Certified Reading Teacher: Job Description, Duties and Salary Info

Certified reading teachers require some formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and certification requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

Certified reading teachers are teachers who are specialists in reading and literacy. They may work with young students at the elementary level, introducing them to the basics of reading, or with high school students, encouraging them to read more advanced works. They may work with students with learning disabilities related to reading. To teach in public school, licensure and a bachelor's degree are required.

Essential Information

Certified reading teachers introduce students to the earliest concepts of reading at the kindergarten level and develop literacy skills in every grade level. Reading teachers may also help identify reading disorders in their students. Typically, aspiring certified reading teachers major in reading or literacy education through a 4-year bachelor's degree program. Teachers working in public schools must be certified or licensed by the state.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Certification or Licensure Required to teach in public schools
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% for elementary and middle school teachers,
6% for high school teachers
Median Annual Salary (May 2015)* $54,890 for elementary school teachers,
$55,860 for middle school teachers,
$57,200 for secondary school teachers

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Certified reading teachers teach the basics of reading and literacy awareness to young children, ranging from the proper way to hold a book to alphabet identification and correct word pronunciation. At the middle and high school levels, reading teachers encourage students to reach higher reading levels by helping them improve vocabulary, spelling and summary techniques. They also initiate literary discussions and teach the importance of understanding literary devices.


Reading teachers are required by most school districts to write and execute lesson plans that appeal to all learning styles based on state educational reading standards. They typically work to improve literacy through reading, writing and speaking; student expectations increase with every grade level. School districts may employ reading specialistsor resource teachers to diagnose disorders and take the extra time needed to work with students working to overcome reading difficulties; however, the certified reading teacher will often use daily activities and assessments to identify and work with students who have literacy disorders, such as dyslexia and stuttering, among others.

Depending on the size of the school district, reading teachers may also be given duties outside of the classroom. These duties may include monitoring of hallways, cafeterias and other common areas before, during and after school. In addition, reading teachers are responsible for monitoring their classrooms and communicating with parents regarding how their child is doing.

All states require professional development hours in order to remain certified. Reading teachers often participate in seminars and in-services offered through the school district or on a state level. Courses and seminars allow reading teachers to keep up with the latest teaching techniques and state standards.

Salary Information

According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for elementary schools teachers was $54,890 as of May 2015, and middle school teachers earned a median income of $55,860 at that same time. Secondary school teachers made a median salary of $57,200 during that year. These salary figures do not include special education teachers. Salaries can vary depending on the size of the school district, the number of years of experience a teacher has and the level of education she or he has completed.

Certified reading teachers are teachers with specialized knowledge of reading and literature. They may be hired as a reading teacher by public or private schools, and could work with students of all different ages. Maintaining licensure for public schools requires continued professional development. Salary varies based on years of experience, location, and level of education, with average annual incomes ranging from approximately $55,000 to $57,000.

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