Adult Reading Instructor: Employment & Career Info

Learn about a career as an adult reading instructor. Read the job description, duties, education requirements, salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career for you.

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  • Adult Literacy Instruction
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Job Description for an Adult Reading Instructor

Adult reading instructors work to teach adult individuals, including non-English speakers and those who did not finish school, to read. These instructors advise students, create lesson plans, develop teaching aids and monitor students' progress. While there are full-time opportunities that include teaching in formal adult literacy programs, many adult reading instructors are volunteers or part-time workers who hold other jobs. Thus, the majority of adult reading instructors work on weekends or weeknights teaching literacy courses in community and non-credit classes. Adult reading instructors are most needed in communities where immigrant populations are learning English as a second language (ESL).

Education Typically a bachelor's or master's in education and training in adult literacy; licensure may be required
Job Skills Ability to adapt curriculum to meet students' needs, patience, strong communication skills
Median Salary (2015) $50,280
Job Growth (2014-2024) 7%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Adult reading instructors typically have a bachelor's or master's degree in education and may have specialized training in adult education and/or ESL. Many education programs offer coursework specific to adult literacy programs. Typical courses for prospective adult reading instructors include curriculum development, administration and program planning. Because many adult reading instructors work with individuals to whom English will be a second language, linguistics classes are often recommended to those who are not bilingual themselves.

Licensing Requirements

Most states require that individuals teaching through government-run programs be certified as a teacher. Some regions require specific licensing for adult literacy teachers and reading instructors.

Required Skills

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), adult reading instructors usually have the following traits:

  • Ability to tailor their teaching styles to specific students
  • Patient and encouraging personalities
  • Strong communication skills
  • Sensitivity to cultural differences

Employment and Salary Outlook

The BLS estimated that the employment outlook for adult reading instructors and other adult literacy teachers would grow by about 7% from 2014-2024. The average annual salary for full-time adult literacy teachers was $50,280 in May 2015, as reported by the BLS.

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