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Secondary Education Degree: Career & Salary

Sep 29, 2019

A secondary education degree not only prepares individuals for teaching in high school settings, it also gives graduates many of the skills and qualifications sought in other careers. Read more below.

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Career Options for Secondary Education Degrees

There are various careers that can be pursued with a degree in secondary education. Individuals who hold these degrees are prepared for a multitude of educational careers with varying salaries and responsibilities. Some of these careers are listed below.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Estimated Job Growth (2018-2018)*
Adult Literacy or High School Equivalency Diploma Teacher $53,630 -10%
High School Teacher $60,320 4%
Instructional Coordinator $64,450 6%
Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher $57,980 3%
Middle School Teacher $58,600 3%
Postsecondary Teacher $78,470 11%
Special Education Teacher $60,600 (secondary) 3% (secondary)
Teacher Assistant $27,700 (elementary and secondary, local) 4% (all teacher assistants)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Secondary Education Degrees

Adult Literacy or High School Equivalency Diploma Teacher

Adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers work with adults, instructing them in basic skills including writing. These teachers help students advance their skills and/or earn a diploma equivalent. Most schools require a bachelor's degree or higher for these positions; a degree in secondary education helps applicants gain the necessary skills and qualifications for many of these roles.

High School Teacher

High school teachers provide instruction, guidance, and grading to students in high school, helping students to become prepared for their lives after graduation. Teachers are required to have a bachelor's degree, in secondary education or a related field, and some states also require teachers to have another area of concentration such as mathematics or English.

Instructional Coordinator

Instructional coordinators create and oversee materials used in education, curriculums, and standards for teachers. Instructional coordinators also evaluate existing curriculums and methods, as well as train staff and teachers for new or revised programs. Instructional coordinators usually need a master's degree in an educational field, such as secondary education, along with related work experience, such as teaching.

Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers work with students in lower grades, providing instruction and mentorship in a wide variety of subjects including reading and math. Although many kindergarten and elementary school teachers have degrees in early or elementary education, employers sometimes accept secondary education degrees. A school hiring an educator with a secondary education degree may require the employee to complete certain prerequisites that apply to early education, and public schools will typically require the pertinent license/certification for that area.

Middle School Teacher

Middle school teachers typically work with students in grades sixth, seventh, and eighth. Some middle school teachers may cover a wide variety of subjects, while others may specialize in one or more areas, such as science. Each state and school have varying requirements for an applicant's educational background, but many accept bachelor's degrees in secondary education. A license or certification specifically for that level may be required, especially in public schools.

Postsecondary Teacher

Individuals who hold a master's degree in secondary education may qualify to work as an educator in their area of expertise at some community colleges. Postsecondary educators are responsible for creating and implementing curriculum and course structure, guiding students, as well as grading and providing feedback to help students succeed.

Special Education Teacher

Special education teachers assist and work with students who may have mental, physical, and other disabilities. These teachers may develop custom plans for students, instruct students and groups, as well as meet with parents when appropriate. Individuals holding a bachelor's degree in secondary education may be qualified for these positions. Some states, especially in the public schools, might also require certain special education prerequisites to be completed, along with earning a specific license/certification or endorsement for special education.

Teacher Assistant

Teacher assistants work with licensed teachers and monitor, teach, grade, and assist students. These assistants typically need an associate's degree or two years of coursework in college. For individuals who have a bachelor's degree in secondary education, a teacher assistant position enables them to gain valuable experience that can help them move up to higher teaching positions.

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