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Working As an English As A Second Language Instructor

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does An English As A Second Language Instructor Do

Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.

Duties

Postsecondary teachers typically do the following:

  • Teach courses in their subject area
  • Work with students who are taking classes to improve their knowledge or career skills
  • Develop an instructional plan (known as a course outline or syllabus) for the course(s) they teach and ensure that it meets college and department standards
  • Plan lessons and assignments
  • Work with colleagues to develop or modify the curriculum for a degree or certificate program involving a series of courses
  • Assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work
  • Advise students about which classes to take and how to achieve their goals
  • Stay informed about changes and innovations in their field
  • Conduct research and experiments to advance knowledge in their field
  • Supervise graduate students who are working toward doctoral degrees
  • Publish original research and analysis in books and academic journals
  • Serve on academic and administrative committees that review and recommend policies, make budget decisions, or advise on hiring and promotions within their department

Postsecondary teachers, often referred to as professors or faculty, specialize in a variety of subjects and fields. Some teach academic subjects, such as English or philosophy. Others focus on career-related subjects, such as law, nursing, or culinary arts.

At colleges and universities, professors are organized into departments that specialize in a subject, such as history, science, business, or music. A professor may teach one or more courses within that department. For example, a mathematics professor may teach calculus, statistics, and a graduate seminar in a very specific area of mathematics.

Postsecondary teachers’ duties vary with their positions in a university or college. In large colleges or universities, they may spend their time teaching, conducting research or experiments, applying for grants to fund their research, or supervising graduate teaching assistants who are teaching classes.

Postsecondary teachers who work in small colleges and universities or in community colleges often spend more time teaching classes and working with students. They may spend some time conducting research, but they do not have as much time to devote to it.

Full-time professors, particularly those who have tenure (a professor who cannot be fired without just cause), often are expected to spend more time on their research. They also may be expected to serve on more college and university committees.

Part-time professors, often known as adjunct professors, spend most of their time teaching students.

Professors may teach large classes of several hundred students (often with the help of graduate teaching assistants), smaller classes of about 40 to 50 students, seminars with just a few students, or laboratories where students practice the subject matter. They work with an increasingly varied student population as more part-time, older, and culturally diverse students are going to postsecondary schools.

Professors need to keep up with developments in their field by reading scholarly articles, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences. A tenured professor must do original research, such as experiments, document analysis, or critical reviews, and publish their findings.

Some postsecondary teachers work for online universities or teach online classes. They use websites to present lessons and information, to assign and accept students’ work, and to participate in course discussions. Online professors communicate with students by email and by phone and might never meet their students in person.

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How To Become An English As A Second Language Instructor

Educational requirements vary with the subject taught and the type of educational institution. Most commonly, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges. In career and technical schools, work experience may be important for getting a postsecondary teaching job.

Education

Postsecondary teachers who work for 4-year colleges and universities typically need a doctoral degree in their field. Some schools may hire those with a master’s degree or those who are doctoral degree candidates for some specialties, such as fine arts, or for some part-time positions.

Doctoral programs generally take multiple years after the completion of a bachelor’s degree program. They spend time completing a master’s degree and then writing a doctoral dissertation, which is a paper presenting original research in the student’s field of study. Candidates usually specialize in a subfield, such as organic chemistry or European history.

Community colleges or career and technical schools also may hire those with a master’s degree. However, in some fields, there are more applicants than available positions. In these situations, institutions can be more selective, and they frequently choose applicants who have a Ph.D. over those with a master’s degree.

Postsecondary teachers who teach career and technical education courses, such as culinary arts or cosmetology, may not be required to have graduate-level education. At a minimum they must hold the degree of the program in which they are teaching. For example, the teacher must hold an associate’s degree if they teach a program that is at the associate’s degree level. In addition, work experience or certification may be just as important as education for getting a postsecondary teaching job at a career or technical school.

Other Experience

Some institutions may prefer to hire those with teaching or other work experience, but this is not a requirement for all fields or for all employers.

In health specialties, art, or education fields, hands-on work experience in the industry can be important. Postsecondary teachers in these fields often gain experience by working in an occupation related to their field of expertise.

In fields such as biological science, physics, and chemistry, some postsecondary teachers have postdoctoral research experience. These short-term jobs, sometimes called “post-docs,” usually involve working for 2 to 3 years as a research associate or in a similar position, often at a college or university.

Some postsecondary teachers gain teaching experience by working as graduate teaching assistants—students who are enrolled in a graduate program and teach classes in the institution in which they are enrolled.

Some postsecondary teachers, especially adjunct professors, have another job in addition to teaching.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Postsecondary teachers who prepare students for an occupation that requires a license, certification, or registration, may need to have—or they may benefit from having—the same credential. For example, a postsecondary nursing teacher might need a nursing license or a postsecondary education teacher might need a teaching license.

Advancement

A major goal for postsecondary teachers with a doctoral degree is attaining a tenure—a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause. It can take up to 7 years of moving up the ranks in tenure-track positions. The ranks are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Tenure is granted through a review of the candidate’s research, contribution to the institution, and teaching.

Tenure and tenure track positions are declining as institutions are relying more heavily on part-time faculty.

Some tenured professors advance to administrative positions, such as dean or president. For information on deans and other administrative positions, see the profile on postsecondary education administrators. For more information about college and university presidents, see the profile on top executives.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. To challenge established theories and beliefs, conduct original research, and design experiments, postsecondary teachers need good critical-thinking skills.

Interpersonal skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be able to work well with others and must have good communication skills to serve on committees and give lectures.

Resourcefulness. Postsecondary teachers need to be able to present information in a way that students will understand. They need to adapt to the different learning styles of their students and teach students who have little or no experience with the subject.

Speaking skills. Postsecondary teachers need good communication skills to give lectures.

Writing skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be skilled writers to publish original research and analysis.

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English As A Second Language Instructor Career Paths

English As A Second Language Instructor
Instructor Consultant Project Manager
Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Instructor Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Instructor Team Leader Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
English Instructor Lecturer
Senior Lecturer
7 Yearsyrs
English Instructor Lecturer Adjunct Professor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
English Instructor Editor Board Member
Advisory Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
English As A Second Language Teacher Spanish Teacher Lead Teacher
Child Care Director
5 Yearsyrs
English As A Second Language Teacher Spanish Teacher Adjunct Instructor
Associate Dean
11 Yearsyrs
Spanish Teacher Lead Teacher Director
Founder And Director
6 Yearsyrs
English As A Second Language Teacher Special Education Teacher Trainer
Vocational Training Instructor
5 Yearsyrs
Tutor Trainer Instructional Designer
Senior Instructional Designer
9 Yearsyrs
Tutor Lead Teacher Assistant Director
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Tutor Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
Director Of Instruction
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Of Spanish Adjunct Faculty Education Consultant
Educational Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Of Spanish Adjunct Instructor Associate Dean
Academic Dean
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Research Associate Senior Scientist
Study Director
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Of Spanish Program Coordinator Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
High School Teacher Special Education Teacher Early Childhood Special Educator
Early Childhood Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Adjunct Instructor Department Chairperson
Academic Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
French Instructor 3.5 years
English Professor 3.4 years
Esol Instructor 3.4 years
Language Teacher 3.0 years
ESL Instructor 2.8 years
English Instructor 2.8 years
Top Careers Before English As A Second Language Instructor
Teacher 13.3%
Instructor 10.6%
Internship 5.9%
Tutor 4.7%
Volunteer 3.7%
Top Careers After English As A Second Language Instructor
Teacher 11.9%
Instructor 11.3%
Internship 4.9%
Tutor 3.9%
Volunteer 3.6%

Do you work as an English As A Second Language Instructor?

Average Yearly Salary
$49,000
Show Salaries
$34,000
Min 10%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
COCC
Highest Paying City
Fremont, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does an English As A Second Language Instructor make at top companies?
The national average salary for an English As A Second Language Instructor in the United States is $49,333 per year or $24 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $34,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $71,000.

Real English As A Second Language Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Instructor, Chinese and English As A Second Langua Gonzaga University Spokane, WA Jan 01, 2010 $68,871
English As A Second Language (ESL) Instructor Research Foundation of Cuny New York, NY Jul 06, 2013 $67,828
English As A Second Language Instructor Indochina SINO-American Senior Citizen Center, Inc. New York, NY Aug 01, 2011 $64,196
English As A Second Language Instructor Indochina SINO-American Senior Citizen Center, Inc. New York, NY Sep 05, 2011 $60,189
English As A Second Language Instructor Lamar County School District Hattiesburg, MS Feb 03, 2011 $59,166
English As A Second Language Instructor Metropolitan Learning Institute, Inc. NY Jul 01, 2013 $56,349
English As A Second Language Instructor American National University, Inc. Salem, VA Sep 01, 2015 $52,175
English As A Second Language Instructor Metropolitan Learning Institute Inc. NY Nov 02, 2009 $52,175
English As A Second Language Instructor Metropolitan Learning Institute Inc. NY Nov 09, 2009 $52,175
Term Instructor, English Language George Mason University Fairfax, VA Jan 07, 2016 $51,500
English As A Second Language Instructor Vance Granville Community College Henderson, NC Jul 11, 2011 $51,132
English As A Second Language Instructor Vance Granville Community College Henderson, NC Aug 16, 2011 $51,132
English As A Second Language Instructor Vance Granville Community College Henderson, NC Aug 15, 2012 $51,132
Special Instructor In English Language Center Brigham Young University Provo, UT Aug 25, 2011 $49,080 -
$49,800
Instructor, English As A Second Language Next Generation International Service Center New York, NY Aug 01, 2013 $45,760
Instructor of English As Second Language West Virginia University Morgantown, WV May 14, 2013 $44,698
English As A Second Language (ESL) Instructor Asa Institute of Business and Computer Technology New York, NY Oct 11, 2013 $43,000
Teacher/Instructor of English As A Second Language Intern Teachers ACP Texas Certified Houston, TX Oct 01, 2010 $42,300
Instructor, English Language University of Idaho Moscow, ID Apr 01, 2015 $38,251
English As A Second Language Instructor (ESL Instructor) Jackson State University Jackson, MS Jan 08, 2016 $34,500
Instructor, English As A Second Language Jackson State University Jackson, MS Oct 03, 2014 $34,500

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Top Skills for An English As A Second Language Instructor

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Curriculum Development
  3. Lesson Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Job responsibilities included classroom management, grade/attendance recording, working with educational technology, and preparing creative and academically challenging lessons.
  • Participated in curriculum development and learning strategies for the ESL program
  • Coached Japanese business executives, developed lesson plans, and increased enrollment through student referrals.
  • Maintain accurate, current/complete records to evaluate/attend/participate in ESL staff department meetings/professional development/conference/workshops/curriculum.
  • Designed and implemented lessons in the areas of grammar, composition, reading listening and speaking for intermediate-level international students

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Top 10 Best States for English As A Second Language Instructors

  1. California
  2. Oregon
  3. Alaska
  4. Nevada
  5. New Mexico
  6. Utah
  7. Michigan
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Mississippi
  • (1,600 jobs)
  • (164 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (75 jobs)
  • (50 jobs)
  • (431 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (282 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)

English As A Second Language Instructor 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 2,007 English As A Second Language Instructor 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 English As A Second Language Instructor Resume

View Resume Examples

English As A Second Language Instructor Demographics

Gender

Female

58.5%

Male

31.3%

Unknown

10.2%
Ethnicity

White

59.5%

Hispanic or Latino

17.3%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.3%

French

13.0%

Portuguese

6.2%

German

4.8%

Arabic

4.5%

Italian

4.1%

Russian

3.9%

Mandarin

3.7%

Chinese

3.7%

Japanese

2.9%

Korean

2.1%

Turkish

0.6%

Cantonese

0.4%

Dutch

0.4%

Vietnamese

0.4%

Tagalog

0.4%

Hebrew

0.4%

Urdu

0.4%

Polish

0.4%

Samoan

0.2%
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English As A Second Language Instructor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

7.9%

University of Washington

6.5%

University of Houston

6.1%

New York University

5.6%

University of North Texas

5.6%

American University

5.6%

University of Pittsburgh -

5.1%

Michigan State University

4.7%

Georgia State University

4.7%

Nova Southeastern University

4.7%

San Diego State University

4.7%

University of Texas at Austin

4.7%

Harvard University

4.7%

University of South Florida

4.2%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

4.2%

George Washington University

4.2%

Temple University

4.2%

Georgetown University

4.2%

University of Southern California

4.2%

George Mason University

4.2%
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Majors

English

16.8%

Education

13.0%

Linguistics

9.5%

Elementary Education

8.6%

Teaching English As A Second Language

6.2%

Business

5.9%

General Education, Specific Areas

4.6%

Educational Leadership

3.7%

Communication

3.6%

Political Science

3.0%

Law

3.0%

Psychology

3.0%

Writing

2.8%

International Relations

2.7%

History

2.6%

Curriculum And Instruction

2.4%

Social Work

2.4%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Area Studies

2.0%

Global Studies

1.9%
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Degrees

Masters

42.7%

Bachelors

29.3%

Other

10.9%

Doctorate

7.3%

Certificate

6.6%

Associate

2.4%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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Updated May 19, 2020