Social studies teachers help pupils learn about history, geography, politics, economics, and culture. They are responsible for coming up with lesson plans by analyzing the needs, interests, strengths, and weaknesses of students and aligning lesson plans in accordance with these factors.

Social studies teachers are also typically responsible for monitoring student progress and discipline, establishing classroom rules and making sure they are followed, requesting textbooks and learning aids, organizing field trips, and chaperoning school events. They also attend staff meetings, training, conferences, and other ongoing learning programs.

Social studies teachers should have excellent interpersonal and communication skills and be creative and engaging so that they can make lessons fun and interactive for students. They should also have excellent organizational and time management skills, as well as strong cultural sensitivity.

Becoming a social studies teacher requires at least a bachelor's degree in education, history, geography, or other related field. Depending on what level they are teaching (middle school or high school), social studies teachers can earn anywhere between $55,860 and $57,200 a year.

What Does a Social Studies Teacher Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a social studies teacher, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.5% of social studies teachers included classroom management, while 7.2% of resumes included world history, and 5.9% of resumes included curriculum development. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

Learn more about what a Social Studies Teacher does

How To Become a Social Studies Teacher

If you're interested in becoming a social studies teacher, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 68.7% of social studies teachers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 24.4% of social studies teachers have master's degrees. Even though most social studies teachers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Social Studies Teacher

Social Studies Teacher Career Paths

Average Salary for a Social Studies Teacher

Social Studies Teachers in America make an average salary of $49,725 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $67,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $36,000 per year.
Average Social Studies Teacher Salary
$49,725 Yearly
$23.91 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Social Studies Teacher

There are several types of social studies teacher, including:



A teacher isn't just someone you realize you look up to later in life. A teacher is someone who teaches important life lessons while making sure to include academic lessons along the way.

Typically, a teacher only works during school hours, which means they get to beat rush hour traffic. Although, it's not uncommon for teachers to spend their nights and weekends preparing lessons and grading papers. An added bonus of being a teacher is getting to enjoy summer vacation.

  • Average Salary: $47,989
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Substitute Teacher


Substitute teachers are there when regular teachers need backup. If the regular teacher can't make it into school on a given day, a substitute teacher is called.

Sometimes you won't know you're going into teach a class until that day, that's why you kind of have to be "on-call" as a substitute teacher. You never know when you're going to be needed. Some substitute teachers get to fill in if a regular teacher has to take an extended absence, which means you'll be there until they get back. Long-term substitute gigs can mean anything from two weeks to five months or more.

It's important as a substitute teacher to establish some ground rules when you first step into the classroom. Since you're not the regular teacher, some students may decide they don't have to follow any rules, which definitely makes "subbing" even harder. But don't worry - you've got this.

  • Average Salary: $32,904
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Student Teacher


Any teacher that has a student teacher is relieved they have them. As a student teacher, you get to go through school again, but this time you get to help others with the assignment rather than actually complete the assignment yourself.

Most student teachers are learning to become teachers themselves and generally shadow a classroom in an elementary or secondary school. But don't limit yourself. While much more rare, there are student teachers that work at universities or colleges. So it comes down to whether you'd rather assist dependent or independent students.

Generally, your student teaching experience will only last a semester or two. So make sure you're writing down good notes! At the end of being a student teacher, you'll have the opportunity to take over the class on your own. From preparing the lesson to correcting homework, you'll be doing it all by yourself in no time.

  • Average Salary: $59,035
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Social Studies Teacher Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active social studies teacher jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where social studies teachers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Social Studies Teacher Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
5New York2,059$68,181
6New Jersey1,485$61,101
15North Carolina1,053$41,218
24South Carolina552$40,612
30New Mexico389$45,908
34New Hampshire357$44,700
43Rhode Island166$65,213
45West Virginia155$45,358
46South Dakota129$33,046
48North Dakota108$47,158

Social Studies Teacher Education

Social Studies Teacher Majors

19.1 %
14.2 %

Social Studies Teacher Degrees


68.7 %


24.4 %


3.2 %

Top Colleges for Social Studies Teachers

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




6. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition




8. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




10. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Social Studies Teacher

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.5% of social studies teachers listed classroom management on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and physical stamina are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Social Studies Teacher Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Social Studies Teacher templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Social Studies Teacher resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Social Studies Teacher diversity

Social Studies Teacher Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among social studies teachers, 48.4% of them are women, while 51.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among social studies teachers is White, which makes up 72.6% of all social studies teachers.

  • The most common foreign language among social studies teachers is Spanish at 54.3%.

Online Courses For Social Studies Teacher That You May Like

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Social and emotional learning, or SEL, programs have flourished in schools during the last decade. These programs vary widely but most share a concern for five individual, student competencies: self awareness; self-management; social awareness; relationship skills; and finally responsible decision making. It is important for teachers and parents to know about and understand these programs. While lots of SEL programs emphasize K-12 student social and emotional learning, only a very few programs...

3. Core Subjects Test Review for Social Studies


An All-in-One Resource for Effective Social Studies Test Preparation...

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Best States For a Social Studies Teacher

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a social studies teacher. The best states for people in this position are Washington, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Social studies teachers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $68,443. Whereas in New York and Massachusetts, they would average $68,181 and $65,848, respectively. While social studies teachers would only make an average of $65,213 in Rhode Island, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Social Studies Teacher Jobs: 2,059
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Maryland

Total Social Studies Teacher Jobs: 1,286
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Washington

Total Social Studies Teacher Jobs: 1,063
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Social Studies Teachers

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Top Social Studies Teacher Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ social studies teachers and discovered their number of social studies teacher opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was the best, especially with an average salary of $45,357. Elevate K-12 follows up with an average salary of $42,818, and then comes City of New York with an average of $47,686. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a social studies teacher. The employers include Atmosphere Academy Public Charter Schools - 6th Grade Campus, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, and Nevada Connections Academy

Most Common Employers For Social Studies Teacher

Social Studies Teacher Videos

Becoming a Social Studies Teacher FAQs

What Are Careers In Social Studies?

Anthropology Professors, Market Research Analysts, and Political scientists are all careers in social studies. Social studies focus on human society, and there are many jobs that use aspects of social studies. Finding the right one for you depends on your specific interests and desires for your career trajectory.

  • Anthropology Professor

An anthropology professor will both teach and conduct research in the field of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans including both past and present societies. People who are interested in both human behavior, as well as teaching, may find becoming an anthropology professor a great fit.

Anthropology professors will hold doctorate degrees in anthropology or a related field. This will take time and commitment to complete, but if you are especially interested in anthropology, this would be an interesting degree to complete. You will also need to publish academic research in the field of anthropology which could include on-site digs with archaeologists.

  • Market Research Analyst

A Market Research Analyst will research and analyze current trends to discover what a company's client base is looking for in products and services. They often design surveys and focus groups. Then, they analyze the data collected and make decisions based on the information gathered. This position requires creativity and the ability to adapt and change.

This job is a practical application of what is often taught in social studies. Knowing how humans act and think is extremely beneficial in working to make solid surveys and focus groups that will lead to real noteworthy data to be used to make predictions on how well a product will perform.

  • Politician

Politicians need to understand human behavior so they can successfully appeal to the masses when they are running for positions or looking for support on laws and regulations that they endorse.

Many politicians will study political science or a related field in their undergraduate studies. Along with understanding how humans function, an understanding of political science will be crucial in understanding politics. Those interested in how human ideas relate to political ideals could find a career as a politician extremely interesting.

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