High School History Teacher Requirements and Career Information

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a high school teacher. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

If you're thinking about a career as a high school history teacher, you will need a bachelor's degree and state licensure to teach in a public high school. Here is more information about getting a bachelor's degree and license, as well as the career outlook and salary for high school history teachers.

Essential Information

High school history teachers conduct classes on important historical events, people and places. They also engage students in the study of various related social sciences and provide instruction for conducting historical research and arguments. Most states require public high school history teachers to hold at least a bachelor's degree in history and teaching licensure.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements State license required for public school positions
Projected Job Growth (2014 - 2024)* 6% for high school teachers
Mean Salary (2015)* $60,440 annually for secondary school teachers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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High School History Teacher Requirements

A career as a high school history teacher requires that candidates first complete a bachelor's degree program. Most prospective high school history teachers earn a bachelor's degree in history, which takes about four years of full-time study.

Students aware of their intent to teach high-school history enter into a secondary teacher education program during their undergraduate college career. Typically, students must wait until their sophomore year before entering this supplementary program. Teacher education programs prepare students by providing training in common teaching methods and classroom computer use in addition to including student-teaching internships. These teacher preparation programs are also available to postgraduates and take about one year to complete.

Upon completion of the bachelor's degree program, candidates must earn state licensure to teach high school history in a public school. Most state licensing requirements mandate that candidates hold a bachelor's degree, complete a teacher education program and pass an exam showing competency in their teaching field.

For candidates who don't take a teacher preparation program during or after their undergraduate program, many states also offer an alternative licensure procedure that gives applicants a provisional license. Those with a provisional license can teach under supervision of a fully licensed teacher while taking education courses on the side. After one or two years, the provisional license will be upgraded to a full license if progress is deemed satisfactory.

High school history teachers for private high schools are not required to have licenses. However, many private high schools still require teachers to hold a bachelor's degree and prefer those who have also completed teacher preparation programs.

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), high school teachers, including history teachers, held 962,820 jobs in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that employment opportunities were expected to grow by 6% between the years 2014-2024 for high school teachers, though this growth would be dependent on various levels of education spending in each state and locality.

In May of 2015, the BLS indicated that secondary school teachers made a mean annual salary of $60,440. Many teachers were afforded the opportunity to earn extra income by advising, teaching or coaching extracurricular activities and by conducting summer classes. In 2014, high school teachers had more workers that belonged to a teachers' union than any other profession, and the union was responsible for setting hours and wages.

High school history teachers work with students to better understand historical events. They typically need a bachelor's degree in history, and to complete a teacher education program, either while an undergraduate or after college. Job opportunities for high school teachers, including those who teach history, are predicted to grow 6% between 2014 and 2024.

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