How to Become a High School Lecturer


High school lecturers instruct students from grades 9 to 12. Well into their teenage years, these students are older and more mature, with a developing sense of independence. High school students also have lives approaching the frenzy and complexity of adulthood, often balancing academics and increased responsibilities at home with athletics, social relationships—including romantic ones—and a job.

Whereas primary school teachers play an important role in the personal and social development of their students, high school lecturers focus more on the content they are teaching. They teach specific and advanced courses, including physics, calculus, government, and literature. Additionally, they must prepare both the students who will be going on to college or university, as well as the students who will be directly entering the job market.


How can I become A high school lecturer?

shutterstock_150780812High school lecturers are tasked with teaching complex subjects to their students, and often have higher demands necessary to claim subject specialization than middle school teachers. A bachelor’s degree and state certification are required, with most states requiring any bachelor’s degree to be in a subject area, such as biology or history.

Certification requirements can vary significantly by state, but almost all certifications require that lecturers complete student teaching fieldwork, in which they work with a mentor teacher in a classroom setting to gain actual teaching experience. Prospective lecturers also often enroll in teacher preparation programs and take classes in supplementary fields such as education and child psychology.

Some states require a master’s degree to be completed after certification.


What is the career outlook for becoming a high school lecturer?

Enrollment growth in high school is expected to be slower than enrollment growth in other grades. As such, only a 6 percent growth in high school lecturer employment is anticipated from 2012 to 2022, a lower percentage than the 11% national average occupational growth.

Though expected growth is less than other fields, overall enrollment growth, retiring teachers, and a decline in the student-to-teacher ratio—the number of students for each teacher in a school—means that there will still be high school lecturer openings throughout the decade. This is especially true or positions for certain subjects, such as match and science, which many schools have trouble filling.

Additionally, employment growth differs by region, with the South and West expecting the largest job growth, the Midwest expecting neutral growth, and the Northeast experiencing declines.


What is the typical compensation and are there benefits?

In 2012, the median annual salary for high school teachers was %55,050, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $36,930 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $85,690. Like most teachers, most high school lecturers work from September to June and do not teach during the summer. Most elementary school teachers also enjoy extended health benefits, as well as employer retirement contributions. With a steady number of available openings in the field, most high school lecturers are also able to find work without relocating.

Like their counterparts in other public service positions, high school lecturers working full-time, who meet all the other conditions, are eligible for student loan forgiveness. For this reason, even teachers who accumulate large student loans while completing their bachelor’s degree and initial teacher qualifications may find teaching an affordable career option in the long term. People who enjoy working with children in a dynamic environment will benefit significantly by entering the elementary school teaching profession.


Additional Resources Occupational Outlook Handbook

O*Net Online

National Education Association

American Federation for Teachers

Connected Educators

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