Being a teacher comes with its own unique perks, like having long summer and winter vacations, getting an early end to the day and having a set work schedule in advance. As of 2019, according to Glassdoor salaries data, the national average salary for a Teacher is $45,082 in the United States. Salary estimates are based on 26,149 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Teacher employees. A teacher with over 15 years of experience can earn $56,157 per year, while an entry-level teacher can make $43,203 per year.
In addition, the job market for teachers is showing promising growth: employment for teachers is expected to grow by seven percent for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, and by eight percent for middle school and high school teachers until 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are currently over 69,000 openings for teachers across the United States on Glassdoor.
What kind of teaching job is right for you?
To gain employment as a teacher, at least a bachelor’s degree is required. Some teachers choose to major in the subject area they plan to teach, such as English, history or biology, but it is generally not a requirement to do so. In many states, including California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, a master’s degree is also required in order to obtain a teaching certificate. For any state you teach in, a certificate or license specific to that state is required.
The teaching job you choose is dependent on your interests and your background — prospective teachers who studied art in college, for example, may have trouble finding employment as a math teacher. Jobs available for teachers are also dependent on what is available at the time, as it is a profession with relatively low turnover. Postings for teaching jobs can be found on job search sites like Glassdoor and on education-focused websites like teacher.org. Once you’ve found a job that suits you, the application process for teaching jobs is usually relatively straightforward. A resume and cover letter will be required, generally. Some jobs also may request a portfolio of other materials showing your qualifications as a teacher, including sample lesson plans, written recommendations and/or a list of references, and materials from past students.
Which teaching jobs pay the most money?
Glassdoor Salary Range: $39,000 – $72,000
If you’re a chemistry buff, you’re in luck — chemistry is one of the highest-paid subjects to teach in high schools. Chemistry teachers typically major in chemistry or a related field during their undergraduate education. Depending on the state, high school chemistry teachers may also require a master’s degree in teaching, as well as a student teaching internship and the successful completion of required state examinations for teachers.
Glassdoor Salary Range: $46,000 – $57,000
Teachers who speak a second language can earn more than their counterparts. For example, some districts who have a high percentage of Spanish speakers have a need for teachers who speak Spanish and who can teach in ESL classrooms. According to one industry resource, bilingual teachers can earn $2,000 to $5,000 more per year than their non-bilingual colleagues.
Glassdoor Salary Range: $37,000 – $78,000
Special education teachers work with students who have physical, developmental, mental and other disabilities, who need specialized instruction and care to facilitate their learning. Special education teachers teach traditional subjects ranging from reading and writing to math and science. The duties of a special education teacher often vary based on the needs of the students they are working with. Becoming a special education teacher requires a bachelor’s degree in an education-related field, and depending on the state you live in, either a masters degree and/or additional certifications.
Glassdoor Salary Range: $79,000 – $155,000
A superintendent is the head of a school district, including the district’s elementary, middle and high schools. The superintendent’s duties are similar to the CEO of a business — they make executive decisions about the management of the school district, budgets, hiring and firing of staff, and oversee major changes and programs in the school district. Superintendents typically have a master’s degree in education administration, if not a Ph.D. in an education-related field. There are a number of online master’s degree programs for education administration that can be completed concurrently with teaching or working in another school administration job.
Glassdoor Salary Range: $59,000 – $130,000
Assistant principals, often also called vice principals, work directly under the principal of an elementary, middle or high school. They handle certain disciplinary actions, coordinate the schedules and management of teachers and staff, and complete other administrative duties. Often assistant principals have a master’s degree in education administration or educational leadership, as well as some teaching experience.
Glassdoor Salary Range: $38,000 – $82,000
School librarians manage the inventory of books in a school library, check out books and make recommendations to students, and teach classes on how to use the library’s resources. Becoming a school librarian typically requires a master’s degree in library science or library and information studies, as well as state-specific additional tests and certifications.
Glassdoor Salary Range: $46,000 – $83,000
Curriculum developers, often also called instructional coordinators, help develop the means of instruction and the content that will be presented to students in the classroom. They also develop educational materials that facilitate student learning. Typically curriculum developers have at least a bachelor’s degree, if not a master’s degree, in an education-related field, as well as experience in teaching or administration. Some states require curriculum developers to pass a test in order to become employed.
Glassdoor Salary Range: $37,000 – $66,000
Math teachers in high school teach subjects including geometry, algebra, pre-calculus and calculus. Typically, math teachers major in math or a related quantitative field during their undergraduate education. Depending on the state, high school math teachers may also require a master’s degree in teaching, as well as a student teaching internship and the successful completion of required state examinations for teachers.
Education Career Paths
There are different rungs you may climb as a teacher, and sometimes, the rungs you climb will require different duties. One of the first steps up as a teacher you’ll take is getting tenured. From there, you may advance to serving as the head of your department, and from there, enter administrative positions like assistant principal, principal and maybe even superintendent.
You may want to consider a secondary degree, such as a degree in education administration, to boost your chances of getting promoted within your school. There are many masters in education administration programs that can be completed primarily online at the same time as you’re working as a teacher.