Teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) work with students to improve their English reading, writing, and oral communication skills. Teachers may work with students of all ages and may also choose to work abroad. Most states require ESL teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, teaching certification, and an ESL certification endorsement.
ESL teachers prepare and deliver lessons using up-to-date teaching theories, methods, and materials to help their students learn to communicate effectively in English. Elementary-level students will focus on the basics, while more advanced students may spend time preparing for job interviews or further academic work.
Computers are becoming increasingly popular in ESL classrooms, and as a result, ESL teachers should also become familiar with technological advances as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current median annual wage of ESL teachers is $46,530, but salaries vary greatly based on employer, location, age group, experience, and other factors. Employment of ESL teachers, including adult literacy and GED teachers, is expected to grow 15% by 2020 because of continued immigration to the United States.
The demand for ESL teachers will continue to grow in high-immigration states like Texas, California, Florida, and New York, as well as other parts of the country with smaller but increasing immigration populations. There are also many opportunities for ESL teachers to increase their salaries and job opportunities by earning a master’s degree or graduate certificate, such as Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).