How to Snag a Job in Education


By Thea Nyberg

educationWith the current economy causing many people to consider a job transition, teaching positions are more popular than ever. "Education is one of a handful of sectors that has actually added jobs in this recession." says Cheryl Palmer, a career expert and president of Call to Career. "Even in hard times, I don't think anyone wants to scrimp on education."

Stable and considered "recession proof" by many, jobs in education can be an excellent second career for those with a bachelor's degree. "Teaching is a fallback profession for many people. When other jobs are hard to come by, many professionals start to look at teaching," explains Palmer.

Getting Started

There are several routes to becoming a teacher. The traditional path includes a bachelor's degree from a teaching training program and a state-issued license. In addition, teachers must complete a certain number of education credits and hours. A license is required in all 50 states for public school teachers and licensing requirements can vary from state to state.

Off the beaten path are alternative certification programs, which are aimed at people who already have a bachelor's degree and want to become a teacher. These programs can take from a few months to three years to complete and are designed to ease shortages of teachers in high-demand subjects or districts that are experiencing a shortage of teachers.

Emily Feistritzer, president and CEO of the National Center for Alternative Certification, explains that these programs not only meet demand for teachers but also the training needs of individuals who already have a bachelor's degree and want to teach. "[Alternative programs] are efficient means of getting the right people in teaching jobs where demand is greatest. The typical program gets one into the classroom as a teacher of record (salary with benefits) early in the program, working with a mentor teacher," she says.

There has been a huge increase in the number of people entering teaching through alternate routes in the last decade. "There are about 600 [alternative] programs throughout the country, producing about one-third of all new teachers hired," says Feistritzer, "In the 2007-08 school year, 62,000 teachers were certified through alternate routes."

Teaching Jobs in Demand

"The greatest need is for bilingual teachers, special education teachers, math and science teachers," says Palmer. Regionally, the west and the south have the greatest need for educators, but throughout the US, demand is the highest in rural areas and inner cities. Despite the economic downturn, many states are experiencing teacher shortages. To learn more about which states have a need for teachers, Palmer recommends visiting the U.S. Department of Education's Web site.

Alternative Positions

Online classes, tutoring and ESL (English as a Second Language) instruction are becoming alternatives to in-the-classroom teaching and often require less schooling. Alysia Bartley, academic coordinator for TalktoCanada, an international English training company, has seen a "huge boost this past year in teachers looking to work online. There is a very large demand for business ESL training." Online ESL teaching has many benefits, including one-on-one instruction with students, no need for lesson plan preparation and very little marking.

John Hooi, founder of Tutor Doctor, which provides in-home tutoring to students, has found that a flexible schedule and one-on-one interaction with students are among the many perks of tutoring. "Tutors can have rest assurance they are helping kids on a 'one-to-one' basis as oppose to 'one-to-many' basis. Many tutors believe this is the best ratio for the best results," he notes.

Getting Ahead

Obtaining a master's degree and national certification typically will lead to an increased salary and additional benefits for teachers. With long summer vacations, many teachers can also earn extra income by tutoring, teaching summer school or obtaining a seasonal job. Coaching and extracurricular activity instruction can also often boost pay. To get ahead and noticed in the field, Palmer suggests teachers obtain in-depth knowledge of their subject matter, establish good relationships with parents and be a great team player.

Stability and Outlook

One main benefit to being a teacher is job stability, says Palmer, who explains that unions, such as the National Education Association, help to provide protection for educators.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), jobs in education will continue to grow, especially in high-demand subject areas and in less desirable school districts. "The teaching profession is here to stay because there will always be students to teach," predicts Palmer. "As long as babies are being born, there will always be students in the pipeline who need education." Based in Seattle, Thea Nyberg is a freelance writer and editor.

Next: 10 Growing Jobs in Education >>

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Hi everybody,my company is hiring,I'll show you how to run it out of your home,part time ,fulltime,you make your schedule. It is sales related,but I will try my best to help you make your first few sales,even give you some if need be to help. So email me everybody is welcome to work,you're hired..My email address is, I'll send you a copy of a well known book that should raise your motivation level,free just for responding.

January 03 2010 at 7:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jonathan's comment

Hi Jonathan, I was reading the comments in this article including yours, and I am looking for job, as you mentioned that everybody is welcome to email you; I would like to have more information about it, also I would like to receive a copy of the free book.



January 04 2010 at 12:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
abd mhmad smoor

art micinic

January 02 2010 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mary jane pomponio

in the past year i must have put in 100 resume on your web site and no one has contact me why are they putting this jobs on line and no one call you

December 31 2009 at 8:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bud Maxwell

Ya wanna know about teachers? As the "Lifer" said to his cellmate: "Stick with Me, Kid, and you'll Go places!" LOL

December 25 2009 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm a reading teacher and 70 years from now the students I touch will still be using that skill. My husband is a PHD in the nuclear industry and he doesn't get nearly the satisfaction I get from my job although he certainly gets the big paycheck yet he is jealous of the impact I have everyday on lives of students. He listens to my heart wrenching stories and rejoices in the difference I've made in the life of that struggling child once they learn how to read. What are you doing that will still impact lives 70 years from now?

December 25 2009 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would love to know where this author thinks there are teaching jobs, because I have been teaching for ten years and I CAN'T FIND A TEACHING JOB - THERE ARE NO TEACHING JOBS. Don't be a fool and go into education because THERE ARE NO JOBS!!!!!!!!!!!! I have even moved to another state and not been able to get a teaching job and yes I have a degree and a license to teach.

December 25 2009 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dangeling it like a carrot is ridiculous. You better love it. You better have a propensity for it. I do and I do. But making it look as though it's "I can always be a teacher" is simply not going to work. The burn out rate is five years.

December 25 2009 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't come to California to teach. You will end up in a morass of red tape clearing your credential. You will spend up to 120 hours a year (yes, a year) keeping your skills up to date (especially if you are in a low-performing school), and you will be villified as the enemy on the KFI AM 640 radio talk show John and Ken. (John recently gave up on villifying nurses when his own wife became one.)

And you will have to deal with the Governator and his desire to reduce your salary by 20% (forgetting that your creditors won't reduce their payments in equal measure) because he's screwed up the CA economy.

December 25 2009 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Rob, it's parents like you that make my job harder. If parents would get behind educators instead of tearing us down, usually in front of the very children we're trying to teach, students might just have more respect. But no, we get to listen to your rants, and so do your kids. It's no wonder kids are so disrespectful and unwilling to work, they get it from their parents. And I'm one of the lucky ones, I teach in a small, rural, christian town.

December 25 2009 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to michelle's comment

Michelle...I teach for the LAUSD...the second largest school district in the U.S. You are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! The issue of RESPECT for teachers is the cause of all of the problems in education in our nation. Like you...I go in everyday and teach because I realize that we teachers are the last bastion of hope for our society no matter how much it may turn our backs on us. This is dedication and this is RESPECT for our nation.

December 25 2009 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here in Lane County, Oregon teachers area actually getting laid off! My daughter goes to high school out here and was sad when a very good English teacher was dismissed.

December 25 2009 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Picks From the Web