Adult education teachers teach adults and younger students no longer enrolled in school basic skills like reading, writing, speaking English, and math that will help them be independent in society. Types of instruction include adult basic or remedial education for adults at or below an eighth-grade level; adult secondary education for those who wish to earn their General Educational Development (GED) certificate; and English literacy instruction for adults with limited English skills, often known as English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers.
Adult Literacy Teachers
Adult literacy teachers work with those seeking help with basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, and those who are preparing to obtain their GED certificate. Adult literacy teachers are usually required to have at least a bachelor’s degree and possibly a master’s degree in adult education. Licensure may also be required. All adult literacy and remedial teachers prepare lessons and paperwork and must keep up to date on developments and trends in their field.
Because attendance is usually voluntary, work is often ungraded and students are often quite motivated, potentially making this teaching atmosphere less stressful for instructors. Classes are often held in the mornings and evenings, so students don’t miss work.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 2011 median earnings for adult literacy and GED teachers was $47,370 per year or $22.77 per hour; the highest-paid 10% made more than $81,990, while the lowest-paid 10% made less than $27,790. Many adult literacy teachers are employed by community colleges, organizations, public schools, and even prisons.
The BLS estimates there were approximately 86,900 adult literacy teachers in 2010 and estimates there will be 99,600 in 2020 for 15% growth. The BLS characterizes this as about as fast as the average for all occupations and cites the reason for such growth as employers’ needing a more literate workforce. Teachers who speak a foreign language will be especially desired as immigrants continue to enter the United States and seek employment.