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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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Science Teacher
Top Careers After Science Teacher
Hispanic or Latino10.7%
Black or African American1.0%
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University of Phoenix12.5%
Texas A&M University8.7%
Grand Canyon University6.4%
Nova Southeastern University6.0%
Michigan State University4.7%
University of South Florida4.5%
Mississippi State University4.5%
Wayne State University3.9%
University of North Texas3.9%
University of Florida3.9%
Tarleton State University3.9%
University of Texas at Arlington3.8%
University of North Carolina at Greensboro3.6%
University of Central Florida3.5%
Northern Arizona University3.5%
Florida State University3.5%
University of Texas at El Paso3.4%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Head Science Teacher||Magnolia Educational & Research Foundation||CA||Apr 10, 2016||$91,157|
|Science Teacher||Trenton Board of Education||Trenton, NJ||Sep 04, 2015||$91,000|
|Science Teacher||Soo Space, Inc.||Irvine, CA||Aug 06, 2015||$89,780|
|French Science Teacher||The French Japanese Educational Institute of New Y||New York, NY||Feb 22, 2016||$89,090|
|General Science Teacher||Baltimore City Public Schools||Baltimore, MD||Jan 15, 2016||$85,700|
|Science Teacher-Physics-High School||The University of Chicago||Chicago, IL||Feb 04, 2015||$84,900|
|Science Teacher-Physics-High School||The University of Chicago||Chicago, IL||Apr 02, 2015||$84,900|
|Science Teacher||Anne Arundel County Public Schools||Annapolis, MD||Oct 07, 2016||$82,870|
|Science Teacher||Elite Academy, Inc. D/B/A Elite Academy||Centreville, VA||Jun 14, 2016||$82,720|
|Science Teacher||Cornerstone Academy, Inc. D/B/A Cornerstone Academy||Burke, VA||Mar 26, 2015||$82,570|
|Science Teacher||The Village Academy of Washington, Dc, LLC||Capitol Heights, MD||Jan 10, 2015||$81,910|
|General Science Teacher||Baltimore City Public Schools||Baltimore, MD||Jan 25, 2016||$81,536|
|Science Teacher||Anne Arundel County Public Schools||MD||Nov 22, 2015||$81,245|
|Science Teacher||Anne Arundel County Public Schools||Annapolis, MD||Oct 08, 2016||$79,671|
|ESL Science Teacher||Garland Independent School District||Garland, TX||Feb 16, 2016||$49,970|
|Science Teacher||New York City Department of Education||New York, NY||May 01, 2015||$49,908|
|Science Teacher||New York City Department of Education||New York, NY||Sep 01, 2015||$49,908|
|Science Teacher||New York City Department of Education||New York, NY||Jan 02, 2016||$49,908|
|Secondary Science Teacher||Beaumont Independent School District||Beaumont, TX||Aug 01, 2015||$49,793|
|Science Teacher||Horizon Educational Services of Columbus Inc.||Columbus, OH||Jan 06, 2016||$43,960|
|Science Teacher||Harmony Science Academy-Euless||Euless, TX||Jan 09, 2015||$43,840|
|Science Teacher||Harmony School of Innovation-Fort Worth||Fort Worth, TX||Jan 09, 2015||$43,840|
|Science Teacher||Harmony School of Innovation-Fort Worth||Fort Worth, TX||Sep 01, 2015||$43,840|
|Science Teacher||Harmony Science Academy-Euless||Euless, TX||Sep 01, 2015||$43,840|
|Secondary Science Teacher||Donna Independent School District||Donna, TX||Oct 01, 2015||$43,780|
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