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Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education
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Description: what do they do?
Teach students in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies at the secondary level in public or private schools. May be designated according to subject matter specialty.
Also known as:
History Teacher, Social Studies Teacher, Mathematics Instructor (Math Instructor), High School Science Teacher, Teacher, Secondary Teacher, English Teacher, Spanish Teacher, Science Teacher, Art Teacher

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: Secondary school teachers help students prepare for life after high school, from taking college entrance exams to getting ready for a career. They specialize in teaching seventh to twelfth grade students a single subject, such as English, physical education, science, or music. Secondary school teachers must adapt to students' varied abilities, including limited English proficiency, learning disabilities, and emotional or behavioral disorders. During open periods in their day, teachers plan lessons, grade assignments, and meet with other teachers and staff. They may post grades and assignments on school websites. Some high school teachers coach sports and advise clubs and other groups after school. Teaching can be challenging, especially where classes are large and important resources are in short supply. Teachers are often held accountable for students’ performance on standardized tests, and at times, must go to great lengths to engage students and maintain a respectful learning environment. Communication skills, patience, and resourcefulness… are important characteristics in this career. Teachers generally work a ten-month school year with a two-month break for summer, although some teach summer programs. A bachelor’s degree is required to enter this field, along with state certification or licensure to work at public schools. Candidates must also pass a test in their subject area. The payoff for teachers' commitment is seeing students develop a strong foundation for their future.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
N/A
2016 Employment
N/A
2026 Employment
N/A
Percent change
N/A
Annual projected job openings
United States
1,072,500
2018 Employment
1,110,600
2028 Employment
4%
Percent change
80,300
Annual projected job openings
N/A: We do not have employment projections in this state for this occupation.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationUSUnited States
10%N/A$39,740
25%N/A$47,980
MedianN/A$60,320
75%N/A$77,720
90%N/A$97,500


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Bachelor's degree
  • No work experience
  • No on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2018.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Set up classroom materials or equipment.
  • Apply multiple teaching methods.
  • Develop instructional objectives.
  • Establish rules or policies governing student behavior.
  • Modify teaching methods or materials to accommodate student needs.
  • Maintain student records.
  • Monitor student performance.
  • Monitor student behavior, social development, or health.
  • Evaluate student work.
  • Plan educational activities.
  • Discuss student progress with parents or guardians.
  • Discuss problems or issues with supervisors.
  • Assign class work to students.
  • Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
  • Prepare tests.
  • Encourage students.
  • Create technology-based learning materials.
  • Enforce rules or policies governing student behavior.
  • Teach others to use technology or equipment.
  • Assist students with special educational needs.
  • Advise students on academic or career matters.
  • Develop strategies or programs for students with special needs.
  • Collaborate with other teaching professionals to develop educational programs.
  • Prepare reports detailing student activities or performance.
  • Document lesson plans.
  • Plan experiential learning activities.
  • Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
  • Supervise school or student activities.
  • Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
  • Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
  • Distribute instructional or library materials.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
  • Coordinate student extracurricular activities.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Instructing - Teaching people how to do something.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Learning Strategies - Using the best training or teaching strategies for learning new things.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Originality - Creating new and original ideas.
  • Fluency of Ideas - Coming up with lots of ideas.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Social - Occupations with Social interests frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Most involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Artistic - Occupations with Artistic interests frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and allow for developing unique approaches to conducting the work.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Instruct through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to students.
  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.
  • Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students' varying needs and interests.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
  • Assign and grade class work and homework.
  • Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
  • Prepare students for later grades by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use of equipment and materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Enforce all administration policies and rules governing students.
  • Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities such as restrooms.
  • Guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.
  • Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students' needs and progress.
  • Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine priorities for their children and their resource needs.
  • Prepare objectives and outlines for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements of states and schools.
  • Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of secondary school programs.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.
  • Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers, or other experiential activities, and guide students in learning from those activities.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
  • Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.
  • Sponsor extracurricular activities, such as clubs, student organizations, and academic contests.
  • Administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine students' strengths and areas of need.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.