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Vocational Education Teacher Careers

What Does a Vocational Education Teacher 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.

How To Become a Vocational Education Teacher

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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Average Salary
$52,778
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-1%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
32,005
Job Openings

Average Salary for a Vocational Education Teacher

Vocational Education Teachers in America make an average salary of $52,778 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $78,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $35,000 per year.
Average Salary
$52,778
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
New York, NY
Salary Range62k - 104k$81k$80,679
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range49k - 87k$66k$65,587
Arlington, VA
Salary Range47k - 80k$62k$61,655
Chicago, IL
Salary Range41k - 74k$56k$55,795
Dallas, TX
Salary Range42k - 70k$54k$54,339
Daytona Beach, FL
Salary Range35k - 59k$46k$45,684
$35k
$104k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Vocational Education Teacher
Vocational Education Teacher
Academies of Math and Science
Academies of Math and Science
07/30/2020
07/30/2020
$44,00007/30/2020
$44,000
Fdc-Vocational Teacher Ejt-Custodial Services Educator-70010189-Charlotte Correctional Institution
Fdc-Vocational Teacher Ejt-Custodial Services Educator-70010189-Charlotte Correctional Institution
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation
05/15/2020
05/15/2020
$32,69705/15/2020
$32,697
Fdc-Vocational Teacher Ejt-Custodial Services Educator-70010189-Charlotte Correctional Institution
Fdc-Vocational Teacher Ejt-Custodial Services Educator-70010189-Charlotte Correctional Institution
State of Florida
State of Florida
05/06/2020
05/06/2020
$32,69705/06/2020
$32,697
Vocational Education Teacher
Vocational Education Teacher
GLG Gaming, Inc.
GLG Gaming, Inc.
03/06/2020
03/06/2020
$108,69103/06/2020
$108,691
High School Vocational Education Teacher
High School Vocational Education Teacher
Merced County Office of Education
Merced County Office of Education
01/08/2020
01/08/2020
$53,57201/08/2020
$53,572
See More Recent Salaries

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Vocational Education Teacher Demographics

Gender

male

51.5 %

female

40.6 %

unknown

7.9 %

Ethnicity

White

75.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.8 %

Black or African American

7.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

75.0 %

Persian

25.0 %
See More Demographics

Vocational Education Teacher Education

Majors

Education
16.7 %
Business
13.6 %

Degrees

Bachelors

58.9 %

Associate

14.4 %

Masters

12.2 %

Top Colleges for Vocational Education Teachers

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

7. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

8. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

9. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974

10. SUNY at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,099
Enrollment
21,404
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Vocational Education Teacher That You May Like

Music Education for Teachers
coursera

In the Music Education for Teachers specialization, you will explore ways of integrating popular music into your teaching. You'll begin by learning from two highly experienced teachers, Krystal Banfield, the Vice President of Educational Outreach for Berklee College of Music, and David Alexis a Berklee Professor and long-time instructor for the Berklee City Music Program. They will take you through their process of incorporating popular music, improvisation, arranging, and music technology into...

Integrating Technology in the Classroom
ed2go

In this professional development course for teachers, you will learn about technology integration in the classroom and gain the skills needed to use tools like apps, assistive technology, and blogs effectively...

Assessment in Higher Education: Professional Development for Teachers
coursera

Are you a teacher in higher education wanting to get the best out of your students and assessments? Then on behalf of Risbo, Erasmus University Rotterdam, we would like to welcome you to this MOOC on Assessment in Higher Education. In this MOOC we will guide you through the different phases of preparing, creating and evaluating the assessments in your course. After participating in this MOOC, you will be able to: 1. Design an assessment that is constructively aligned (content, level, methods) wi...

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Top Skills For a Vocational Education 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, 35.1% of vocational education teachers listed vocational rehabilitation on their resume, but soft skills such as organizational skills and communication skills are important as well.

Best States For a Vocational Education Teacher

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a vocational education teacher. The best states for people in this position are New York, Alaska, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Vocational education teachers make the most in New York with an average salary of $80,136. Whereas in Alaska and Rhode Island, they would average $74,451 and $71,268, respectively. While vocational education teachers would only make an average of $71,091 in Connecticut, 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 Vocational Education Teacher Jobs:
1,114
Highest 10% Earn:
$129,000
Location Quotient:
1.07
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Delaware

Total Vocational Education Teacher Jobs:
123
Highest 10% Earn:
$112,000
Location Quotient:
1.2
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Hampshire

Total Vocational Education Teacher Jobs:
216
Highest 10% Earn:
$109,000
Location Quotient:
1.52
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Vocational Education Teacher Employers

1. San Joaquin County Office of Education
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$52,557
Vocational Education Teachers Hired: 
5+
2. State of Florida
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$42,072
Vocational Education Teachers Hired: 
3+
3. Kennewick School District
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$48,861
Vocational Education Teachers Hired: 
2+
4. City College of San Francisco
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$42,753
Vocational Education Teachers Hired: 
2+
5. Delaware
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$51,986
Vocational Education Teachers Hired: 
1+
6. Oklahoma State University
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$87,438
Vocational Education Teachers Hired: 
1+
Updated October 2, 2020