Private School Teacher: Education Requirements, Salary and Career Info

Private school teachers require a considerable amount of formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and licensure requirements to find out if this is the career for you.

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Private school teachers need a bachelor's degree, and some schools may require additional teacher training specific to the subject they teach or the philosophy of their school. Some private schools also require teachers to obtain state teaching licenses.

Essential Information

Private school educators teach K-12 classes in a variety of private school settings, including faith-based schools, college prep academies or boarding schools. Some work in schools with specific teaching philosophies, such as Montessori or Waldorf schools. A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum requirement.

Required Education Bachelor's degree; some additional education may be required to teach in Catholic, Waldorf or Montessori schools
Other Requirements State teacher license/certification may be required for some schools
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) -2.17%*
Average Salary (2011-2012) $40,200*

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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  • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
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  • Teaching, Elementary
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  • Teaching, Kindergarten and Preschool
  • Teaching, Waldorf and Steiner Education
  • Teaching, Young Children

Private School Teacher Education Requirements

A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement for a private school teacher. Private schools typically prefer to hire graduates with either a 4-year subject degree or expertise in a specialized field, such as history or mathematics. Many private schools offer fellowships or internships to qualified applicants after they graduate from college. Fellows and interns complete on-the-job training, learn the specific teaching theory of the private school and are supervised by fellow teachers.

Some private schools require a state teacher license or other specialized certification. Certain private Catholic schools require a 2-year course of study focused on principles of Catholic education, completion of a teaching internship and practice of the Catholic faith before one can earn a certification to teach in Catholic schools. Schools with specific philosophies, such as Waldorf or Montessori schools, also require additional Waldorf or Montessori teacher education and training. It is important to research the private school of interest to determine whether a particular degree, certification or training is required.

Private School Teacher Salary and Career Info

Private school teachers tend to earn lower salaries than their public-school counterparts. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that they also tend to have fewer students in their classes and more autonomy in setting educational and behavioral standards for their students.

The National Center for Education Statistics reported that the average base salaries for public and private school teachers at elementary and secondary schools were $53,070 and $40,200, respectively for the 2011-2012 school year.

Private school teachers generally have lower salaries than public schools but they also have smaller class sizes. The average salary for elementary and secondary school private school teachers is $40,200. The job growth outlook is negative for these careers.

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