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Teaching, Elementary

Teaching elementary school students can be a rewarding career for people who enjoy working with children and want to make a difference in their lives. Keep reading to learn more about the educational requirements and career options in this field.

Inside Elementary School Teaching

Elementary school teachers instruct children from grades K-6 in academic subjects like mathematics, science and language arts. These teachers need to have strong written and oral communication skills; they also should enjoy working with children. In addition, teachers at this level should be patient and dedicated to the emotional and academic well-being of their students.

Working as an elementary school teacher can be rewarding, and people with degrees in a variety of fields may enter this profession. You can learn more about career and degree options in elementary school teaching at

Education Information

Most elementary school teachers earn a bachelor's degree in elementary education, although individuals can pursue a teaching career after earning a bachelor's degree in another field. Public schools require elementary-level teachers to obtain a license, which is earned by passing one or more state-administered exams. Additional licensure requirements vary but typically include completion of a bachelor's program and a student teaching experience. Individuals who have a bachelor's degree in a subject other than elementary education may qualify for provisional licensure. In some states, this allows aspiring instructors to teach classes while completing required coursework on their own time.

Visit the links below to find out more about undergraduate and graduate degree options in elementary education.

Distance Learning Options

Some schools offer online degree programs in elementary education. Make sure to select a program that prepares you for certification in the state in which you wish to work.

Career Options

While most elementary school teachers instruct one class in multiple subjects, some teach children in one subject or focus on teaching students with disabilities. Refer to the articles below for several career options as an elementary school teacher.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed elementary school teachers was expected to increase by 12% from 2012-2022, which is about average compared to all occupations. Opportunities are expected to be most favorable in the southern and western regions of the United States. The BLS also reports that those who teach in certain specialty areas, such as ESL or special education, could have an edge when looking for a position. May 2013 data from the BLS shows that elementary teachers earned a mean annual wage of $56,320.

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