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Teaching, Adults

Adult education includes instructing adults in a variety of subjects in order to increase their educational and employment opportunities. Adult educators typically teach basic education, secondary education or English. Keep reading to further explore this field's options.

Inside Teaching Adults

Adult education includes a branch of instruction known as adult literacy and remedial education. Adult basic education (ABE) classes are typically geared toward those 16 years of age and up, and include basic academic classes in areas such as math, reading and social studies. Adult secondary education (ASE) classes, also known as general education, are often designed to prepare students to obtain a general education diploma (GED). English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes teach adults to read, write, listen and speak in English.

Adult educators may work in adult education programs offered by schools, government agencies and employment programs. Specific duties may include creating and executing lesson plans, documenting student progress and advising students.

If you're interested in teaching adults valuable knowledge and skills, take a look at the following resource links from They'll provide information on degree options and career path considerations.

Education Information

A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum requirement to teach adult education classes, although advanced degrees and certificates exist and may be required in some instances. Coursework typically includes instructional methods for teaching adults, adult literacy and vocational instruction methods. For ESOL programs, coursework typically includes language acquisition theories and linguistics. Internships are usually part of these degree programs.

The articles below offer additional insight into educational programs and training options related to this field.

Distance Learning Options

Distance learning is a convenient way to earn a degree while juggling a busy life. Some adult education programs are offered online, and you can learn more about them by visiting these links.

Career Options

Career information varies for different adult education specialties. The following articles offer detailed information on a few of the careers available in this field.

Licensure Information

Licensing requirements vary by state and usually require a completion of a state-approved teacher training program and passing a teacher competency exam. Additional state or employer requirements may include a master's degree with a specialization in adult education.

Employment Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a nine percent growth in employment for adult literacy and remedial education teachers between 2012 and 2022 ( As of May 2013, the average salary for adult literacy and remedial instructors was $53,850, according to the BLS. The rising need for a more literate work force may create job opportunities in adult education, especially in ESOL.

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