Becoming a School Teacher

Become a school teacher

An elementary, middle and high school teacher is responsible for building on the fundamentals to shape the young minds of today into the accomplished working professionals of tomorrow. Preschool and kindergarten teachers have laid the foundation and passed the torch to elementary, middle and high school educators who teach courses that become more advanced and specified depending on the age of their students.

Specific courses can vary greatly in complexity based on the subject and age group. While some professionals may achieve employment after receiving a bachelor's degree and necessary certifications, certain institutions may require an advanced background in a particular subject for employment. For example, an elementary math teacher may not require the same credentials a high school advanced placement calculus teacher must have.

In all states, public school teachers must have a bachelor's degree as well as state-issued certifications or licenses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[i] [ii] [iii]. Online courses for elementary, middle and high school teachers may prepare you for necessary exams you must complete to pursue a career in teaching. Online degrees may also be beneficial for individuals with busy lifestyles because classes can frequently be attended at your convenience.

Are Elementary, Middle and High School Teacher Degree Programs for You?

Here are some things to consider when choosing an online elementary, middle and high school teacher program:

Educators may be employed by private or public institutions, and the prerequisites for employment may vary greatly, as private institutions may decide their own method for hiring.

Public institutions have more defined requirements. However, they are different from one state to another. Some states ask that teachers receive a master's degree after being certified. Other schools require teachers of particular subjects to major in certain fields - such as math and science. Some specific certifications that separate elementary, middle and high school teachers. Consider where you would like to teach - both by grade and state - before picking a program.

State certifications often require educators to pass a teacher preparation program, which includes a period of student teaching.

After being certified, instructors must regularly attend professional development to keep a teaching license.

Before signing up for online elementary, middle and high school teacher degree courses, ask if certain courses help prepare you for particular state regulated exams or help locate student teaching resources to meet employment requirements within a state.

Elementary, Middle and High School Teacher Careers and Potential Salaries

Elementary, middle and high school educators are primarily equipped to build on particular subjects and both help students prepare for applying to colleges or entering the working world. However, there are many career paths to choose from. Consider these options with information about employment and salary provided by the BLS.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers[i]

These professionals provide the basis for future learning from the very beginning of students' academic careers. While lesson plans may be less complex, they also juggle other tasks specific to young children. They are responsible for observing, identifying and helping children who may have learning difficulties and employing principles in child psychology to teach.

  • Median annual salary: $53,090
  • Job growth through 2022: 12 percent (as fast as average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Middle School Teachers[ii]

After learning the fundamentals in elementary school, students proceed to middle school, where teachers build off of what they already know and prepare them for more difficult coursework in the years ahead. Courses are typically more in-depth and challenging, while lesson plans may be more complex.

  • Median annual salary: $53,430
  • Job growth through 2022: 12 percent (as fast as average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

High School Teachers[iii]

High school teachers are sometimes the final public school officials students interact with before entering the world. High school teachers come in many different forms - from language educators to science professors and coaches, history instructors and more. They are charged with teaching young minds everything they must know to lead a self-sustaining life and prepare them for college applications or other professional advancements in the future.

  • Median annual salary: $55,050
  • Job growth through 2022: 6 percent (slower than average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

[i] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-e...

[ii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teac...

[iii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teache...