Elementary school teachers are required to have a bachelor's degree and a state teaching license. They must complete an internship, and certification may also be required. Elementary school teachers typically instruct children in a number of subjects, and demand is expected to be highest for those teaching science, math, or English as a second language.
Elementary school teachers introduce children to the education system and learning process, thus playing a vital role in the development of students. This job typically requires a bachelor's degree and state licensure or certification. Aspiring elementary teachers often gain experience through internships or training programs. Some elementary teachers also earn a master's degree.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||License or certification typically required; internship or training might be necessary|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||6%|
|Mean Salary (2015)*||$57,730 annually|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Elementary school teachers often instruct one class of children in multiple subjects; however, there are some schools where teachers work in teams and take co-responsibility for their students. Additionally, elementary schools are increasingly adopting a multi-grade class format, in which students of various grade levels share the classroom. This allows subject review for older children and provides younger children with an opportunity to interact with different age groups. Elementary school teachers might teach:
- Physical education
Teachers are rewarded with seeing the minds of children grow and develop. Still, they can face difficulty when children are unresponsive to material or disruptive in the classroom. Elementary school teachers also might be challenged with potentially large class sizes and strenuous workloads. This is primarily true of public schools, whereas private schools tend to have smaller classes and more controlled environments.
Regardless of location, elementary school teachers often work more than a standard 40-hour week, due to responsibilities outside of the classroom. Teachers primarily work in well-lit classroom environments, but can travel with their students as well as take their work home with them.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment for elementary teachers to grow as fast as the national average for all occupations from 2014-2024. A 6% growth in jobs for elementary teachers is expected; this would translate to more than 87,000 new kindergarten and elementary school teaching jobs.
An increase in public interest in education, reports of strong wages and teachers' ability to influence school policies will draw new elementary school teachers into the profession over the next decade. Teachers who are willing to relocate to inner cities or rural areas may have better advancement opportunities. Teachers with specializations in science, math or bilingual education should also be in strong need. A population rise in non-English speaking children also might increase demand for teachers who specialize in English as a second language.
The mean annual earnings for elementary school teachers was $57,730 in 2015. Teachers in the bottom 10% of earnings made $36,190 or less per year, while those in top ten percent of the field made $85,550 or more. Teachers in Connecticut and Alaska earned a mean salary of $75,700 and $73,220 respectively, per year, which made them the highest paying states in the country. Elementary school teachers who taught special education classes were not included in this data, which was provided by the BLS.
Elementary school teachers must have a bachelor's degree and experience in student teaching. This is a growing field, with an average salary of about $58,000 in 2015. Those considering a career in this field may opt to specialize in science, math, or English as a second language when they complete their degrees.