Career Detail


Teacher - Middle School and Secondary
“Success Launchers”
Help students delve more deeply into subjects introduced in elementary school and expose them to more information about the world.
The Job
Middle and secondary teachers provide the tools and the environment for their students to develop into responsible adults. Most specialize in a specific subject, such as English, Spanish, mathematics, history, or biology. Some specialize in career or vocational oriented courses. Computers play an integral role, students also use the Internet for individual research projects and to gather information. Teachers must continually update their skills so that they can instruct and use the latest technology in the classroom.
Work Environment
Classroom setting. Often work with students and staff from varied ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds.
College Majors
Subject or vocation you plan to teach.
Minimum Qualifications
Aspiring secondary school teachers most often major in the subject they plan to teach while also taking a program of study in teacher preparation. Most programs require students to perform a student-teaching internship. Must be licensed.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Excellent communication skills, close attention to detail, multi-tasker.
Quick Facts
  • Most states now offer alternative routes to licensure for those who have a college degree in other fields.
  • Job prospects should be favorable; opportunities will vary by geographic area and subject taught.
  • More Info: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, http://www.ncate.org
  • More Info: National Center for Alternative Certification, http://www.teach-now.org
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranged from $47,100 to $51,180 in May 2008; the lowest 10 percent earned $30,970 to $34,280; the top 10 percent earned $75,190 to $80,970. Getting a master's degree or national certification often results in a raise in pay.
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