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.

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 (2012-2022)* 12% for elementary and middle school teachers,
6% for high school teachers
Median Annual Salary (May 2013)* $53,590 for elementary school teachers,
$53,940 for middle school teachers,
$55,360 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 specialists or 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 (www.bls.gov), the median salary for elementary schools teachers was $53,590 as of May 2013, and middle school teachers earned a median income of $53,940 at that same time. Secondary school teachers made a median salary of $55,360 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.

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