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Become A World Language Teacher

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Working As A World Language Teacher

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • $51,000

    Average Salary

What Does A World Language Teacher Do

Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.

Duties

Postsecondary teachers typically do the following:

  • Teach courses in their subject area
  • Work with students who are taking classes to improve their knowledge or career skills
  • Develop an instructional plan (known as a course outline or syllabus) for the course(s) they teach and ensure that it meets college and department standards
  • Plan lessons and assignments
  • Work with colleagues to develop or modify the curriculum for a degree or certificate program involving a series of courses
  • Assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work
  • Advise students about which classes to take and how to achieve their goals
  • Stay informed about changes and innovations in their field
  • Conduct research and experiments to advance knowledge in their field
  • Supervise graduate students who are working toward doctoral degrees
  • Publish original research and analysis in books and academic journals
  • Serve on academic and administrative committees that review and recommend policies, make budget decisions, or advise on hiring and promotions within their department

Postsecondary teachers, often referred to as professors or faculty, specialize in a variety of subjects and fields. Some teach academic subjects, such as English or philosophy. Others focus on career-related subjects, such as law, nursing, or culinary arts.

At colleges and universities, professors are organized into departments that specialize in a subject, such as history, science, business, or music. A professor may teach one or more courses within that department. For example, a mathematics professor may teach calculus, statistics, and a graduate seminar in a very specific area of mathematics.

Postsecondary teachers’ duties vary with their positions in a university or college. In large colleges or universities, they may spend their time teaching, conducting research or experiments, applying for grants to fund their research, or supervising graduate teaching assistants who are teaching classes.

Postsecondary teachers who work in small colleges and universities or in community colleges often spend more time teaching classes and working with students. They may spend some time conducting research, but they do not have as much time to devote to it.

Full-time professors, particularly those who have tenure (a professor who cannot be fired without just cause), often are expected to spend more time on their research. They also may be expected to serve on more college and university committees.

Part-time professors, often known as adjunct professors, spend most of their time teaching students.

Professors may teach large classes of several hundred students (often with the help of graduate teaching assistants), smaller classes of about 40 to 50 students, seminars with just a few students, or laboratories where students practice the subject matter. They work with an increasingly varied student population as more part-time, older, and culturally diverse students are going to postsecondary schools.

Professors need to keep up with developments in their field by reading scholarly articles, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences. A tenured professor must do original research, such as experiments, document analysis, or critical reviews, and publish their findings.

Some postsecondary teachers work for online universities or teach online classes. They use websites to present lessons and information, to assign and accept students’ work, and to participate in course discussions. Online professors communicate with students by email and by phone and might never meet their students in person.

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How To Become A World Language Teacher

Educational requirements vary with the subject taught and the type of educational institution. Most commonly, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges. In career and technical schools, work experience may be important for getting a postsecondary teaching job.

Education

Postsecondary teachers who work for 4-year colleges and universities typically need a doctoral degree in their field. Some schools may hire those with a master’s degree or those who are doctoral degree candidates for some specialties, such as fine arts, or for some part-time positions.

Doctoral programs generally take multiple years after the completion of a bachelor’s degree program. They spend time completing a master’s degree and then writing a doctoral dissertation, which is a paper presenting original research in the student’s field of study. Candidates usually specialize in a subfield, such as organic chemistry or European history.

Community colleges or career and technical schools also may hire those with a master’s degree. However, in some fields, there are more applicants than available positions. In these situations, institutions can be more selective, and they frequently choose applicants who have a Ph.D. over those with a master’s degree.

Postsecondary teachers who teach career and technical education courses, such as culinary arts or cosmetology, may not be required to have graduate-level education. At a minimum they must hold the degree of the program in which they are teaching. For example, the teacher must hold an associate’s degree if they teach a program that is at the associate’s degree level. In addition, work experience or certification may be just as important as education for getting a postsecondary teaching job at a career or technical school.

Other Experience

Some institutions may prefer to hire those with teaching or other work experience, but this is not a requirement for all fields or for all employers.

In health specialties, art, or education fields, hands-on work experience in the industry can be important. Postsecondary teachers in these fields often gain experience by working in an occupation related to their field of expertise.

In fields such as biological science, physics, and chemistry, some postsecondary teachers have postdoctoral research experience. These short-term jobs, sometimes called “post-docs,” usually involve working for 2 to 3 years as a research associate or in a similar position, often at a college or university.

Some postsecondary teachers gain teaching experience by working as graduate teaching assistants—students who are enrolled in a graduate program and teach classes in the institution in which they are enrolled.

Some postsecondary teachers, especially adjunct professors, have another job in addition to teaching.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Postsecondary teachers who prepare students for an occupation that requires a license, certification, or registration, may need to have—or they may benefit from having—the same credential. For example, a postsecondary nursing teacher might need a nursing license or a postsecondary education teacher might need a teaching license.

Advancement

A major goal for postsecondary teachers with a doctoral degree is attaining a tenure—a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause. It can take up to 7 years of moving up the ranks in tenure-track positions. The ranks are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Tenure is granted through a review of the candidate’s research, contribution to the institution, and teaching.

Tenure and tenure track positions are declining as institutions are relying more heavily on part-time faculty.

Some tenured professors advance to administrative positions, such as dean or president. For information on deans and other administrative positions, see the profile on postsecondary education administrators. For more information about college and university presidents, see the profile on top executives.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. To challenge established theories and beliefs, conduct original research, and design experiments, postsecondary teachers need good critical-thinking skills.

Interpersonal skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be able to work well with others and must have good communication skills to serve on committees and give lectures.

Resourcefulness. Postsecondary teachers need to be able to present information in a way that students will understand. They need to adapt to the different learning styles of their students and teach students who have little or no experience with the subject.

Speaking skills. Postsecondary teachers need good communication skills to give lectures.

Writing skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be skilled writers to publish original research and analysis.

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Do you work as a World Language Teacher?

Average Yearly Salary
$51,000
Show Salaries
$40,000
Min 10%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Alexandria City Public Schools
Highest Paying City
Santa Rosa, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.1 years
How much does a World Language Teacher make at top companies?
The national average salary for a World Language Teacher in the United States is $51,967 per year or $25 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $40,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $66,000.

Real World Language Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
World Languageteacher Avon Public Schools Avon, CT Jun 21, 2012 $80,387
World Language Teacher Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton Atherton, CA Aug 01, 2015 $79,555
Teacher-World Languages La Jolla Country Day School San Diego, CA Sep 01, 2011 $79,000
Teacher-World Languages La Jolla Country Day School San Diego, CA Aug 18, 2011 $79,000
Teacher of World Languages Northern Highlands Regional High School Allendale, NJ Sep 07, 2011 $78,150
World Language Teacher San Dieguito Union High School District Encinitas, CA May 02, 2010 $75,936
High School Latin Teacher/World Language Teacher Avon Public Schools Avon, CT Jun 21, 2011 $75,604
World Language Teacher Hudson Public Schools Hudson, MA Jan 09, 2016 $72,908
World Language Teacher-Middle School North Andover Public Schools North Andover, MA May 31, 2016 $72,000
Teacher, World Languages (Spanish) Special School District No. 1 Minneapolis, MN Aug 22, 2016 $70,645
World Language Japanese Teacher Special School District No. 1 Minneapolis, MN Jan 07, 2016 $69,664
World Language Teacher-Mandarin Chinese Ramapo Central School District Suffern, NY Sep 01, 2010 $68,311
World Language Teacher-Mandarin Chinese Mercer Island School District #400 Mercer Island, WA Aug 30, 2010 $59,609
World Languages Teacher Mid-Pacific Institute Urban Honolulu, HI Aug 29, 2012 $58,904
World Language Teacher--Mandarin The Ross School East Hampton, NY Aug 13, 2012 $58,000
World Language Teacher--Chinese The Ross School East Hampton, NY Sep 01, 2013 $58,000
High School World Language Teacher Iowa City Community School District Iowa City, IA Sep 30, 2015 $57,057
World Language (Spanish) Teacher Boulder Valley Public Schools Boulder, CO Nov 14, 2007 $55,351
World Language Teacher-Mandarin Chinese Mercer Island School District #400 WA Apr 19, 2012 $55,121
World Language Teacher, Upper School Park Tudor Foundation, Inc. Indianapolis, IN Aug 08, 2014 $55,000 -
$65,000
World Language/Elementary Teacher Caesar Rodney School District Camden, DE Aug 16, 2014 $44,895
World Language/Elementary Teacher Caesar Rodney School District Camden, DE Apr 09, 2014 $44,895
World Language/Elementary Teacher Caesar Rodney School District Camden, DE Sep 04, 2014 $44,895
World Language/Elementary Teacher Caesar Rodney School District Magnolia, DE Sep 04, 2014 $44,895
World Language/Secondary Teacher Caesar Rodney School District Camden, DE Sep 03, 2015 $44,269
World Language/Elementary Teacher Caesar Rodney School District Camden, DE Sep 03, 2015 $44,269
World Languages Teacher Mid-Pacific Institute Urban Honolulu, HI Sep 03, 2010 $44,148

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Top Skills for A World Language Teacher

  1. Spanish Curriculum
  2. Grade Level
  3. Instructional Materials
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Follow New Jersey standards to create lessons implementing World Language / Spanish curriculum.
  • Advise administration and educators of the acute needs of varying grade levels to improve an existing competitive blended learning language program.
  • Designed instructional materials, classroom activities and assessments.
  • Developed lesson plans to increase cultural and international awareness among students.
  • Participated in professional development activities specifically focused on integrating technology into World Language classrooms.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for World Language Teachers

  1. California
  2. Alaska
  3. Michigan
  4. New Jersey
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Nevada
  7. Florida
  8. Rhode Island
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Connecticut
  • (2,205 jobs)
  • (42 jobs)
  • (650 jobs)
  • (346 jobs)
  • (350 jobs)
  • (243 jobs)
  • (473 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (70 jobs)
  • (191 jobs)

World Language Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

58.5%

Male

21.5%

Unknown

20.0%
Ethnicity

White

56.5%

Hispanic or Latino

22.4%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

2.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.2%

French

24.8%

German

6.2%

Portuguese

3.9%

Japanese

3.9%

Italian

3.9%

Arabic

3.1%

Chinese

2.3%

Mandarin

2.3%

Russian

2.3%

Korean

2.3%

Cantonese

0.8%
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World Language Teacher Education

Schools

University of Florida

7.1%

University of Phoenix

7.1%

Rowan University

7.1%

Walden University

7.1%

Temple University

5.4%

New Jersey City University

5.4%

Fordham University

5.4%

University of Pittsburgh -

5.4%

Nova Southeastern University

5.4%

University of Virginia

5.4%

Montclair State University

5.4%

University of Delaware

5.4%

American College of Education

3.6%

University of Pennsylvania

3.6%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.6%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.6%

Marquette University

3.6%

Marygrove College

3.6%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.6%

Loyola University of Chicago

3.6%
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Majors

Education

18.3%

Elementary Education

15.5%

Educational Leadership

8.9%

Linguistics

8.5%

English

7.0%

Curriculum And Instruction

6.6%

General Education, Specific Areas

6.1%

Spanish Language

4.2%

French Language

3.3%

Psychology

2.8%

Bilingual Education

2.8%

Global Studies

2.3%

Educational Technology

1.9%

Area Studies

1.9%

Business

1.9%

Secondary Education And Teaching

1.9%

Counseling Psychology

1.9%

School Counseling

1.4%

Marketing

1.4%

Law

1.4%
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Degrees

Masters

50.5%

Bachelors

19.3%

Other

15.8%

Certificate

7.7%

Doctorate

5.3%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.4%

Associate

0.4%
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