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Become An Earth Science Teacher

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Working As An Earth Science 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

  • $65,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Earth Science 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 An Earth Science 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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Average Length of Employment
Math Teacher 4.2 years
Science Teacher 4.1 years
Biology Teacher 3.5 years
Physics Teacher 3.5 years
History Teacher 3.3 years
Science Instructor 3.2 years
Algebra Teacher 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Earth Science Teacher
Teacher 11.9%
Internship 3.5%
Tutor 3.0%
Volunteer 2.7%
Instructor 2.3%
Geologist 2.0%
Top Careers After Earth Science Teacher
Teacher 11.6%
Principal 2.4%
Instructor 2.4%
Tutor 2.1%

Do you work as an Earth Science Teacher?

Average Yearly Salary
$65,000
Show Salaries
$47,000
Min 10%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
California Institute of the Arts
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does an Earth Science Teacher make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Earth Science Teacher in the United States is $65,681 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $47,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $90,000.

Real Earth Science Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, & Space Science Teachers, Postsecondary California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA Jun 28, 2012 $130,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Science Teachers, Post Secondary University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX Nov 04, 2010 $120,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT Oct 26, 2012 $120,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary Skidaway Institute of Oceanography Savannah, GA Jun 26, 2012 $90,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN Apr 11, 2014 $90,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA Jun 23, 2014 $90,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine & Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of Miami Miami, FL May 13, 2010 $85,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI Dec 02, 2013 $85,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of Wyoming Laramie, WY Sep 19, 2014 $84,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA Feb 11, 2013 $83,400
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of California, San Diego San Diego, CA Aug 28, 2014 $80,400
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary Colorado School of Mines Golden, CO Nov 01, 2013 $80,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT Apr 16, 2014 $78,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of Colorado Boulder, CO Feb 10, 2014 $78,000
ATM, Earth, Marine, & Space SCI Teachers, Postsecond. Trustees of Boston University Boston, MA Aug 19, 2010 $75,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH May 12, 2014 $75,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Knoxville, TN Aug 20, 2014 $74,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary Michigan State University East Lansing, MI Sep 16, 2013 $73,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Science Teachers, Postsecondary University of Connecticut Groton, CT Jul 30, 2012 $73,000 -
$80,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA Sep 08, 2010 $72,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX Jun 26, 2014 $72,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary Wayne State University Detroit, MI Oct 23, 2012 $72,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of San Diego San Diego, CA Nov 21, 2011 $65,500
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary Texas A&M University College Station, TX May 08, 2009 $65,451
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Science Teacher, Postsecondary Louisiana State University and A & M College Baton Rouge, LA Nov 01, 2010 $65,000
Atmospheric, Earth Marine & Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary Utah State University Logan, UT Mar 10, 2011 $65,000
Atmospheric, Earth SCI. Teachers, Postsecondary Chapman University Orange, CA Mar 24, 2010 $65,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary Syracuse University Syracuse, NY Jun 08, 2012 $65,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary Chapman University Orange, CA Jun 23, 2010 $65,000
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH Apr 16, 2014 $65,000

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Top Skills for An Earth Science Teacher

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Science Curriculum
  3. Lesson Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Facilitated and implemented classroom management strategies and techniques that maximize learning with minimal disruption.
  • Instructed middle-level students and aligned content to Earth and Space Science curriculum requirements while incorporating practical lab exercises.
  • Developed and executed lesson plans that incorporated differentiated instruction, cooperative learning groups, remediation, and enrichment into each lesson.
  • Modified student assignments as per their IEP or other intervention services to ensure optimal student learning and assessment of subject mastery.
  • Supervised and facilitated class activities and the lesson plan in Pre-AP Earth Science and Advisory.

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Top 10 Best States for Earth Science Teachers

  1. Alaska
  2. Connecticut
  3. Illinois
  4. New York
  5. New Jersey
  6. Oregon
  7. Michigan
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Texas
  10. Washington
  • (24 jobs)
  • (139 jobs)
  • (621 jobs)
  • (319 jobs)
  • (413 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)
  • (365 jobs)
  • (172 jobs)
  • (1,312 jobs)
  • (199 jobs)

Earth Science Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

49.8%

Male

40.7%

Unknown

9.5%
Ethnicity

White

64.9%

Hispanic or Latino

13.8%

Black or African American

12.8%

Asian

5.1%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.6%

French

8.7%

German

4.3%

Japanese

4.3%

Mandarin

4.3%

Navajo

4.3%

Italian

4.3%
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Earth Science Teacher Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.7%

Liberty University

7.8%

Old Dominion University

5.8%

Northern Arizona University

5.8%

Western Governors University

5.8%

Mississippi State University

5.8%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.9%

Texas A&M University

4.9%

Walden University

4.9%

University of Central Florida

4.9%

University of South Florida

3.9%

National University

3.9%

State University of New York College at Buffalo

3.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

Fordham University

3.9%

State University of New York Potsdam

3.9%

George Mason University

3.9%

Dowling College

3.9%

City College of New York of the City University of New York

3.9%

Florida International University

3.9%
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Majors

Education

15.3%

Geology

12.5%

Elementary Education

11.0%

Biology

10.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

9.0%

Educational Leadership

7.5%

Special Education

5.0%

Secondary Education And Teaching

4.5%

Curriculum And Instruction

4.3%

Environmental Science

3.9%

Chemistry

3.4%

Business

2.2%

School Counseling

1.9%

Management

1.5%

Psychology

1.5%

Educational Technology

1.5%

Geography

1.5%

Pharmacy

1.3%

Physics

1.1%

Health Education

0.9%
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Degrees

Masters

46.6%

Bachelors

27.8%

Other

13.0%

Certificate

6.7%

Doctorate

3.6%

Associate

1.3%

License

1.0%
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