Today’s Lesson: How to Become a Teacher

Jeffrey Simons

By Jeffrey Simons

Ever since 1834, when Pennsylvania became the first state to require future teachers to pass a test of reading, writing and arithmetic, the process of becoming a teacher has been in a constant state of flux.

If you’re wondering how to become a teacher today, teachers must possess a bachelor’s degree, as well as a state-issued certification or license. And that’s just the minimum. Many teachers have to go back to school to get advanced degrees or flesh out subject matter mastery to stay competitive. Some states now require teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their certification.

Getting a degree in education can lead to more than just a job as a teacher. The highest paying positions in the field are administrative ones, which include school principals at every level, followed by school counselors.

In fact, education is in the top 10 majors by earnings, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the median pay was $43,000 a year, with administrators averaging $75,000 or more. It’s one of the most stable fields there is, ranking #2 for lowest unemployment rates: 5.4% for recent grads and 3.9% for experienced workers, well below the national averages and nearly every other profession.

For a quick snapshot of teacher education, take a look at the infographic below. We’ve put together a few fun facts, a bit of interesting history, current requirements and job projections that you might want to consider if you do plan on becoming a teacher. For instance, which do you think are projected to grow faster between 2010 and 2020: Elementary School, Middle School or High School teachers? Find out for yourself below.

And if you’re interested in finding out more about starting a fulfilling career as a teacher, read our StraighterLine Report: Do You Have What It Takes for a Career in Teaching?

Guest blogger
 Jeffrey Simons has been in advertising since the mid-80’s, when faxes were “new technology” and portable computers were the size of suitcases. Now, as Storyteller-in-Chief for his own social media consultancy, JL Simons Marketing & Advertising Consulting, he gets to tell true stories to interested readers for deserving brands.
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