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Economics Teachers: Job Outlook & Requirements

If sharing your enthusiasm for economics in a classroom setting sounds appealing, a career as an economics teacher could be a good fit. Whether concentrating on macroeconomics, accounting, finance or basic econometrics, economics teachers use their knowledge to help students gain a better understanding of their field. Read on to learn more about how to enter this profession.

Career Definition for Economics Teachers

Economics teachers gather course materials, organize instruction, and create assessment tools such as tests or research assignments to meet the learning objectives outlined at the beginning of the course. Teachers deliver lectures or facilitate student discussion on a daily basis. Over the course of a term, teachers also provide students with feedback regarding their progress towards desired learning outcomes, which might be economic fundamentals, or a specialization within the field.

Education Bachelor's or graduate degree in economics
Job Duties Gather course materials, organize instruction, create assessment tools
Median Salary (2015) $94,000 (postsecondary economics teachers)
Job Growth (2014-2024) 13% (all postsecondary teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

The requirements for teaching economics in high school differ from those at the collegiate level. Teaching high school courses requires a Bachelor of Science in Economics and state teaching certification. A teaching certificate can be obtained by completing a college or university's teacher education program alongside the coursework for your major. This program may include courses in educational technologies, developmental and cognitive psychologies or a methods course for teaching economics. If you want to teach at a 2-year or 4-year college, a Master of Science in Economics is the minimum requirement, and most universities require a Ph.D. However, some career schools employ teachers with a B.S. and experience in related career fields.

Skills Required

Economics teachers need a thorough knowledge of their subject area. Good social and analytical skills are also required since they must communicate information to students in the most effective manner and respond to student inquiries and problems in a timely and appropriate way. Economics teachers must also work with administration and other faculty to meet the curriculum requirements of their school.

Career and Economic Outlook

For high school teachers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an average job growth of 6% between 2014 and 2024; urban areas and faster-growing regions like the West and South are the most promising. Jobs for postsecondary teachers in general are expected to grow faster than average, increasing by 13% from 2014-2024. This is largely due to increasing enrollment, especially in career-related fields like business. As of May 2015, postsecondary economics teachers earn a median annual income of $94,000; secondary school teachers in general earn $52,700 per year.

Alternate Career Options

Similar career options in this field include:

Career and Technical Education Teacher

Usually having a bachelor's degree and work experience in their chosen fields, these educators teach various vocational and technical areas like culinary arts, healthcare, and auto repair to help students prepare for the job market. Slower-than-average job growth of 4% was forecasted by the BLS for the 2014-2024 decade, and a median annual salary of $52,800 was reported in 2015.

Economist

Those interested in the field of economics may want to earn a master's degree to analyze data about the distribution and production of resources, research trends, and evaluate economic problems. Fast as average increase of 6% in available economist positions was forecasted by the BLS from 2014-2024. That same source also revealed their annual median wage as $99,180 in 2015.

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