dcsimg

How to Become A Teacher

Teaching Career Overview

This article provides an overview of teaching careers and the requirements to become a teacher. In addition to an overview of job duties, salary levels, and employment prospects, this article discusses the career's necessary skills, training, educational requirements, and licensing requirements. Additional information is provided, including a reference to schools offering the teaching and education degrees that are a key part of the process to become a teacher

Teaching

One reason that so many people want to become a teacher is that the job may bring great satisfaction, as teachers at all levels play a pivotal role in the development of their students. In addition, teaching jobs may also offer flexibility, with most jobs providing substantial summer time vacations.

Job Duties

Teaching duties may vary according to the level of student being taught. Kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers must teach their students the basic skills that they need across a wide array of topics, such as math, English, science, history, and more. Students at these levels are also learning how to learn, and the teacher must help them develop good listening and study habits, as well as the proper ways to participate in class. In addition, these types of teacher must create an environment that is conducive to their students learning the basic social skills that they need.

Post-secondary teachers can be divided into two groups -- those that teach at a degree granting institution (associate, bachelor's, or master's degrees), and those that teach vocational skills. Vocational teaching jobs tend to focus on specific skills development. The range of skills taught can vary greatly, as the teacher trains someone to become an ultrasound technician, a computer repair technician, an auto mechanic, a cosmetologist, a welder, or one of many other career-oriented specialties. Teachers at degree-granting institutions will likewise have their own specialty, but the overall educational experience at the insitution is oriented toward providing the student with a much broader education than that provided at a vocational school.

Job Skills

Teaching jobs may require a large number of different skills. A through knowledge of the subject matter is, of course, required. Knowing a subject well enough to teach it effectively requires a much deeper understanding than that required to use that knowledge one's self. This includes a need to be able to see where a student may be stuck, which requires substantial additional insight.

In kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary schools, teachers must have a great deal of patience, as well as an understanding of the limitations of the knowledge of their students. Strong communications skill are likewise critical. The ability to motivate students and the ability to command the attention of the audience are also very important at these levels.

In post-secondary teaching jobs, excellent communication and motivational skills remain important. At these levels, however, an even more thorough knowledge of the subject matter becomes essential. A high level of professional or industry expertise becomes valuable at the college or post-secondary vocational level. In colleges and universities, many professors advance by publishing scholarly articles, and by proving their ability to bring research grants and funding into the school.

Training and Education Required

Teachers working in the United States as pre-school, kindergarten, elementary, middle, or secondary school teachers, in the public school system, require a license. The nature of the licensing requirements varies by state (and in the District of Columbia). A mimimum requirement in all states is to have a Bachelor's degree. In addition, all teachers are required to complete a teacher training program, designed to ensure that the teachers have a good balance of skills to bring to the classroom.

In some states, alternative teacher licensing is possible as part of efforts designed to reduce the teacher training requirement. Alternative teacher licensing is used in those areas where there are severe teaching shortages, and the process is designed to bring in teachers that can bring in needed expertise in specific subject areas such as math and science. Some teachers complete their bachelor's degree in a specialist subject and then do a graduate teacher training course, and others do their degree in education, allowing them to become licensed after their first degree.

Requirements for post-secondary teachers are quite different. At a minimum, a bachelor's degree is required, but full-time positions at four year college or universities that are, or may become, tenured (instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor), are usually held by those with a doctoral degree. Lecturers are brought in on short term contracts, and their level of education may vary. Most jobs at two year colleges are held by people that have master's degrees.

Find schools offering Teaching Degrees (no obligation):

Many different colleges and universities provide the training that may prepare you to become a teacher. A list of such institutions can be found on this page of college and universities offering Teaching Degrees and related training.

Employment

About 2/3 of pre-school teachers are employed in child day care centers. The great majority of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers work within the local government educational system. Most post-secondary teachers work within public and private 4 year colleges and universities, or within 2 year community colleges.

Outlook

The job prospects for teachers are excellent for the next 10 years. Enrollment growth is expected to be only moderate, but the expected retirement of existing teachers will provide for excellent job prospects and promotion prospects through 2020.

 

 

Disclaimer: Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific curriculum, and employment opportunities are not guaranteed. Not all programs lead to initial teacher certification.

Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific curriculum, and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.

Teacher Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
            • Offers credit for previous life and work experience.
            • Equipped with over 17,000 titles in their library.
            • Has 3 semesters and 6 start dates a year.
            • Located in Pasadena, CA, with instructional sites in Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Visalia as well as online options.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked as one of the Best Regional Universities in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked 27th among the Best Colleges for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.A private university that features small class sizes.
            • Conducts undergraduate science research in state-of-the-art laboratories.
            • Has degree programs in global entrepreneurship and international business, sports administration, and intercultural human rights.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
            • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
            • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
            • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
            • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found

            •        Ranked among the top 20 Regional Universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.

            •        Listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes Magazine in 2014.

            •        More than 97% of tenure-track faculty holds a terminal degree in their field.

            •        Student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and 47.5% of classes have fewer than 20 students.

            •        Accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available for students who qualify.
            • Offers more than 70 majors and programs, as well as several off-campus internships.
            • 94% of students in the 2014-2015 academic year qualified for financial aid.
            • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            • Its main campus is located in Fort Lauderdale, with campuses located throughout the State of Florida and internationally. 
            • Provides a Department of Student Services and Resources that assists students with résumé preparation, interviewing skills coaching, mock interviewing, professional development workshops, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits