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High School Teacher

Career Overview

High school, or secondary school teachers provide in-depth courses of study on topics that were introduced in elementary school and expanded on in middle school. Most secondary school teachers specialize in one academic area, such as mathematics, history, English or the sciences.

A teacher at this level may teach the same subject to multiple grade levels: freshman English, sophomore English, and so on. In some schools, an academic subject is taught in a classroom with students at mixed learning levels.


Most school districts today require a bachelor's degree from their teachers, in addition to a period of classroom internship in the role of "student teacher." For high school teachers, a fairly extensive collegiate background in the topic area to be taught is important as well. Because of the teacher shortage some school districts today are devising training programs for people who have bachelor's degrees in other backgrounds, that will allow them to be licensed and employed as a teacher. Some states require the completion of a master's degree within a set period of time after being hired.


There were about 1.1 million secondary school teachers working in the U.S in 2006, according to the Department of Labor.

Job Outlook

The projected growth rate for this profession is slightly slower than the average growth rate for jobs overall. The job prospects are good, however because of teachers that decide to leave the profession entirely or enter into school administration roles.


Lowest 10% $34,280

Median Salary $51,180

Highest 10% $80,970

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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