How to Become a GED Instructor

Mar 10, 2020

Learn how to become a GED instructor. Research the job description and the education and licensure requirements, and find out how to start a career as a GED instructor.

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Should I Become a GED Instructor?

Degree Level Bachelor's degree; master's for some positions
Degree Field Education; other fields if a teacher training program is completed
Licensure Teaching license required
Experience Prior teaching experience preferred
Key Skills Patience; communication and instructional skills
Salary $53,630 (2018 median for adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

General Educational Development (GED) instructors help adult students prepare for the GED high school equivalency exam. Most of these teachers work part-time during the mornings and evenings when adult students have time to spare for learning. Since these instructors lead classes of older students, they do not worry about issues related to student discipline or motivation.

In most states, individuals looking to pursue a career in GED instruction need to earn a bachelor's degree and obtain teacher certification. The certification required depends on the state. Some states require certification in adult education, while others expect GED instructors to have an elementary or a secondary education certificate. Prior teaching experience is preferred. Key skills for this position include patience, communication skills, and instructional skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers was $53,630 as of May 2018.

Step1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree is the minimum education requirement to teach GED preparation courses in most states. Many colleges and universities offer majors, minors, or specializations in adult education. In some states, those who already hold a bachelor's degree in another field may meet licensure requirements by completing a stand-alone teacher preparation program or workshop. Most teacher education programs include a substantial student teaching experience. Aspiring GED instructors should check their states' licensure requirements before selecting a program.

Success Tip:

For the best chance at success, aspiring GED instructors should get teaching experience. While still enrolled in school, future GED instructors should seek out internships or volunteer teaching opportunities in adult education. Having experience in addition to student teaching will help future teachers stand out in the job market.

Step 2: Get a Teaching License

Because licensure requirements vary by state, aspiring GED instructors should contact their local education department or agency to learn what is required. Licensure involves providing completion of a bachelor's degree and an accredited teacher preparation program, as well as passing state exams and background checks.

Step 3: Earn a Master's Degree for Career Advancement

Although only a bachelor's degree is required to be a GED instructor, some employers prefer to hire individuals with a master's degree. According to O*Net Online, 20% of GED and adult education instructors held a master's degree as of 2018. Master's degree programs in education include coursework in program development, assessment, online course design, and multiculturalism.

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