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Become A Social Studies Teacher

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Working As A Social Studies Teacher

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Social Studies Teacher Do

High school teachers help prepare students for life after graduation. They teach academic lessons and various skills that students will need to attend college and to enter the job market.

Duties

High school teachers typically do the following:

  • Plan lessons in the subjects they teach, such as biology or history
  • Assess students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Teach students in full class settings or in small groups
  • Adapt lessons to any changes in class size
  • Grade students’ assignments and exams to monitor progress
  • Communicate with parents about students’ progress
  • Work with individual students to challenge them, to improve their abilities, and to work on their weaknesses
  • Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules and administrative policies
  • Supervise students outside of the classroom—for example, at lunchtime or during detention

High school teachers generally teach students from the 9th through 12th grades. They usually specialize in one subject area, such as math, science, or history. They may teach several different classes within that subject area. For example, a high school math teacher may teach courses in algebra, calculus, and/or geometry.

High school teachers may teach students from different grades throughout the day. For example, in one class they may have students from the 9th grade and then in the next class they may have 12th-grade students. In many schools, students are divided into classes on the basis of their abilities, so teachers need to change their courses to match the students’ abilities.

High school teachers see several different classes of students throughout the day. They may teach the same material—for example, world history—to more than one class if the school has many students taking that subject.

Some high school teachers instruct special classes, such as art, music, and physical education.

When they do not have classes, teachers plan lessons, grade assignments, and meet with other teachers and staff.

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

Students with learning disabilities and emotional or behavioral disorders often are taught in traditional classes. Therefore, high school teachers may work with special education teachers to adapt lessons to these students’ needs and to monitor the students’ progress.

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

Some high school teachers coach sports and advise student clubs and other groups, activities that frequently take place before or after school.

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How To Become A Social Studies Teacher

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.

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Social Studies Teacher Career Paths

Social Studies Teacher
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Math Teacher Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Math Teacher Adjunct Instructor Principal
High School Principal
9 Yearsyrs
Math Teacher Adjunct Instructor Chairperson
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Assistant Principal
Middle School Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Manager Principal
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Owner Assistant Director
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Education Consultant
Educational Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Professor Associate Dean
Academic Dean
10 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Assistant Professor Department Chairperson
Vice Principal
8 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Educational Programs Coordinator
Education Program Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Counselor Adjunct Faculty Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Education Consultant Student Dean
High School Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Human Resources Manager Recruitment Director
College Director
6 Yearsyrs
Consultant Principal Elementary School Principal
Curriculum Director
8 Yearsyrs
English Instructor Assistant Professor Department Chairperson
Academic Director
7 Yearsyrs
Guidance Counselor Vice Principal School Principal
Secondary School Principal
8 Yearsyrs
English Instructor Professor Associate Dean
Instruction Dean
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Social Studies Teacher?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Secondary Teacher 5.0 years
History Teacher 3.3 years
6th Grade Teacher 2.7 years
8th Grade Teacher 2.5 years
Humanities Teacher 2.5 years
Government Teacher 2.4 years
7th Grade Teacher 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Social Studies Teacher
Teacher 21.5%
Internship 5.4%
Tutor 4.5%
Instructor 3.2%
Volunteer 2.5%
Coach 2.2%
Top Careers After Social Studies Teacher
Teacher 22.3%
Principal 6.0%
Instructor 3.6%
Tutor 3.3%
Director 3.0%
Internship 2.7%
Coach 2.3%
Volunteer 2.0%

Do you work as a Social Studies Teacher?

Social Studies Teacher Demographics

Gender

Male

45.0%

Female

44.1%

Unknown

10.9%
Ethnicity

White

63.6%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Black or African American

12.9%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.3%

French

11.4%

German

4.7%

Arabic

4.5%

Chinese

3.4%

Korean

3.2%

Portuguese

3.2%

Russian

2.7%

Italian

2.5%

Mandarin

2.3%

Japanese

1.8%

Polish

1.4%

Urdu

0.9%

Hindi

0.7%

Hawaiian

0.5%

Hebrew

0.5%

Greek

0.5%

Vietnamese

0.4%

Indonesian

0.4%

Bosnian

0.4%
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Social Studies Teacher Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.3%

Grand Canyon University

9.1%

Walden University

7.8%

Nova Southeastern University

5.7%

Liberty University

5.1%

Capella University

5.0%

Michigan State University

4.0%

Florida State University

4.0%

Texas A&M University

3.9%

Montclair State University

3.9%

Florida International University

3.7%

Arizona State University

3.7%

Teachers College of Columbia University

3.7%

Texas State University

3.7%

National Louis University

3.7%

Eastern Michigan University

3.6%

Northern Arizona University

3.6%

New York University

3.6%

Wayne State University

3.5%

East Carolina University

3.4%
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Majors

Education

17.3%

Elementary Education

16.1%

History

13.1%

Educational Leadership

11.6%

Secondary Education And Teaching

6.3%

Curriculum And Instruction

4.1%

Political Science

4.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

4.1%

Special Education

3.8%

Business

3.3%

Social Sciences

2.7%

English

2.6%

School Counseling

1.9%

Psychology

1.8%

Law

1.4%

Educational Technology

1.4%

Sociology

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Early Childhood Education

1.1%

Counseling Psychology

1.0%
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Degrees

Masters

47.3%

Bachelors

29.5%

Other

12.6%

Doctorate

4.7%

Certificate

4.2%

Associate

1.0%

License

0.4%

Diploma

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$49,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$32,000
Min 10%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Robbinsdale Area Schools
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
4.0 years
How much does a Social Studies Teacher make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Social Studies Teacher in the United States is $49,868 per year or $24 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $32,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $76,000.

Real Social Studies Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary New York University New York, NY Dec 18, 2013 $195,700
Social Studies Teacher KEIO Academy of New York NY Apr 01, 2015 $90,000
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Feb 25, 2014 $85,000
Teacher, Social Studies/Economics J.C. Education Center NY Sep 18, 2013 $80,266
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Trustees of Amherst College Amherst, MA Jul 10, 2014 $80,000
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Georgetown University Washington, DC Apr 29, 2014 $80,000
Social Studies Teacher KEIO Academy of New York NY Sep 04, 2015 $80,000
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Columbia University New York, NY Sep 23, 2014 $79,999
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Hamilton College Clinton, NY Sep 03, 2014 $74,500
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary New York University New York, NY Jun 12, 2014 $73,841
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Franklin and Marshall College Lancaster, PA Apr 25, 2014 $71,500
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA Mar 19, 2014 $71,188
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA Aug 25, 2014 $71,004
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI Dec 10, 2013 $70,179
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Mar 31, 2014 $64,833
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Depaul University Chicago, IL Mar 04, 2014 $64,500
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Sarah Lawrence College Bronxville, NY May 31, 2013 $63,430
Islamic Studies Teacher Scholars and Leaders Foundation, Inc. Clifton, NJ Jan 09, 2016 $62,610
ESL and Social Studies Teacher St. Johnsbury Academy Saint Johnsbury, VT Jan 14, 2016 $62,015
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary State University of New York at Binghamton Binghamton, NY Sep 23, 2013 $62,000
Social Studies Teacher Houston Independent School District Bellaire, TX Aug 13, 2014 $61,804
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary University of Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV Jul 05, 2013 $61,500
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Pacific University Forest Grove, OR Aug 15, 2013 $52,130
Social Studies Teacher New York City Department of Education New York, NY Aug 15, 2016 $51,649
Social Studies Teacher Center for Education, Training, and Holistic Appro Delray Beach, FL Oct 01, 2014 $51,355
Middle School Social Studies Teacher Clarendon School District One Summerton, SC Jul 30, 2013 $50,941
Social Studies Teacher Guilford County Schools Jamestown, NC Nov 01, 2013 $50,810
Social Studies Teacher Guilford County Schools Jamestown, NC Jun 17, 2015 $50,810
Cultural Studies Teacher Zionist Organization of America New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $48,377

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Top Skills for A Social Studies Teacher

  1. World History
  2. Social Studies
  3. Classroom Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed lesson and activities aligned with AP World History Curriculum.
  • Planned and administered eighth-grade social studies lessons to students requiring remediation.
  • Utilized experience and strong classroom management skills and excelled working with academically challenged inner-city high school students.
  • Customized various quantitative reports monthly to track student success, quality, and improvements through curriculum development.
  • Developed curriculum along with school administrators and colleagues that incorporated student learning styles and assessment data attained from Power-School program.

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Top 10 Best States for Social Studies Teachers

  1. Connecticut
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Alaska
  4. Michigan
  5. New Jersey
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Oregon
  8. Minnesota
  9. Washington
  10. District of Columbia
  • (259 jobs)
  • (398 jobs)
  • (31 jobs)
  • (638 jobs)
  • (658 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (133 jobs)
  • (333 jobs)
  • (274 jobs)
  • (46 jobs)

Top Social Studies Teacher Employers

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Jobs From Top Social Studies Teacher Employers

Social Studies Teacher Videos

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High School Social Studies Teacher, Career Video from drkit.org

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