Becoming a Career and Technical Education Teacher

Career and Technical Educators

Working as a Career and Technical Education Teacher

Career and technical education teachers are employed at middle and high schools and career colleges and help students develop the skills and techniques that may enable them to enter particular career-oriented occupations, such as those in automotive repair, carpentry, culinary arts, information technology or healthcare. Career and technical education teachers should possess the education, skills and understanding of effective teaching techniques to communicate with their students, and they also should have proficiency in their particular field of instruction. That proficiency most often is gained through years of work-based experience. The majority of teachers work during regular school hours, but some career and technical education teachers work nights and weekends depending on their area of instruction. Their work often mirrors the traditional 10-month school year, though many teachers also work during summer instruction periods.

How to Become a Career and Technical Education Teacher

Teachers who work in public schools are required to hold a state-issued teaching license, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, though requirements for licensure differ from state to state (bls.gov, 2012). Additionally, most states require career and technical education teachers to hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree, or extensive, documented work experience.

Many teachers have just a high school diploma, the BLS says, but they have significant work experience in the fields of automotive repair, culinary arts or similar occupation. Teachers who follow this career path are still required to enroll in an alternative certification program to get the required state teaching license. Others earn their credential after successful completion of a bachelor's degree program in agriculture, computer sciences, education, engineering, child psychology, or a similar area of study. Teachers often are required to take continuing education and professional development courses to maintain their license, the BLS reports.

Career Earnings

In 2012, there were 87,780 career and technical education teachers working nationwide in the U.S., according to the BLS. The median annual career and technical education salary was $55,160, though the bottom 10 percent of teachers earned less than $38,170 and the top 10 percent earned more than $81,400.

Elementary and secondary schools employed 97 percent of all technical and career education teachers. Employment of career and technical education teachers is expected to be flat from 2010 through 2020, the BLS says. However, employment of teachers at the middle school level is projected to increase by 9 percent during this time.

Sources:

  1. Career/Technical Education Teachers/Secondary School, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-2013 Edition), http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/career-and-technical-education-teachers.htm#tab-6
  2. Career/Technical Education Teachers/Secondary School, Occupational Employment and Wages (May 2012), http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252032.htm

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