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Career profile High School Teacher

Also known as Art Teacher, English Teacher, High School Science Teacher, History Teacher, Mathematics Instructor (Math Instructor), Science Teacher, Secondary Teacher, Social Studies Teacher, Spanish Teacher, Teacher

High School Teacher

Also known as Art Teacher, English Teacher, High School Science Teacher

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Artistic
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$41,330 - $102,130 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Instructing
  • Learning Strategies
Knowledge Areas
  • Education and Training
  • Psychology
  • Computers and Electronics
Core tasks
  • Instruct through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies.
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects, and communicate these objectives to students.
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What does a High School Teacher do?

High School Teachers teach one or more subjects to students at the secondary school level.

What kind of tasks does a High School Teacher perform regularly?

High School Teachers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Instruct through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies.
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects, and communicate these objectives to students.
  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by administrative policy.
  • Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students' varying needs, abilities, and interests.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
  • Assign and grade class work and homework.
  • Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
  • Prepare students for later grades by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment or materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Enforce all administration policies and rules governing students.
  • Guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.
  • Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students' needs and progress.
  • Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine their priorities for their children.
  • Prepare objectives and outlines for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements of states and schools.
  • Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons that promote learning, following approved curricula.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of secondary school programs.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.
  • Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers, contests, or other experiential activities, and guide students in learning from those activities.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
  • Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.
  • Sponsor extracurricular activities, such as clubs, student organizations, and academic contests.
  • Administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine students' strengths and areas of need.

The above responsibilities are specific to High School Teachers. More generally, High School Teachers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Training and Teaching Others
Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

What is a High School Teacher salary?

The median salary for a High School Teacher is $62,870, and the average salary is $67,340. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the High School Teacher salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many High School Teachers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of High School Teachers earn less than $41,330 per year, 25% earn less than $49,990, 75% earn less than $81,410, and 90% earn less than $102,130.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of High School Teachers is expected to change by 7.8%, and there should be roughly 77,400 open positions for High School Teachers every year.

Median annual salary
$62,870
Typical salary range
$41,330 - $102,130
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
7.8%

What personality traits are common among High School Teachers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a High School Teacher are usually higher in their Social, Artistic, and Enterprising interests.

High School Teachers typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, High School Teachers typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Lastly, High School Teachers typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a High School Teacher tend to value Relationships, Achievement, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, High School Teachers very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, High School Teachers strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, High School Teachers strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as High School Teachers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, self-control, and adaptability/flexibility.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of High School Teachers, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do High School Teachers need?

Many High School Teachers will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

High School Teachers usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among High School Teachers

  • 2.2% completed some college coursework
  • 1.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 40.2% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 51.0% earned a Master's degree
  • 5.0% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by High School Teachers

High School Teachers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as education and training, psychology, or computers and electronics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most High School Teachers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Important Abilities needed by High School Teachers

High School Teachers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, High School Teachers need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and speech clarity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for High School Teachers, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by High School Teachers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

High School Teachers frequently use skills like speaking, instructing, and learning strategies to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for High School Teachers, ranked by their relative importance.

Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Instructing
Teaching others how to do something.
Learning Strategies
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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