You are here:

Elementary School Teacher

Career Overview: Elementary School Teacher

Elementary school teachers introduce children to reading, arithmetic, history and the arts. Generally elementary schools include grades one through five or six. An elementary school teacher usually teaches one classroom of students, in the same grade, and on all educational topics to be covered. Specialty topics like music education or physical education may be taught by a separate teacher who handles music for all grades and classrooms. 

The elementary school teacher teaches primarily in a group setting, with a small amount of time allotted to one-t-one interaction with the students. Class projects using small groups of a few students working together are an additional teaching tool.

Required Education

Until recent years an elementary school teacher was required to hold bachelors in education. Today some states allow individuals with degrees in other topics to gain experience and apply for licensure. Every state has its own licensing requirements for teachers. Generally there is a requirement of internship in the form of "student teaching" for individuals preparing for a teaching career.


Of the four million teachers in the U.S. about 1.5 million of them are elementary school teachers. The teaching opportunities are scattered through the population in direct proportion to community size.

Job Outlook

Job growth in the teaching profession is projected to be just average. However there has been a chronic shortage of qualified teachers for years, leading to the decision in many states to broaden the range of educational requirements.

Salary Range

Lowest 10%  $31,480
Median Salary  $47,330
Highest 10%  $74,670

Source: U.S. Department of Labo

College Search Tools

  • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

  • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.

  • Featured Colleges: Check out our index of featured online & campus colleges.