Secondary school teachers are commonly called high school teachers in the U.S. These educators work with students in grades nine through twelve, typically in specialized areas including: biology, chemistry, American history, English, mathematics, and foreign languages. Requirements for public school teachers vary by state, but will require licensure and a bachelor’s degree in a teaching or related field.
Additionally, most public high school teachers will be required to complete 24 to 36 hours of accredited college courses in their specialty area. Some schools, both public and private, may require their high school teachers to complete a master’s degree in education or the teacher’s demonstrated specialty.
In public school, secondary teachers must also complete an approved teacher education program in order gain licensure. High school teachers in private schools will have similar but varied requirements, and each state’s statutes are different.
Secondary teachers help students delve deeper into specialized subjects, as well as preparing lesson plans, delivering lessons, proctoring and grading exams, maintaining classroom discipline, evaluating student performances, and meeting with parents and school administrators to discuss student progress. Secondary teachers are highly specialized in their subject areas, and are expected to remain informed on current developments and trends in their field. Faculty meetings, group lesson planning, and extracurricular activities are also a common part of
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2011 average annual salary for secondary school teachers was $56,760. The top 10% of secondary school teachers earned more than $83,230, while the lowest 10% earned less than $35,020 in 2010. The highest paying states for secondary school teachers The top paying states for secondary teachers in 2011 were New York, Rhode Island, Alaska, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011 saw 1,004,850 secondary school teachers employed in the U.S. in 2011, with expected growth through 2020 to be slower than the national average for other occupations. At 7% expected growth, jobs for high school teachers are only expected to increase by approximately 72,000 through 2020.
The highest need for teachers will continue to be in areas such as mathematics, chemistry, physics, bilingual education, foreign languages, and vocational courses. Generally, public school secondary teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, and many schools also require a master’s degree in the teacher’s specialty; private school teaching requirements vary.