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Working As a Biology Teacher

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $52,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Biology Teacher Do

High school teachers help prepare students for life after graduation. They teach academic lessons and various skills that students will need to attend college and to enter the job market.

Duties

High school teachers typically do the following:

  • Plan lessons in the subjects they teach, such as biology or history
  • Assess students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Teach students in full class settings or in small groups
  • Adapt lessons to any changes in class size
  • Grade students’ assignments and exams to monitor progress
  • Communicate with parents about students’ progress
  • Work with individual students to challenge them, to improve their abilities, and to work on their weaknesses
  • Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules and administrative policies
  • Supervise students outside of the classroom—for example, at lunchtime or during detention

High school teachers generally teach students from the 9th through 12th grades. They usually specialize in one subject area, such as math, science, or history. They may teach several different classes within that subject area. For example, a high school math teacher may teach courses in algebra, calculus, and/or geometry.

High school teachers may teach students from different grades throughout the day. For example, in one class they may have students from the 9th grade and then in the next class they may have 12th-grade students. In many schools, students are divided into classes on the basis of their abilities, so teachers need to change their courses to match the students’ abilities.

High school teachers see several different classes of students throughout the day. They may teach the same material—for example, world history—to more than one class if the school has many students taking that subject.

Some high school teachers instruct special classes, such as art, music, and physical education.

When they do not have classes, teachers plan lessons, grade assignments, and meet with other teachers and staff.

In some schools, teachers of English as a second language (ESL) and teachers of English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) work exclusively with students who are learning the English language. These students are often referred to as English language learners (ELLs). These teachers work with students individually or in groups to help them improve their English language skills and help them with assignments for other classes.

Students with learning disabilities and emotional or behavioral disorders often are taught in traditional classes. Therefore, high school teachers may work with special education teachers to adapt lessons to these students’ needs and to monitor the students’ progress.

Some teachers maintain websites to communicate with parents about students’ assignments, upcoming events, and grades. For students, teachers may create websites or discussion boards to present information and to expand a lesson taught in class.

Some high school teachers coach sports and advise student clubs and other groups, activities that frequently take place before or after school.

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How To Become A Biology Teacher

High school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, public school teachers must have a state-issued certification or license.

Education

All states require public high school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Most states require high school teachers to have majored in a subject area, such as science or history. Teachers typically enroll in their institution’s teacher preparation program and take classes in education and child psychology as well.

In teacher education programs, prospective high school teachers learn how to present information to students and how to work with students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include fieldwork, such as student teaching. For information about teacher preparation programs in your state, visit Teach.org.

Some states require high school teachers to earn a master’s degree after earning their teaching certification.

Teachers in private schools do not need to meet state requirements. However, private schools typically seek high school teachers who have a bachelor’s degree and a major in a subject area.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified. Those who teach in private schools are generally not required to be licensed. Most states require teachers to pass a background check.

High school teachers typically are awarded a secondary or high school certification, which allows them to teach the 7th through the 12th grades.

Requirements for certification vary by state. In addition to requiring a bachelor’s degree, states require teachers to complete a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, typically gained through student teaching. States also typically require candidates to pass a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge in the subject they will teach. Some states require teachers to have a minimum grade point average as well. For information on certification requirements in your state, visit Teach.org.

Often, teachers are required to complete annual professional development classes to keep their license. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree after receiving their certification.

All states offer an alternative route to certification for people who already have a bachelor’s degree but lack the education courses required for certification. Some alternative certification programs allow candidates to begin teaching immediately under the supervision of an experienced teacher. These programs cover teaching methods and child development. After they complete the program, candidates are awarded full certification. Other programs require students to take classes in education before they can teach. Students may be awarded a master’s degree after completing either type of program.

Training

In order to receive certification, teachers need to undergo a period of fieldwork, commonly referred to as student teaching. During student teaching, they work with a mentor teacher and gain experience teaching students in a classroom setting. The amount of time required varies by state.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Teachers must collaborate with other teachers and special education teachers. In addition, teachers need to discuss students’ needs with parents and administrators.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. High school teachers must be patient when students struggle with material.

Resourcefulness. High school teachers need to explain difficult concepts in terms students can understand. In addition, they must be able to engage students in learning and adapt lessons to each student’s needs.

Advancement

Experienced teachers can advance to be mentors or lead teachers. In these positions, they often work with less experienced teachers to help them improve their teaching skills.

With additional education or certification, teachers may become school counselors, school librarians, or instructional coordinators. Some become assistant principals or principals. Becoming a principal usually requires additional instruction in education administration or leadership. For more information, see the profiles on school and career counselors, librarians, instructional coordinators, and elementary, middle, and high school principals.

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Biology Teacher Career Paths

Biology Teacher
Science Teacher Instructor Lead Teacher
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Science Teacher Instructor Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Science Teacher Instructor Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Principal Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Science Department Chairperson Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Science Department Chairperson Assistant Principal Principal
High School Principal
9 Yearsyrs
Science Instructor Mathematics Instructor Adjunct Instructor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Science Instructor Research Associate Adjunct Instructor
Associate Dean
11 Yearsyrs
Science Instructor Adjunct Instructor Principal
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
8th Grade Science Teacher Math Teacher Lead Teacher
Lead Pre-K Teacher
5 Yearsyrs
8th Grade Science Teacher Math Teacher Education Consultant
Educational Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Science Department Chairperson Team Leader Assistant Director
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
High School Science Teacher Math Teacher Education Consultant
Vice Principal
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Adjunct Faculty Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Department Chairperson
Academic Dean
10 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Guidance Counselor Vice Principal
Middle School Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Guidance Counselor Elementary School Principal
Curriculum Director
8 Yearsyrs
Lecturer Assistant Professor Department Chairperson
Academic Director
7 Yearsyrs
Spanish Teacher Guidance Counselor Student Dean
High School Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Math Teacher 4.2 years
Science Teacher 4.1 years
Teacher 3.9 years
Physics Teacher 3.5 years
History Teacher 3.3 years
Chemistry Teacher 3.2 years
Science Instructor 3.2 years
Biology Teacher 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Biology Teacher
Teacher 11.9%
Internship 6.4%
Volunteer 3.4%
Instructor 3.0%
Tutor 2.9%
Top Careers After Biology Teacher
Teacher 14.2%
Instructor 4.2%
Volunteer 4.0%
Tutor 3.5%
Internship 2.7%
Principal 2.5%

Do you work as a Biology Teacher?

Average Yearly Salary
$52,000
Show Salaries
$38,000
Min 10%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Leadership Public Schools
Highest Paying City
Boston, MA
Highest Paying State
Connecticut
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a Biology Teacher make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Biology Teacher in the United States is $52,275 per year or $25 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $38,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $71,000.

Real Biology Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Biology Teacher-Secondary Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Jul 01, 2015 $91,750
Biology Teacher Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Aug 11, 2016 $89,410
Biology Teacher-Secondary Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Oct 01, 2015 $87,649
Biology Teacher Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Jul 01, 2015 $87,483
Biology Teacher Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Feb 17, 2016 $87,423
Biology Teacher Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Jul 19, 2016 $85,700
Biology Teacher Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Jul 18, 2015 $83,820
Biology Teacher Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Apr 08, 2016 $83,618
Biology Teacher Vincent Sat Prep, Inc. D/B/A Vincent Sat Prep Annandale, VA Mar 09, 2015 $82,570
Biology Teacher Sunrise Academy, Inc. D/B/A Sunrise Academy Centreville, VA Jan 29, 2016 $82,320
Biology Teacher-Secondary Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Aug 04, 2015 $81,760
Biology Teacher Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Jul 15, 2016 $81,536
Biology Teacher Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Feb 07, 2016 $80,496
Biology Teacher Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Aug 23, 2016 $80,496
Science/Biology Teacher Milkyway Education Center, Inc. Wayne, NJ Sep 15, 2014 $56,349
Secondary School Biology Teacher Milkyway Education Center, Inc. Wayne, NJ Sep 21, 2016 $55,800
Secondary School Biology Teacher Milkyway Education Center, Inc. Wayne, NJ Sep 20, 2016 $55,800
Biology Teacher Paterson Charter School for Sci and Tech Paterson, NJ Sep 17, 2014 $55,080
Science/Biology Teacher Brooklyn Amity School New York, NY Oct 01, 2014 $55,080
Biology Teacher Mitchell County Board of Education Camilla, GA Jul 01, 2014 $54,168
Biology Teacher Houston Independent School District Houston, TX Sep 23, 2016 $53,250
Biology Teacher Houston Independent School District Houston, TX Aug 09, 2016 $53,250
Biology Teacher St. Vincent Ferrer High School New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $47,012
Teacher, Biology (High School) Houston Independent School District Houston, TX Jan 12, 2015 $46,805
Teacher-Biology Baltimore City Public School System Baltimore, MD Jun 14, 2016 $46,773 -
$82,769
Science/Biology Teacher Hampden Charter School of Science Chicopee, MA Sep 17, 2014 $46,030
Science/Biology Teacher Hampden Charter School of Science Chicopee, MA Sep 13, 2014 $46,030
Biology Teacher New York City Department of Education New York, NY May 15, 2015 $45,530

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Top Skills for A Biology Teacher

  1. Science Curriculum
  2. Biology
  3. Lesson Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and implemented new science curriculum and lab experiments.
  • Developed Botany and Biology curriculum - Designed and built a hydroponics lab with students - Developed and researched modernized gardening techniques
  • Utilized visual aids and interactive lesson plans to ensure student comprehension/participation in a curriculum containing basic elements.
  • Performed Classroom management, curriculum design, lesson planning and implementation.
  • Secured $6000 donation of lab equipment/materials from Columbia University.

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Top 10 Best States for Biology Teachers

  1. Connecticut
  2. Massachusetts
  3. New Jersey
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Alaska
  6. New York
  7. Vermont
  8. Washington
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Michigan
  • (150 jobs)
  • (322 jobs)
  • (449 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (329 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (215 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (370 jobs)

Biology Teacher Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,574 Biology Teacher resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Biology Teacher Resume

View Resume Examples

Biology Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

53.6%

Male

32.7%

Unknown

13.7%
Ethnicity

White

58.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.8%

Black or African American

12.7%

Asian

9.5%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.7%

French

13.5%

Mandarin

5.3%

Chinese

5.3%

Russian

4.7%

German

4.7%

Arabic

4.1%

Portuguese

2.9%

Japanese

2.9%

Polish

2.3%

Hindi

2.3%

Urdu

1.8%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Indonesian

1.2%

Gujarati

1.2%

Dutch

1.2%

Ukrainian

1.2%

Swedish

0.6%

Swahili

0.6%

Samoan

0.6%
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Biology Teacher Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.3%

Texas A&M University

7.4%

George Mason University

6.1%

University of South Florida

5.7%

Nova Southeastern University

5.7%

Grand Canyon University

5.7%

Johns Hopkins University

5.2%

Northern Arizona University

4.8%

Montclair State University

4.8%

University of Houston

4.8%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.4%

Arizona State University

4.4%

Texas State University

4.4%

University of Central Florida

4.4%

Purdue University

4.4%

Southern Connecticut State University

3.9%

National University

3.9%

Walden University

3.9%

University of Louisville

3.9%

Western Governors University

3.9%
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Majors

Biology

30.0%

Education

12.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

8.4%

Elementary Education

8.3%

Educational Leadership

6.1%

Secondary Education And Teaching

5.5%

Nursing

3.0%

Business

2.9%

Curriculum And Instruction

2.7%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

2.6%

Environmental Science

2.3%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

2.3%

Microbiology

2.0%

Psychology

1.7%

Special Education

1.7%

Zoology

1.7%

Chemistry

1.6%

Kinesiology

1.4%

Health Education

1.4%

Public Health

1.4%
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Degrees

Masters

41.9%

Bachelors

30.3%

Other

12.9%

Doctorate

7.4%

Certificate

4.9%

Associate

1.3%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.3%
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Internship
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Top Biology Teacher Employers

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Jobs From Top Biology Teacher Employers

Biology Teacher Videos

High School Biology Teacher career project

High School Science Teacher, Career Video from drkit.org

High School Teacher Career Information : How to Become a High School Teacher

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Updated May 19, 2020