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Become An English As A Second Language Teacher

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Working As An English As A Second Language Teacher

  • 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

  • $47,000

    Average Salary

What Does An English As A Second Language Teacher 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 Teacher

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 Teacher Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
French Teacher 4.1 years
Teacher 3.9 years
Language Teacher 3.0 years
ESL Teacher 2.8 years
English Instructor 2.8 years
ESL Instructor 2.8 years
Top Careers Before English As A Second Language Teacher
Teacher 25.2%
Internship 8.4%
Volunteer 5.8%
Tutor 5.1%
Instructor 3.0%
Top Careers After English As A Second Language Teacher
Teacher 23.4%
Internship 6.0%
Tutor 5.0%
Volunteer 5.0%
Instructor 3.3%

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

English As A Second Language Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

64.9%

Male

23.4%

Unknown

11.6%
Ethnicity

White

59.5%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.3%

French

11.5%

Portuguese

6.5%

German

5.4%

Japanese

4.2%

Russian

4.1%

Chinese

3.9%

Mandarin

3.4%

Italian

3.4%

Korean

2.5%

Arabic

2.0%

Greek

1.3%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Swedish

0.6%

Turkish

0.6%

Ukrainian

0.6%

Urdu

0.6%

Hindi

0.4%

Danish

0.4%
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English As A Second Language Teacher Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

7.6%

Teachers College of Columbia University

7.3%

University of Texas at Austin

7.0%

New York University

6.6%

Temple University

6.0%

George Mason University

6.0%

American University

5.6%

University of Washington

5.3%

George Washington University

5.0%

Grand Canyon University

5.0%

Arizona State University

4.7%

San Diego State University

4.3%

University of North Texas

4.0%

Appalachian State University

3.7%

Michigan State University

3.7%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.7%

Walden University

3.7%

Fordham University

3.7%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

3.7%

University of Georgia

3.7%
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Majors

English

12.9%

Education

12.6%

Elementary Education

11.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

7.4%

Business

7.2%

Teaching English As A Second Language

6.4%

Linguistics

5.5%

Psychology

5.1%

Educational Leadership

4.3%

Political Science

3.2%

Curriculum And Instruction

3.1%

Communication

3.1%

Special Education

2.8%

History

2.6%

Social Work

2.6%

Law

2.3%

Fine Arts

1.9%

Anthropology

1.9%

Communication Disorders Sciences

1.9%

Secondary Education And Teaching

1.8%
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Degrees

Masters

40.4%

Bachelors

33.2%

Other

13.5%

Certificate

5.5%

Doctorate

3.9%

Associate

2.7%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$47,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$34,000
Min 10%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Premier Education Group
Highest Paying City
Richmond, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
2.7 years
How much does an English As A Second Language Teacher make at top companies?
The national average salary for an English As A Second Language Teacher in the United States is $47,903 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $34,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $66,000.

Real English As A Second Language Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
English As A Second Language Teacher Boston Public Schools Boston, MA Feb 10, 2016 $83,807
English As A Second Language Teacher Worcester Public Schools Worcester, MA Oct 01, 2014 $77,697
English As A Second Language Teacher Pelham Union Free School District Pelham, NY Jan 15, 2016 $77,261
English As A Second Language Teacher Worcester Public Schools Worcester, MA Oct 01, 2011 $67,990
English As A Second Language Teacher Boston Public Schools Boston, MA Oct 01, 2013 $64,519
English As A Second Language Teacher Lenoir County Public Schools Kinston, NC Apr 15, 2012 $62,998
English As A Second Language Teacher Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science, Inc. Princeton, NJ Jan 09, 2016 $60,000
English As A Second Language/Spanish Teacher The Board of Education for The City of Decatur A/K Decatur, GA Oct 21, 2013 $59,916
English As A Second Language Teacher (Elementary) Town of Randolph, Randolph Public Schools Randolph, MA Oct 01, 2014 $58,304
English As A Second Language Teacher Randolph Public Schools Randolph, MA Aug 15, 2015 $56,808
Lecturer, English As A Second Language Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH Dec 21, 2016 $48,526
English As A Second Language Teacher New York City Department of Education New York, NY Feb 01, 2015 $48,445
English As A Second Language Teacher Vance County Schools Henderson, NC Oct 29, 2012 $47,060
English As A Second Language Resource Teacher Denver County School District Aka Denver Public Sc Denver, CO Nov 21, 2016 $47,023
Secondary School English As A Second Language (ESL) Teacher Garland Independent School District Garland, TX Aug 04, 2015 $46,450
Teacher of German & English As A Second Language Language Skills, Inc. Boston, MA Oct 01, 2011 $45,500
English As A Second Language (ESL) Teacher Norfolk Public School Norfolk, VA May 18, 2012 $45,326
English As A Second Language (ESL) Teacher Norfolk Public School Norfolk, VA May 15, 2012 $45,326
English As A Second Language Teacher Duplin County Schools NC Jul 01, 2012 $44,610
English As A Second Language Teacher Chatham County Schools Pittsboro, NC Jun 07, 2011 $44,590
Teacher of German & English As A Second Language Language Skills, Inc. Malden, MA Sep 15, 2011 $44,500

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Top Skills for An English As A Second Language Teacher

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Lesson Plans
  3. ESL
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Sustained successful classroom management by incorporating motivational activities as well as positive reinforcement.
  • Combined discipline plan with effective measures and various lesson plans to increase concentration, participation, and progress student accountability.
  • Maintained and reported ESL/LEP statistical information of each classroom participant.
  • Maintained professional competence through frequent in-service educational programs and professional growth activities, as well as many curriculum development programs.
  • Participated in six months of intensive Japanese language instruction.

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Top 10 Best States for English As A Second Language Teachers

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. Michigan
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Texas
  8. New Jersey
  9. Iowa
  10. Delaware
  • (2,570 jobs)
  • (209 jobs)
  • (686 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (374 jobs)
  • (1,555 jobs)
  • (372 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)

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