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Become A Field Instructor

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Working As A Field Instructor

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • $56,566

    Average Salary

What Does A Field Instructor Do

Career and technical education teachers instruct students in various technical and vocational subjects, such as auto repair, healthcare, and culinary arts. They teach academic and technical content to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter an occupation.

Duties

Career and technical education teachers typically do the following:

  • Create lesson plans and assignments
  • Instruct students on how to develop certain skills
  • Show how to apply classroom knowledge through hands-on activities
  • Demonstrate and supervise the safe and proper use of tools and equipment
  • Monitor students’ progress, assign tasks, and grade assignments
  • Discuss students’ progress with parents, students, and counselors
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules and safety procedures

Career and technical education teachers help students explore and prepare to enter a specific occupation, in fields such as healthcare or information technology. They use a variety of teaching techniques to help students learn and develop skills related to a specific career or field of study. They demonstrate tasks, techniques, and tools used in an occupation. They may assign hands-on tasks, such as replacing brakes on cars, taking blood pressure, or recording vital signs. Teachers typically oversee these tasks in workshops and laboratories in the school.

Some teachers establish relationships with local businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide practical work experience for students. They also serve as advisers to students participating in career and technical student organizations.

The specific duties of career and technical education teachers vary by the grade and subject they teach. In middle schools and high schools, they teach general concepts in a classroom and through practical exercises in workshops and laboratories.

In postsecondary schools, they teach specific career skills that help students earn a certificate, diploma, or an associate’s degree, and prepare them for a specific job. For example, welding instructors teach students various welding techniques and essential safety practices. They also monitor the use of tools and equipment, and have students practice procedures until they meet the specific standards required by the trade.

In most states, teachers in middle and high schools instruct one subject within the 16 major career fields, also known as Career Clusters. For example, the career cluster known as architecture and construction includes instruction in designing, planning, managing, building, and maintaining structures.

Teachers instructing courses in agricultural, food, and natural resources teach topics such as agricultural production; agriculture-related business; veterinary science; and plant, animal, and food systems. For example, they may have students plant and care for crops and tend to animals so that students can apply what they have learned in the classroom.

Career and technical education teachers in hospitality and tourism teach students in subjects such as nutrition, culinary arts, or hotel lodging. For example, teachers may instruct and supervise students in creating menus and preparing food.

Some teach the skills necessary to work as technicians and assistants, such as nursing and dental assistants in health-science occupations.

For information on all 16 major Career Clusters and programs in all other states, visit National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium.

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How To Become A Field Instructor

Career and technical education teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. They also need work experience in the subject they teach. Some teachers, particularly those in public schools, also may be required to have a state-issued certification or license. Requirements for certification vary by state.

Education

Career and technical education teachers in public schools generally need a bachelor’s degree in the field they teach, such as agriculture, engineering, or computer science.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many career and technical education teachers need work experience in the field they teach. For example, automotive mechanics, chefs, and nurses typically spend years in their career before moving into teaching.

Training

Some states require prospective career and technical education teachers to complete a period of fieldwork, commonly referred to as student teaching. In some states, this program is a prerequisite for a license to teach in public schools. During student teaching, prospective teachers gain experience in preparing lessons and teaching students under the supervision and guidance of a mentor teacher. The amount of time required for these programs varies by state, but may last from 1 to 2 years.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

States may require career and technical education teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified. Requirements for certification vary by state. Most states require teachers to pass a background check.

Certification typically requires completing a student teaching program and a bachelor’s degree. States usually require candidates to pass a general teaching certification test.

Teachers may be required to complete annual professional development courses to maintain their license. For certification requirements in your state, visit Teach.org.

Some states offer an alternative route to certification for prospective teachers who have a bachelor’s degree or work experience in their field, but lack the education courses required for certification. Alternative programs typically cover teaching methods, development of lesson plans, and classroom management.

In addition to teaching certification, career and technical education teachers who prepare students for an occupation that requires a license or certification may need to have and maintain the same credential. For example, career and technical education teachers who instruct welding may need to have certification in welding.

Advancement

Experienced teachers can advance to become mentors and lead teachers, helping less experienced teachers to improve their teaching skills.

Teachers may become school counselors, instructional coordinators, or principals. These positions generally require additional education, an advanced degree, or certification. An advanced degree in education administration or leadership may be helpful.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Career and technical education teachers must be able to explain technical concepts in terms that students can understand.

Organizational skills. Career and technical education teachers have many students in different classes throughout the day. They must be able to organize their time and teaching materials.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Teachers must be patient with each student in their classroom and develop a positive learning environment.

Resourcefulness. Teachers need to be able to develop different ways of presenting information and demonstrating tasks so that students can learn.

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Field Instructor Demographics

Gender

Female

50.5%

Male

47.8%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

66.8%

Hispanic or Latino

12.2%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

6.4%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.6%

German

4.3%

French

4.3%

Arabic

4.3%

Italian

4.3%

Swahili

2.2%

Sami

2.2%

Nepali

2.2%

Bosnian

2.2%

Malay

2.2%

Croatian

2.2%
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Field Instructor Education

Schools

Appalachian State University

8.5%

University of Phoenix

7.0%

Community College of the Air Force

5.6%

University of Southern California

5.6%

University of Utah

5.6%

New York University

4.9%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

4.9%

Fordham University

4.9%

State University of New York Albany

4.9%

Prescott College

4.9%

Case Western Reserve University

4.9%

Western Carolina University

4.9%

University of Idaho

4.9%

Capella University

4.9%

Wayne State University

4.2%

Michigan State University

4.2%

Howard University

4.2%

University of Rhode Island

3.5%

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

3.5%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

3.5%
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Majors

Social Work

31.4%

Business

8.9%

Environmental Science

6.8%

Psychology

6.8%

Education

5.4%

Mental Health Counseling

4.7%

Elementary Education

3.8%

Recreation Management

3.8%

Criminal Justice

3.5%

Biology

3.0%

Kinesiology

2.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.6%

School Counseling

2.4%

Communication

2.3%

History

2.1%

Medical Technician

2.1%

Management

1.9%

Counseling Psychology

1.9%

Geology

1.9%

Sociology

1.9%
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Degrees

Masters

37.4%

Bachelors

34.7%

Other

14.1%

Doctorate

5.2%

Associate

4.3%

Certificate

3.3%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.3%
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Top Skills for A Field Instructor

  1. Course Curriculum
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Wilderness Therapy Program
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Lead remote wilderness expeditions 7-40 days in duration- Facilitated experiential education in course curriculum including various skills
  • Processed behaviors with adolescents at wilderness therapy program.
  • Directed and supervised MSW Internship program for graduate students fulfilling field placement responsibilities.
  • Provided clinical supervision and training to students
  • Instructed certified law enforcement officers crisis intervention techniques for handling consumers of mental illness.

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Top 10 Best States for Field Instructors

  1. Alaska
  2. Wyoming
  3. Oregon
  4. Iowa
  5. North Dakota
  6. New York
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Michigan
  10. Nebraska
  • (33 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (154 jobs)
  • (87 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (352 jobs)
  • (46 jobs)
  • (66 jobs)
  • (163 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)

Top Field Instructor Employers

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