Teaching Job Outlook

Learn more about careers in teaching and education. Find information on teaching careers, job outlook, salary, and recommended schools. View popular schools that prepare students for careers as teachers.


Teaching is a rewarding career that can be sought through a number of different career pathways. While most laymen view teaching as a domain of public education, teachers are needed in a broad range of areas including higher education, vocational training, teaching supports and teaching administration. In most instances, higher education in teaching and education along with certification are needed to obtain a position in teaching. However students that are able to obtain a PhD in their field will not require any specific training to teach students. Rather, the expertise garnered in obtaining a PhD is used as a foundation for promoting the teaching capabilities of the professional.

Regardless of the pathway taken by the individual to obtain a teaching job, the outcomes are similar. Professionals working in the discipline are responsible for shaping both the academic and social development of the students that they teach. Depending on the specific area of specialization for the educator, the teaching tools used to achieve these outcomes will differ. In all cases, teachers will provide important supports for the development of the student; supports that will enable the student to develop across the lifespan. Success in teaching is critical for the advancement of students in a myriad of domains.


Careers in teaching include several different options for professionals. Those interested in education should consider the specific age range of children with which they would like to engage. For those interested in working with children between birth to 5-years-of-age, careers in early childhood education such as preschool teaching would be appropriate. For professionals interested in working with children between the ages of 6 and 12, elementary school education may be an appropriate career choice. Professionals interested in working with adolescents can consider a career in middle and high school education. Teachers are also needed at the post-secondary level. In order to teach in higher education, most colleges require an advanced degree, e.g., master’s degree or doctorate degree. Post-secondary teachers may also work in vocational and technical schools. While compulsory and post-secondary education provide many of the jobs for teachers, those interested in teaching may also consider positions as tutors or administrators.


Compensation for those in the field of teaching will vary based on the specific area of specialization. For instance, daycare workers who provide teaching supports for young children have annual average salaries of $18,000 per year. However professionals that work as public school teachers can command much higher annual salaries. Median annual salaries for public school teachers at all levels (elementary, middle and high school) were $51,180 in 2008. For those at the top of the procession, median annual salaries were $80,970. Professionals working in higher education are also able to command higher salaries than those working in early childhood education and other fields of teaching. Median annual salaries for postsecondary educators were $58,830 in 2008 with the highest earners making on average $121,850 annually. Higher salaries at the post-secondary level are common because of the extensive of amount of advanced education needed to obtain a position in this teaching field.

Job Outlook

A review of each area of teaching (e.g. early elementary, compulsory and post-secondary education) indicates that job growth overall is expected to be higher than average through 2018. Education has become an important area for individual and social development. As a result, ongoing efforts are being made to improve and strengthen the educational system at all levels. Early childhood education has been recognized as necessary for providing a foundation for the child’s development across the lifespan. Recognition of this issue continues to fuel demand for professionals in this discipline. Compulsory education is required by all states. As such, demand for teachers continues to increase, even when macro economic conditions change. Increased demand for teachers in post-secondary education is being fueled by increased student demand for higher education. Due to the increased demand for professionals in each of these fields those seeking a career in teaching should have little difficulty finding employment. Professionals with advanced education will have more opportunities for employment in different areas of education.

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