual continuing education.

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What They Do

A good high school counselor makes a big difference in a student’s life, before and after graduation. School counselors get to know their students and help them develop the social skills to succeed in school, while school career counselors help individuals choose a career or educational program, then guide them toward employment, vocational or college options.

Counselors’ career opportunities include jobs as high school counselors, high school career counselors, elementary school counselors and middle school career counselors.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $55,410
2016 number of jobs 291,700
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 13%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Master's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $32,660
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $91,960

 

Self-Enrichment Teachers

Education and Certifications Self-Enrichment Teachers Need

In many cases, candidates for jobs as self-enrichment teachers don’t need a degree or certification. A self-enrichment teacher must have an expertise in their subject area. Formal education plays a larger role when a self-enrichment teacher focuses on an academic subject, such as music or a foreign language, and works for an educational institution.

Some employers prefer to hire a self-enrichment teacher with teaching experience.

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What They Do

You can argue self-enrichment teachers have the best jobs. A self-enrichment career lets you spend your time in the classroom sharing your skills with students who really want to learn.

A Self-enrichment teacher career involves instructing students in the arts, music, foreign language, crafts, sports, aquatics and more. Students generally don’t earn a degree or certification in classes taught by self-enrichment teachers. Some of the classes cover academic subjects, such as literature and history; other classes focus on life skills, such as cooking, personal finance and time management, whereas some courses focus on recreation: photography, pottery and painting.

Self-enrichment teachers’ sponsored by religious institutions address topics such as marriage preparation and religious education.

A self-enrichment teacher sometimes offers private instruction but often finds employment in community adult education programs. Self-enrichment teachers may work with a student for just one or two sessions or for several years.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $52,100
2016 number of jobs 68,200
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 -5%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $31,310
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $87,160

 

Special Education Teachers

Education and Certifications Special Education Teachers Need

Public schools require people who want a special education teaching career to have a bachelor’s degree and a certificate or license issued by their state; many states require a special education teacher to have a master’s degree.

Certification requirements for special education teachers vary and often require student teaching periods and regular enrollment in professional development classes. Increasingly, states require a background check and fingerprinting.

See also: What can I do with an Education degree?

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What They Do

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but for people whose challenges interfere with their ability to learn, special education teachers can make all the difference. A special education teacher works one-on-one or in a group setting with people who have mental, emotional, physical or developmental disabilities.

When working with a student who has mild or moderate disabilities, a special education teacher adapts strategies to suit the student’s needs. For people with more severe challenges, a special education teacher focuses on basic literacy, communication, math and living skills.

Some people who choose a special education teaching career specialize in a certain disability, such as deafness, blindness or a developmental disability, such as Down syndrome.

Special education teachers work at all levels of the education system.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Special education teachers with experience can work as a mentor or a lead teacher, often guiding new special education teachers to improve their skills. With advanced education, people who chose a special education teaching career can become school counselors or instructional coordinators. Some special education teachers pursue course work to become principals or administrators.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $58,980
2016 number of jobs 439,300
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 8%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Bachelor's degree
20 11, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage $38,660
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $95,320

 

Teacher Assistants

Education and Certifications Teacher Assistants Need

Requirements and job titles vary among school districts, but all candidates for jobs as teacher assistants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some districts require assistant teachers to have at least two years of college or an associate degree. Teacher aides who work in schools with Title 1 programs must have at least a two-year degree, two years of college or pass a state or local assessment.

Some schools provide an Associate in Educational Assistance/­Paraprofessional degree, an Associate in Early Childhood Education degree or an Associate in Elementary Education degree.

Most states require successful completion of a skills-based test for instructional aides who work with special needs students.

Some school districts require teacher assistants have certification.

See also: What can I do with an Education degree?

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What They Do

Many of us can’t imagine being the only adult in a classroom of 20 or more students. The challenge such a ratio presents is part of the reason there are many jobs for people who want to be a teacher assistant. A teacher assistant works in a classroom to provide extra attention and instruction for students. Teacher assistants work under the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Teacher assistants deliver direct services to students or parents. The teachers who supervise assistant teachers have responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $26,260
2016 number of jobs 1,308,100
Employment growth forecast, 2010–2020 8%
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 Some college, no degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $18,460
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $39,780

* Salary, number of jobs and employment growth provided by BLS bls

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