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Become An Instructor

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Working As An Instructor

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $47,680

    Average Salary

What Does An Instructor Do

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers prepare younger students for future schooling by teaching them basic subjects such as math and reading. 

Duties

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers typically do the following:

  • Create lesson plans to teach students subjects, such as reading, science, social studies, and math
  • Teach students how to study and communicate with others
  • Observe students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Teach lessons they have planned to an entire class of students or to smaller groups
  • Grade students’ assignments to monitor their progress
  • Communicate with parents about their child’s progress
  • Work with students individually to help them overcome specific learning challenges
  • Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules to teach children proper behavior
  • Supervise children outside of the classroom—for example, during lunchtime or recess

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers help students learn and apply important concepts. Many teachers use a hands-on approach to help students understand abstract concepts, solve problems, and develop critical thinking skills. For example, they may demonstrate how to do a science experiment and then have the students conduct the experiment themselves. They may have students work together to learn how to collaborate to solve problems.

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers generally teach kindergarten through fourth or fifth grade. However, in some schools, elementary school teachers may teach sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. They typically teach students several subjects throughout the day.

Some teachers may teach in a multilevel classroom that includes students across two or more grades. They may teach the same group of students for several years.

Kindergarten and elementary school students spend most of their day in one classroom. Teachers may escort students to assemblies; to classes taught by other teachers, such as art or music; or to recess. While students are away from the classroom, teachers plan lessons, grade assignments, or meet with other teachers and staff.

In some schools, teachers may work in subject specialization teams in which they teach one or two specific subjects, either English and social studies or math and science. Generally, students spend half their time with one teacher and half their time with the other.

Some kindergarten and elementary school teachers teach special classes, such as art, music, and physical education.

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

Students with learning disabilities or emotional or behavioral disorders are often taught in traditional classes. Kindergarten and elementary teachers work with special education teachers to adapt lesson plans to these students’ needs and monitor the students’ progress. In some cases, kindergarten and elementary school teachers may co-teach lessons with special education teachers.

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

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How To Become An Instructor

Kindergarten and elementary 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 kindergarten and elementary school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Some states also require kindergarten and elementary school teachers to major in a content area, such as math or science. They typically enroll in their college’s teacher preparation program and also take classes in education and child psychology in addition to those required by their major.

In teacher education programs, future teachers learn how to present information to young students and how to work with young 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 all teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification.

Private schools typically seek kindergarten and elementary school teachers who have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

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.

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers are typically certified to teach early childhood grades, which are usually preschool through third grade, or elementary school grades, which are usually first through sixth grades or first through eighth grades.

Requirements for certification vary by state. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree, they are required to complete a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, typically gained through student teaching. Some states require a minimum grade point average. States often require candidates to pass a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge of the subject they will teach. Although kindergarten and elementary school teachers typically do not teach only a single subject, they may be required to pass a content area test to earn their certification. For information on certification requirements in your state, visit teach.org.

Teachers are frequently 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 after graduation, 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 one of these programs.

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 get experience teaching students in a classroom setting. The amount of time required varies by state.

Important Qualities

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

Creativity. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must plan lessons that engage young students, adapting the lessons to different learning styles.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must respond with patience when students struggle with material.

Physical stamina. Working with kindergarten and elementary-aged students can be tiring. Teachers need to be able to physically, mentally, and emotionally keep up with the students.

Resourcefulness. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers need to be able to explain difficult concepts in terms that young students can understand. In addition, they must be able to get students engaged in learning and adapt their lessons to meet students’ needs.

Advancement

Experienced teachers can advance to serve as mentors to newer teachers or to become lead teachers. In these roles, they help less experienced teachers to 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, both of which generally require additional schooling in education administration or leadership.

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Instructor jobs

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Instructor Career Paths

Instructor
Case Manager Special Education Teacher
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager Operations Manager
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director Office Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Barista Preschool Teacher Pre-K Teacher
Director Of Teacher Education
5 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Assistant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Program Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Head Coach Physical Education Teacher Assistant Principal
High School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Editor Technical Writer Business Analyst
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Coordinator Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Coach Physical Education Teacher Assistant Principal
Middle School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Manager Sales Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Analyst Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Account Executive Office Manager
Property Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Coach Teacher And Coach Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Weaving Instructor 10.6 years
Pilot Instructor 6.1 years
Rescue Instructor 5.5 years
Master Instructor 5.0 years
Recruit Instructor 5.0 years
CPR Instructor 4.9 years
Judo Instructor 4.7 years
College Professor 4.7 years
Piano Instructor 4.6 years
Faculty Member 4.1 years
Karate Instructor 3.7 years
Safety Instructor 3.7 years
Senior Instructor 3.6 years
Professor 3.6 years
Speech Instructor 3.5 years
Scuba Instructor 3.5 years
Adjunct Faculty 3.5 years
Guitar Instructor 3.5 years
Drill Instructor 3.5 years
French Instructor 3.5 years
College Instructor 3.5 years
Flight Instructor 3.5 years
Faculty 3.4 years
Music Instructor 3.4 years
German Instructor 3.3 years
Pilates Instructor 3.3 years
Medical Instructor 3.3 years
Chef Instructor 3.2 years
Biology Instructor 3.2 years
Riding Instructor 3.2 years
Adjunct Professor 3.2 years
Hvac/R Instructor 3.2 years
Adjunct Instructor 3.1 years
Dance Instructor 3.0 years
Instructor 3.0 years
Lead Instructor 3.0 years
Online Instructor 3.0 years
Esol Instructor 3.0 years
History Instructor 3.0 years
Instructor Nurse 3.0 years
Science Instructor 3.0 years
Driving Instructor 3.0 years
Cooking Instructor 2.9 years
Art Instructor 2.9 years
Diving Instructor 2.9 years
English Instructor 2.8 years
Lecturer 2.8 years
Adjunct Lecturer 2.8 years
Yoga Instructor 2.8 years
Coach/Instructor 2.7 years
Fitness Instructor 2.7 years
Law Instructor 2.7 years
Field Instructor 2.6 years
ESL Instructor 2.6 years
Theatre Instructor 2.6 years
Writing Instructor 2.5 years
GED Instructor 2.5 years
Physics Instructor 2.5 years
Geology Instructor 2.4 years
Class Instructor 2.4 years
Makeup Instructor 2.4 years
Instructor/Tutor 2.4 years
Golf Instructor 2.4 years
Reading Instructor 2.3 years
Legal Instructor 2.3 years
Program Instructor 2.2 years
Swim Instructor 2.2 years
Sailing Instructor 2.2 years
Teaching Associate 2.2 years
Course Instructor 2.2 years
Tennis Instructor 2.1 years
Agility Instructor 2.0 years
Zumba Instructor 1.9 years
Student Instructor 1.8 years
Sports Instructor 1.8 years
Teaching Assistant 1.6 years
Co-Instructor 1.3 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 10.9%
Teacher 10.4%
Volunteer 5.1%
Tutor 4.0%
Manager 3.8%
Director 3.4%
Cashier 3.2%
Supervisor 3.2%
Consultant 3.0%
Top Employers After
Teacher 9.4%
Internship 7.2%
Consultant 5.2%
Director 4.5%
Owner 4.3%
Volunteer 4.3%
Manager 4.1%
Tutor 3.4%

Instructor Demographics

Gender

Male

48.7%

Female

48.0%

Unknown

3.3%
Ethnicity

White

77.7%

Hispanic or Latino

10.0%

Asian

9.2%

Unknown

2.3%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.1%

French

12.4%

Chinese

6.4%

German

5.2%

Mandarin

4.4%

Arabic

4.4%

Japanese

4.3%

Italian

4.2%

Korean

3.3%

Russian

3.1%

Portuguese

2.9%

Hindi

1.1%

Greek

1.0%

Cantonese

0.9%

Hebrew

0.8%

Thai

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Turkish

0.6%

Persian

0.6%
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Instructor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.0%

Capella University

6.5%

Walden University

5.8%

Liberty University

5.4%

Michigan State University

5.3%

Florida State University

5.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.9%

University of Florida

4.6%

Arizona State University

4.5%

New York University

4.2%

Grand Canyon University

4.2%

West Virginia University

4.1%

Temple University

4.0%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.9%

University of Alabama

3.8%

George Mason University

3.7%

Webster University

3.6%

Georgia State University

3.6%

University of Georgia

3.5%

University of South Florida

3.5%
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Majors

Business

16.5%

Education

8.3%

Nursing

7.0%

Psychology

6.9%

Elementary Education

6.1%

English

5.9%

Criminal Justice

4.9%

Communication

4.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

4.1%

Music

4.0%

Computer Science

3.9%

Fine Arts

3.9%

Kinesiology

3.8%

Management

3.7%

Educational Leadership

3.4%

Biology

3.2%

Law

2.5%

Counseling Psychology

2.5%

History

2.4%

Electrical Engineering

2.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

30.9%

Masters

30.5%

Other

17.3%

Doctorate

10.3%

Associate

6.1%

Certificate

3.7%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Instructor Albany Medical College Albany, NY Jul 01, 2016 $250,000
Instructor Albany Medical College Albany, NY Jul 01, 2015 $250,000
Instructor Albany Medical College Albany, NY Mar 21, 2016 $250,000
Instructor/Nocturnist Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Philadelphia, PA Jul 01, 2015 $241,000
Instructor Albany Medical College Albany, NY Jan 08, 2016 $240,000
Instructor (Clinical) University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT Jul 15, 2016 $236,900
Instructor (Clinical) University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT Jan 07, 2016 $236,900
Instructor Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock, TX Jan 08, 2016 $236,250
Instructor of Surgery Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Hershey, PA Jan 01, 2016 $232,000
Instructor of Surgery Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Hershey, PA Jan 07, 2016 $232,000
Instructor Harvard University Cambridge, MA Jul 14, 2015 $231,657
Instructor Washington University In St. Louis Saint Louis, MO Jul 01, 2015 $221,000
Instructor of Medicine New York University School of Medicine New York, NY May 28, 2016 $220,000
Instructor Harvard University Boston, MA May 30, 2015 $72,947
Instructor of Radiochem & Radiopharm Weill Cornell Medical College New York, NY Jan 01, 2015 $72,828
Research Instructor Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC Oct 11, 2015 $72,488
Instructor Peninsula Regional Medical Center Salisbury, MD Dec 09, 2016 $72,461
Instructor The Pennsylvania State University Lehman, PA Dec 17, 2016 $72,450
Instructor Weill Cornell Medical College New York, NY Jul 07, 2016 $72,137
Instructor Weill Cornell Medical College New York, NY Jul 11, 2016 $72,137
Research Instructor Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN May 18, 2015 $55,000
Instructor University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE Jul 01, 2016 $54,954
Instructor Florida International University Miami, FL Aug 19, 2016 $54,910
Instructor Louisiana State University and A & M College Baton Rouge, LA Jul 15, 2015 $54,755
ABA Instructor Bilinguals Inc. Melville, NY Jan 02, 2016 $54,717 -
$56,000
Instructor Ut Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX Jan 12, 2016 $54,700
Instructor Ut Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX Dec 01, 2016 $54,700

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Top Skills for An Instructor

CourseCurriculumWeeklyLessonPlansTechniquesSafeEnvironmentMathematicsProceduresLanguageClassroomInstructionMethodsOnlineCourseSyllabusTheoryArtTopicsHistoryPrinciplesCourseMaterialsPsychologyPowerpointAnatomy

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Top Instructor Skills

  1. Course Curriculum
  2. Weekly Lesson Plans
  3. Techniques
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Design course curriculum appropriate to the developmental level of undergraduate level students.
  • Developed weekly lesson plans for intermediate level students.
  • Conduct and present prepared lessons to a group of students using engaging public speaking techniques.
  • Prepared daily activities and maintained a safe environment.
  • Instructed students ranging from kindergarten to college level in mathematics, science, and reading.

Top Instructor Employers

Instructor Videos

Jim Swift - Driving Instructor

Career Advice on becoming a Racing Driver / Instructor by Charlie H (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a Racing Driver / Instructor by Charlie H (Highlights)

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