Steven R. Van Hook, PhD
first decades of the 21st century are looking good for educators overall, counting tertiary (college) and primary/secondary teachers
(elementary, middle- and high-school instructors).
Here are some interesting
projections, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational
Postsecondary (college and
university) teachers are expected to grow by 15 by 2018, which is faster
than the average for all occupations. This growth is primarily due to
student enrollments in higher education in the years ahead.
Continuing education adults
returning to college will also boost demand for teachers, as the students
seek to update their skills and career prospects. This will especially be
a boon for community colleges and for-profit career colleges. However,
many state-supported institutions are bound to suffer from state and local
Tenure-track positions will
grow ever more competitive, and teachers pursuing part-time or adjunct
positions are likely to find more opportunities, especially as large
numbers of entrenched instructors are expected to retire over the next
Four-year colleges and
universities will typically require a doctoral degree for full-time
and tenure-track positions. However, a master's degree may serve for
adjunct positions or certain teaching fields, such as the arts.
In community colleges and
other two-years schools, educators with a master's degree hold most of the
teaching spots, though in more competitive fields and localities, teachers
holding PhD's may win the job.
Recent calculations place the
median annual earnings of all postsecondary teachers at $58,830. The
lowest 10 percent of instructors earned less than $28,870 while the
highest 10 percent earned more than $121,850.
For teachers at kindergarten, elementary,
middle and secondary schools, the job prospects are expected to rise
relatively slower as children of the big baby-boom generation move out of
the school system. But teachers in high-demand subjects such as math,
science, and bilingual education are likely to fare well, as well as those
who teach in less desirable urban or rural school districts.
The recent median wages of kindergarten,
elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranged from $47,100 to
$51,180; the lowest 10 percent earning $30,970 to $34,280; and the top 10
percent earning $75,190 to $80,970.
For primary/secondary teachers, having a
master's degree or national certification often garners higher pay. Often
teachers earn extra pay by teaching summer school or by holding additional
jobs in the school system. While private school teachers typically don't
earn as much as public school teachers, they may receive additional
benefits such as subsidized housing.
For much more detail on the
outlook for all teachers, including job prospects, qualifications
necessary, working conditions, pay and so forth, visit these eminently
useful pages courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
for primary and secondary teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos318.htm
Projections for higher
education teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos066.htm
R. Van Hook has been an educator for colleges and
universities in the United States and abroad for more than a
decade, teaching in traditional, online, and hybrid classrooms,
and developing more than a dozen different courses.
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