Junior high school teachers often instruct students in one specific subject, or a few subjects. Those that teach English as a second language, chemistry, or foreign languages may have more job prospects.
Junior high school teachers need a bachelor's degree in education or another field. To qualify for teaching positions in a public school, teachers must obtaining licensure from their state.
|Other Requirements||State license|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||6%|
|Mean Salary (2015)*||$58,760 annually|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Teachers at the middle, intermediate and junior high school levels share some common duties. This is true regardless of their subject or specialty, which can include anything from general education to social studies or physical education. Common job duties that teachers might share include:
- Design lesson plans for students
- Grade tests and issue report cards
- Create class materials
- Provide student and parent counseling
- Offer oral lectures and lead discussions
- Enforce rules and discipline behavior
- Tutor and interact with students
- Understand different learning styles and use various teaching methods
- Integrate effective technology into the classroom
Junior high school teachers work in classroom environments. Some difficulties that junior high teachers might face include disruptive students, large class sizes and multi-level age groups in the same class. Some schools also lack upgraded facilities and technology for effective education. Teachers who work in private schools generally have more influence over their lesson plans than do their public school counterparts.
Teachers might take their work home with them, leading to long working hours. Additionally, depending on the institution, junior high teachers might work a 10-month schedule, allowing for a 2-month break during the summer.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the mean annual salary for middle school teachers, which includes junior high school teachers, was $58,760 in 2015. Teachers in the bottom ten percent of earners made a median salary of $37,350 or less per year, while junior high school teachers in the top ten percent made $87,060 or more annually.
Opportunities for junior high school teachers are anticipated to grow at a rate of 6% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS. This rate is about equal to the rate for the average career during the same time frame. Increased enrollment numbers, coupled with a trend toward smaller class sizes, is expected to help fuel openings.
Teachers who are eligible to teach specialty subjects, such as English as a second language, chemistry or foreign languages, might be in demand. Reports of stronger pay, benefits and more influence in school policy might help drive new teachers into the profession. Opportunities will be best in inner cities or remote locations, where lower salaries tend to make such jobs less attractive.
With a bachelor's degree and a teaching license it is possible to begin a career as a junior high teacher. These teachers prepare lessons, instruct students, grade schoolwork, enforce the school discipline policy, and meet with parents as necessary. They work in public school and private school settings.