“I want to become a teacher!”, is an incredible aspiration and also quite an extremely vague statement. The teaching profession allows the educator a wide-range of job opportunities. What are the different types of teaching jobs? There are many. This article will give a basic description of each.
Although every teacher has similar roles and responsibilities, not every position available to a teacher is the same. Becoming a teacher starts with making the decision of what specific type of job to pursue. These different teaching job types include: early childhood, elementary, middle school, high school, career and technical, adult continuing education, English as a second language (ESL), and special education.
It is important to note that teacher education programs and requirements for licensing vary from state to state for each job type. Before diving into this career, it would be wise to look at the government’s online education department website of the state desired to teach in and find out the specific details that will ensure you are up-to-date on teacher certification requirements.
Most states require a bachelor’s degree in a teaching program with a certain number of hours spent in student teaching, a clear background check, CPR and first-aid certification, and a determined score on a state test to be certified and receive a license. With that in mind, the following is a general and basic overview of each teaching job type.
1) Early Childhood
Birth up to the age of 8 year-olds are supervised and cared for within this job. Basic life skills are introduced and reinforced; such as, self-care, verbal communication, and recognition of emotions. Academically, numbers and letters are typically introduced using themed, preschool lessons that implement physical and hand-eye coordination activities. Most states require a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. These hob positions are typically seen at daycares and preschools.
Children, kindergarten through 5th grade with ages ranging from 5 to 11 years, are the focus of this teaching job. Students are introduced to more structure in a classroom settings and academic rigor by having work graded and teat taking in preparation for later years. A bachelor’s degree in education or any subject specific area will allow an educator the ability to choose the desirable grade level of those mentioned above that is wanting to be taught.
3) Middle School
Middle school students are usually age 11 up to 14 years and are in grades 6th, 7th, and 8th. Along with academics, self-respect, social interaction, and responsibility area a priority at this level. Teachers are starting to be seen by students as a mentor instead of simply a caregiver. Again, a bachelor’s degree in education or any subject specific area is required. Some states request an endorsement for these grade levels to receive a teaching license.
4) High School
Teachers who pursue a job with students, 9th through 12th grade and age 14 up to typically 18 years, mentor, instruct, and prepare individuals for college and the work-force. A teacher will have the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in education or a specific subject area, but usually a master’s degree is pursued to ensure complete understanding of the subject being taught.
5) Careers / Technical
This job includes teaching individuals pursuing a career or employment within a technical field. Within the last decade, most high school have come to offer these types of programs that allow students to work in the chosen career immediately after graduating high school. Job positions of this type are also found at community college campuses offering a two-year certification program. Young adults and adults at any age are taught specific skills needed to succeed in the chosen area. The minimum of a bachelor’s degree and adequate experience of work in the subject being taught are required.
6) Adult Continuing Education
At this level of education, an individual is pursuing a GED or desiring a degree. The range of subject area is endless because specialized content is needed for specific degrees. Instructors must have the minimum of a bachelor’s degree while a professor is required to obtain a master’s in the subject area being taught. A doctorate is sought for special teaching jobs at a higher academic level. The latter jobs are consistently found at universities.
7) English as a Second Language (ESL)
Growing in popularity over the last two decades, this job entails teaching students at any age how to listen to, write, read, and speak the English language with the goals of fluency and accuracy. ESL is taught to students desiring to keep their native language as primary. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is worthy to notice where the student is studying English as fully submerged in the language with the native language not being spoken. Completing a TEFL/TESOL certified program is usually required. Most jobs also require the minimum of a high school diploma.
8) Special Education
This type of teaching job is seen in every other teaching job type mentioned above providing specialized education for students in every grade level at any age. Special education provides Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for students who struggle with disabilities or who are gifted and accelerated beyond the academic standards of peers.
Teachers may have their own classroom where students in the special education program are taught together; or often-times, this teacher will collaborate with a special education student’s regular teacher and implement a plan with specific goals to be carried out within the regular classroom. Although a bachelor’s degree in special education is sufficient in most states, many teachers who pursue this type of teaching job obtain a bachelor’s degree in education with a master’s degree in special education.
How Have Teaching Jobs Changed?
It has been incredibly interesting to watch how this profession has continued to evolve in this century. I became a teacher over twenty years ago. Paper books, physical pen-graded papers, handwritten lesson plans were common; and the only technology seen in most classroom was maybe a television with a video cassette recorder. I drew, cut, and colored resources and supplemental materials when I could not find them at the local teacher store. Upon graduating with my bachelor’s degree in elementary education, the internet was just being seen as profitable to teachers; Yahoo was the only search engine on my ancient personal computer that I could only access through dial-up.
Technology has absolutely taken over teaching jobs today. Digital files, power point presentations, online grading software, and the internet alone are such vital resources in every classroom with streaming, live videos, and millions of resources available to every teacher. Almost every high school across the United States provides students with a Chrome book or the equivalent to be used in the classroom and at home for assignments.
In this day and age, with the internet so readily accessible, teaching jobs have grown significantly to include online classrooms. In fact, teachers and students can interact while being across the globe with a simple click of a key and remain in the comfort and privacy of their own home. I personally experience this now. A year ago, I continued my education to become TEFL/TESOL certified. Every day I have the opportunity to meet with students all over the world teaching them English. My teaching years continue to take me on a fascinating journey.
How Much Do Different Types of Teaching Jobs Pay?
Most individuals do not become teachers for the money. The salary for each type of teaching job mentioned above in this article varies significantly according to education, experience, demand for the position, and in some cases, state or institutional funds. The latest salary study conducted by the National Education Association (NEA) in 2017-2018 found that the average starting salary for beginning teachers in the United States was $39,249 per year. PayScale data collected by numerous online job search sites; such as, Indeed, FlexJobs, and Glassdoor, suggests this amount has gone up since the NEA study.
What is the Demand for Different Types of Teaching Jobs?
While math, science, ESL, and special education teaching jobs are always available, currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that within the teaching profession, early childhood jobs are in highest demand bringing to light that this education is vital for a child’s short- and long-term intellectual and social development. An 18% growth in the need for these teachers is projected.
Although the above-mentioned jobs are nationally noted as being in high demand, each state varies as to what specific type of teaching jobs are needed. As in being knowledgeable of state teaching requirements, it is important to research the desired state, school district, and even facility location that is desired to be taught at and stay up-to-date on the different job types in demand.
Many opportunities are available when seeking a job as a teacher. As seen throughout this article, becoming a teacher requires a specific focus of study depending on the job type chosen to pursue. It is important to verify all state requirements needed to be met for obtaining a teaching license in the job desired.
Even though a small amount of traditional teaching jobs do exist, technology has influenced a global change in different types of teaching jobs. The salaries of different teaching jobs vary from state to state just as the demand for each position does. Stay informed of what jobs are in high demand at the desired teaching location and most likely those positions will offer better salaries.
“I want to become a teacher!” The possibilities are endless!