Perhaps because the field of education is so broad and expansive, it is often difficult to determine how to enter the field. Different states have different requirements and opportunities, and most people can’t deliver a perfectly clear answer about how to jumpstart a career in education. Through this series of frequently asked questions, we will do our best to answer some questions and clarify your path!
Teachers typically hone their knowledge through bachelor’s programs, master’s programs, certificate programs, and on-the-job experience.
Some areas of knowledge-concentration include math, literature, social studies, natural sciences, exercise science, art, music, and numerous others. Most teachers gain this type of concentrated knowledge in educational programs.
Teachers may also concentrate their studies in a particular area of education such as special education, ESL, library media, or technical instruction.
Within most concentrations, teachers can gain more and more nuanced knowledge through rigorous study and experience.
What teachers earn depends on where they live, what they teach, and how much education and experience they have. However, we can give you a general sense of what teachers earn based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of May, 2012:
Yes! Some teachers earn a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than teaching and then teach that subject in the classroom. To pursue potential career opportunities as a teacher, professionals with a bachelor’s degree in something other than teaching might choose to earn a master’s degree in teaching. In addition, they need to earn a teaching license and complete student teaching or a practicum; they might also pursue alternative routes to becoming a teacher[v].
Keep in mind that different states and schools have different requirements for teachers. You should consult the department of education in your state to determine what education and certification you need in order to teach your specialized subject. You might also consider pursuing an alternative licensure program if you’re not ready to pursue a graduate degree at this time.
Your options depend upon where you live and what you want to teach. Most commonly, however, professionals with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than teaching might take three steps to become a teacher:
Yes, so long as they have the education and certification appropriate to do so. In graduate, alternative, and licensure programs, students typically focus their studies in a particular grade-level.
People interested in graduate-level education in teacher education typically might pursue one of the following degrees:
[i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-5 | bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm#tab-5 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-5 | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-5 | [v] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-4