Drama Teacher: Job & Career Info

The path to becoming a drama teacher is similar to that of other teachers, typically requiring college education and certification. See more about the duties that drama teachers have and what salary they can earn. Get information on the job outlook, as well as alternative positions that may be of interest.

Job Description for a Drama Teacher

A drama teacher educates his or her students in different acting styles, methods, and techniques. Teaching drama means training pupils in how to communicate, control and project their voices, and present themselves. The responsibilities of a drama educator may include creating lesson plans, teaching students about plays and the history of drama, assisting students in creating their own dramatic pieces, organizing and managing the learning environment, directing performance rehearsals, helping to assemble and manage lighting and sets, and assessing students' performance.

Education Theater experience, bachelor's degree and certificate to teach recommended
Job Skills Flexibility, determination, energy, dedication
Median Salary (2017)* $ 57,160-$59,170 for elementary through high school teachers
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 7% for elementary teachers, 8% for middle and high school teachers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Depending on the setting in which you will be teaching drama, the exact degree or credentials required will vary. For example, if you're teaching drama at a local community center, you may need only to have experience in theater; however, if you're looking to teach drama in a school setting, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in a field like theater or the performing arts and a teaching certificate from the state in which you plan to teach.

A typical Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts program takes about four years to complete, and it could include courses in acting, voice, the history of theater, set and lighting design, play direction, and drama theory and criticism. The time and requirements to obtain a teaching certificate vary by state, but it typically takes from six months to two years to become certified to teach in elementary, middle, and high schools.

Job Skills

Working as a drama teacher requires flexibility, determination, and lots of energy. Especially when teaching in a school environment, dedication to the task at hand and a love of your job will serve you well.

Career and Economic Outlook

Drama teachers working in elementary, middle, and secondary schools are compensated similarly to other teachers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median compensation as of May 2017 for elementary through high school teachers ranged from $57,160 to $59,170. The employment of elementary school teachers is expected to grow by 7% between 2016 and 2026, while jobs for middle school and high school teachers should grow 8% during the same time. Employment opportunities for drama teachers was expected to be above average in school districts in rural areas and inner cities.

Alternative Career Options

You can also find the following careers in teaching:

Self-Enrichment Teacher

These types of teachers instruct students on self-improvement subjects, like foreign languages and music. From 2016 to 2026, this group could see a 16% increase in jobs, per the BLS. The education requirements vary by employer, but a high school diploma is the minimum requirement. Self-enrichment teachers had a median salary of $38,440 in 2017.

Postsecondary Teacher

College and university teachers typically need a master's or doctoral degree. The BLS reported that those teaching art, drama and music were projected to have a 12% rise in employment from 2016 to 2026 and earned a median salary of $66,930, based on 2017 statistics.


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