All You Need To Know About Being A Teacher

You think about becoming a teacher but want to get some additional information before making the final decision in this regard?

Great! Then this article is exactly for you. In fact, I provide you with all the necessary information in the following chapters.

Not only will I show you how a typical day in the life of a teacher will look like, but I also answer all questions regarding the salary, job satisfaction, work-life balance, stress level, future job prospects, duties of a teacher and much more.

I also added a FAQ section at the end of this article where I answer many additional questions most people have about a career as a teacher.

Thus, make sure to stick with me until the end of this blog post so that you get all the information you need for making a profound career choice.

Table of Contents

What does a Teacher do?

Teachers educate school kids on different levels and at different ages. Not only are they responsible for teaching, but they also assess children’s ability to learn via exams and also have to spend lots of time on class preparation.

Duties of a Teacher

  • Preparation of classes
  • Homework correction
  • Grading tests
  • Progress documentation
  • Preparation of learning plans for students
  • Discussions with parents
  • Maintaining a good class atmosphere
  • Keeping school kids under control
  • Assurance of expert knowledge in specific fields
  • Mastering communication with students
  • Mental support for school kids

What a typical day looks like as a Teacher

Teachers usually start their classes between 8 and 10 a.m. However, this doesn’t mean that they will not have to do anything before this time.

Especially young teachers have to spend lots of time preparing classes and this means that you often have to get up at 5 a.m., get to work at 6 and prepare for a few hours before the actual classes start. You will usually finish your classes around 3 p.m.

However, your workday will not be over yet. You will still have to correct assignments and many teachers will therefore not finish their workday before 6 p.m.

Hence, even though you will not spend long hours on your actual classes, you will still have to work at least 40 hours per week as a teacher and often even much more.

Teacher Salary 2021

Teacher salary brackets 2021

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $83,000> $41.00
Top 25 %$75,000 – $82,000$37.20 – $39.10
Bottom 25 %$45,000 – $53,000$22.10 – $26.30
Bottom 10 %$38,000 – $44,000$18.60 – $21.20
Range$38,000 – $89,000$18.60 – $44.00
Average$68,000$33.60

Teacher salary 2021 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$38,000 – $59,000$18.10 – $28.30
Junior$44,000 – $65,000$21.20 – $32.20
Professional$48,000 – $69,000$23.70 – $34.40
Senior Professional$52,000 – $72,000$25.10 – $35.20
Expert$56,000 – $79,000$27.20 – $38.80
Top Expert$65,000 – $88,000$32.30 – 44.00

Teacher salary by state 2021 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$55,200$27.34
Alaska$71,300$35.21
Arizona$50,800$24.71
Arkansas$51,100$25.01
California$84,700$41.20
Colorado$57,800$27.34
Connecticut$79,200$39.13
Delaware$65,300$32.18
District of Columbia$79,600$39.88
Florida$52,700$26.01
Georgia$60,800$29.35
Hawaii$65,900$32.79
Idaho$53,100$26.63
Illinois$68,800$33.87
Indiana$51,700$25.54
Iowa$59,100$29.63
Kansas$51,500$25.43
Kentucky$54,400$26.98
Louisiana$50,600$24.37
Maine$56,300$27.97
Maryland$72,700$35.47
Massachusetts$83,700$41.58
Michigan$62,600$30.59
Minnesota$58,700$28.97
Mississippi$45,300$22.48
Missouri$51,200$25.08
Montana$51,500$25.26
Nebraska$55,700$27.73
Nevada$56,200$27.86
New Hampshire$60,400$30.01
New Jersey$77,200$38.72
New Mexico$56,300$27.95
New York$86,700$42.93
North Carolina$54,800$26.68
North Dacota$52,700$25.43
Ohio$59,500$28.89
Oklahoma$54,300$26.94
Oregon$67,900$33.18
Pennsylvania$71,200$35.09
Rhode Island$67,700$33.74
South Carolina$53,300$26.24
South Dakota$52,400$25.83
Tennessee$49,700$24.32
Texas$59,200$28.82
Utah$53,700$26.12
Vermont$64,200$31.83
Virginia$56,100$27.43
Washington$73,400$35.18
West Virginia$54,800$26.88
Wisconsin$61,200$30.15
Wyoming$61,400$30.28

Job Security

Job security for teachers is pretty good. In fact, there is a shortage of qualified teachers in many regions of our planet and especially if you have profound skills in maths or physics, you will almost have freedom of choice in what school you want to work.

Future Job Prospects

Since not that many people want to become teachers anymore and the demand for teachers will stay relatively constant over the next decades, you will have pretty good future job prospects as a teacher and chances are that also wages for teachers will increase significantly in the long run.

Working Hours

Even though teachers will not have to spend long hours on classes, they will often have to do lots of extra work for class preparation and the correction of exams.

Hence, while you will often not be present before 8 a.m. and will leave school around 3 p.m., your workday will not be over yet.

Chances are that you will have to do plenty of additional work and many teachers will therefore work between 45 and 60 hours per week in total.

Job Satisfaction

Working as a teacher can be great for you if you love to work with children and it is really a passion of yours to improve their education level to give them a good start in life. However, you should not expect that it is all upside.

School kids can be really demanding and keeping them under control is a real challenge. Hence, you should have a pretty stable mindset since kids will you bring down otherwise in the long run.

In fact, many teachers report mental problems and you may be one of them if you are not willing to pay the price that comes along with working as a teacher on a mental level.

Promotion Opportunities as a Teacher

Promotion opportunities are quite limited for teachers. In fact, many teachers work in the same job for many years or even decades without getting promoted.

There are just not many promotion options in this field other than to become a rector and there is only one rector needed in each school.

All other teachers will continue to work as normal teachers and this can be really frustrating in the long run since you will not see any prospects in this regard and you may feel that your quality of work may not matter at all.

Career Levels

  • Junior level teacher
  • Senior level teacher
  • Senior level teacher with additional responsibilities
  • Rector

Fields and Types of Teachers

  • Kindergarden teachers
  • Elementary school teachers
  • Middle school teachers
  • High school teachers
  • College teachers

Educational Requirements

You need at least a bachelor’s degree for working as a teacher. Sometimes, you also need more than one degree if you want to teach more than one subject. You may also need to get an official license for becoming a teacher.

Hence, education for becoming a teacher can be pretty extensive and you should not underestimate the level of work and the upfront investment you have to make for going this career path.

How to become a Teacher

  1. Make sure that a teacher career is right for you
  2. Make sure that your talents fit the demands of this career
  3. Volunteering is great to find out if you really want to become a teacher
  4. Plan your educational path for becoming a teacher
  5. Make sure that you have enough financial resources
  6. Choose the right school and get your degree
  7. Make sure that your degree is accredited
  8. Pass all the exams
  9. Get your teachers license

Character Traits you need for working as a Teacher

  • You need to be a strong personality
  • Calm and authoritative at the same time
  • Passion for improving the skills of kids
  • Enthusiasm
  • Ability to deal with setbacks
  • Respectfulness is key
  • You have to speak to every student differently
  • Patience is key
  • You need to be a great communicator
  • You should not be shy
  • You should be comfortable with talking in front of a big number of people

Hard Skills for being a Teacher

  • Expert knowledge in your field
  • IT knowledge is a plus
  • Expertise in more than one subject is a plus
  • Good time management
  • You always have to develop your skills further

Soft Skills for being a Teacher

  • Stress resistance
  • You need to know how to treat people on an individual level
  • Respect is key to be successful as a teacher
  • Motivation to push through difficult periods
  • Passion for teaching
  • Patience
  • You need to be a real leader
  • You have to be a real motivator for school kids
  • You need to get along with your colleagues

Exit Options

There are barely any exit options for teachers. In fact, most teachers work as teachers for the rest of their lives since they just don’t find jobs in the corporate world anymore.

Hence, make sure that working as a teacher is really what you want to do for quite a long time to avoid any career issues later in your life.

Similar Careers

  • Childcare worker
  • Professor
  • Tutor
  • Librarian
  • School administrator
  • Rector
  • Adult trainer

FAQs regarding working as a Teacher

Is working as a Teacher physically demanding?

Working as a teacher is not physically demanding. In fact, you will not have to lift heavy physical things at all and compared to construction workers, roofers, welders and many other people, your life as a teacher will be pretty relaxed in this regard.

Consequently, your risk of suffering from serious physical health issues will also be much lower.

Is working as a Teacher mentally demanding?

Many people underestimate the mental pressure that comes along with being a teacher. It can be really frustrating if school kids make fun of you and you need a stable mindset to ignore nasty comments and to stay mentally healthy in the long run.

Is it dangerous to work as a Teacher?

Working as a teacher is not that dangerous. Sure, from time to time, you hear unpleasant stories about certain incidences in schools.

However, compared to police officers, firefighters and many other people who risk their lives every day, you will be pretty safe as a teacher.

How long do Teachers stay in their jobs?

Teachers stay in their jobs for many years or even decades. In fact, many people who work in this field work as a teacher for the rest of their lives since they are just not used to the completely different work environment in the corporate world.

Is it easy for Teachers to find a new job?

Since there is a shortage of qualified teachers in many states, you will have a pretty easy time finding a new job as a teacher, especially if you are really good at math or other sciences that are in high demand right now.

How hard is it to switch from being a Teacher to another field of work?

While it is relatively easy for teachers to work at a different school, it is pretty hard for teachers to make the switch from working as a teacher to the corporate world since teachers just often don’t have the skillset to succeed in this new work environment.

Do Teachers have a high social status?

Teachers have a high social status and many people out there appreciate their work. In fact, without teachers, our whole system would collapse in the long run and also our economy would no longer thrive.

Consequently, you do a pretty important job as a teacher and many people will greatly appreciate what you are doing, even though some people may make snarky comments about your career.

Can you work remotely as a Teacher?

Working remotely as a teacher is not possible. Instead, you will have to be present in school in person to teach school kids.

However, this may change in the future since online education becomes more popular and video conferences may replace teaching in person to a certain extent in the long run.

Is it easy to find a partner as a Teacher?

Since teachers have a high social status and also have enough hours left to spend in the dating market, you will have a relatively easy time finding a partner as a teacher and also managing your family and your work at the same time.

Do I have to work on weekends as a Teacher?

Even though teachers don’t have to teach on weekends, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have to work.

Especially if you are a junior teacher, you may still have to prepare teaching materials on weekends and this means that you might barely have any leisure for the first years until you get more confident and know how to save time on things as best as possible.

Do I have to work at nighttime as a Teacher?

You don’t have to work in the evening or at nighttime as a teacher. Instead, you can meet up with your favorite people after work and enjoy a nice cool drink while many other people still have to work during those hours.

Do you have to travel as a Teacher?

You will not have to travel as a teacher. Most of the time, you will just teach in the same school and there will be no necessity for business trips you might need to do in the corporate world.

Consequently, while many other people are away from home often, you will have an easier time structuring your private life and also managing the needs of your family.

Are Teacher pensions good?

Even though teacher pensions are pretty generous compared to the pensions of normal workers since teachers often get a higher fraction of their income as pensions, many people who work in the corporate world will still get much more pension since they also had a much higher wage during their active career.

Thus, if you want to enjoy some luxury during retirement, you may not want to become a teacher but rather go for demanding careers in the corporate world where you can make much more money and also save more for retirement.

Are Teacher salaries going up?

While we have not seen that much progress in this regard, teacher salaries will likely go up in the past years and decades, especially for teachers who have good knowledge in maths, physicals, natural sciences or IT since those people are in high demand and need to be compensated appropriately so that they become a teacher instead of working in the corporate world.

Can you have a positive effect on society as a Teacher?

Yes, teachers are crucial to keep our system running and therefore pretty important for society.

In fact, since you will teach many young kids, it is on you to assure that those kids get proper education and all they need to succeed in demanding work environments.

How long does it take to become a Teacher?

Since you will need to get a college degree and also need to get your teacher’s license, it will take you between 4 and 6 years to become a teacher in most states.

Some people need even longer to become a teacher, especially if they have to work a lot to finance their studies.

Is it difficult to become a Teacher?

While it is not that difficult to become a teacher, you still need to have strong motivation since you might quit your studies otherwise.

Hence, make sure that working as a teacher is really what you want to do for a living and that you also have a real passion for educating children.

Do you need to be smart to work as a Teacher?

Whether you have to be smart or not depends on the subject you want to teach. For instance, while teaching languages is rather easy and doable for many people out there, teaching math on an advanced level is pretty difficult and you should have a high IQ if you really want to work as a math teacher and stay happy with your decision in the long run.

Do Teachers have a good work-life balance?

While your first years as a teacher will be stressful and you will also have to work long hours to prepare for your classes, it will become easier soon.

In fact, once you are an experienced teacher, you will not have to spend lots of time on preparation anymore and will have lots of leisure instead.

Consequently, even though many teachers have poor work-life balance during their first few years, most teachers have pretty decent work-life balance in the long run.

Do Teachers have to work on holidays?

Teachers don’t have to work on holidays. They also have lots of vacation and this means that you will have more than enough time to spend with your loved ones or also on many hobbies you might have.

How many hours do Teachers have to work?

While you will work up to 60 hours per week as a junior teacher since you will have to spend lots of time on preparing classes, your working hours will drop to around 40 hours once you become more experienced and know how to spend your time in the most efficient manner.

Do Teachers have to work many extra hours?

While you will not have to work many extra hours from an official standpoint, you will still do so indirectly since you will need to spend lots of time on class preparation, especially in your first years when you are not experienced yet since you will use your time pretty inefficiently.

How to maximize your chances to become a Teacher

To maximize your chances of becoming a teacher, you can volunteer at a school and make some contacts early in your life.

You may also get in touch with seasoned teachers and ask them how to prepare for a career in this field as best as possible to get some secret tips in this regard.

Do Teachers work indoors or outdoors?

Teachers work indoors most of the time. Sure, you will sometimes also make field trips with students.

However, the majority of time, you will be able to spend your time indoors while many other people have to work under extreme conditions outdoors.

Job alternatives to becoming a Teacher

If you don’t want to work as a teacher but still aspire to a career in the education industry, you may want to become a professor, childcare worker, tutor or coach instead.

What does the workplace of a Teacher look like?

Teachers work in classrooms while they are teaching lessons. Hence, you will stand behind your teacher’s desk most of the time.

If you are not teaching, you will often prepare classes or correct exams and you can do this at home from your own desk.

Do you have to look good for working as a Teacher?

You don’t have to look good as a teacher. Instead, it is much more important that you have excellent knowledge of the subject you are teaching and that you also have a stable mindset so that you can deal with snarky comments about your appearance easily.

Is a Teacher career beneficial for your private life?

Since you will have lots of leisure in the long run while you can still make decent money, a teaching career can be quite beneficial for your private life since you will have enough time to spend with your loved ones while you can still assure a stable income at the same time.

Do you need a college degree for becoming a Teacher?

Yes, you need to get at least a bachelor’s degree for becoming a teacher. Even better would be getting two degrees so that you are able to teach to majors.

Hence, make sure that you are really passionate about becoming a teacher since it can be a really long career path.

Do you need to be certified to work as a Teacher?

Apart from your college degree, you often also have to get a teacher’s license and to get additional certifications before you are allowed to work as a teacher in most states.

How much does it cost to become a Teacher?

Since you will have to go to college for becoming a teacher, you will also have to spend lots of money on tuition and other expenses related to college.

Consequently, you will have to spend a small fortune on college education and you may also have to take on student loans to finance your studies that you have to pay back later in your life.

Is being a Teacher a good career?

Working as a teacher can be a good career for you if you love to work with children but also have a stable mindset so that setbacks and snarky comments will not bother you that much but you can really focus on the positive things of your career.

Can you provide for your family by working as a Teacher?

Even though you will not get rich as a teacher, you will still be able to make decent money from what you are doing and unless you live in a really expensive region, you will be able to provide for your family as a teacher in a decent manner.

Will Teachers suffer from old-age poverty?

Many teachers don’t make enough money to save and invest enough for retirement. Consequently, a high number of teachers will suffer from old-age poverty since they often underestimate the costs for medical bills and other things once they get older.

Can you get rich as a Teacher?

You will not get rich as a teacher. Instead, you will be able to live a decent lifestyle, even though you will often not be able to afford any luxury and if money is really important to you, you may rather want to go for a career in the corporate world instead.

Are Teaches key workers?

Teachers are crucial to keep our system running. Without teachers, education levels of future generations would drop quite a lot and this would also translate into slower economic growth or even decline.

Consequently, teachers are key workers and crucial to maintain our high living standard.

Do you get continuous training as a Teacher?

Many teachers don’t get continuous training. Instead, if you really want to develop your skills further, you would have to do it on your own.

Fortunately, there are many online training courses that you can do after work that allow you to really improve your skills and to stay up-to-date with latest technologies.

Are teachers organized in unions?

Yes, teacher unions have been present for many decades and aim to achieve bargaining agreements for teachers so that the salary of teachers stays competitive in the long run and teacher salaries don’t lose in purchasing power.

Do you get paid when you are sick as a Teacher?

You will receive sick pay as a teacher in most states. However, this doesn’t mean that you get fully compensated for the days you don’t work.

Instead, you will often only get a fraction of your actual salary during sick leave and you should therefore have an emergency fund for those things to avoid financial trouble.

Do Teachers have a high level of responsibility?

Teachers have a pretty high level of responsibility since they observe many school kids every day and if teachers don’t pay attention to what school kids are doing, accidents may happen pretty soon.

Moreover, teachers are also responsible for educating school kids so that they learn everything they need to succeed in the future.

Can you work abroad as a Teacher?

Working abroad as a teacher can be pretty difficult since you might run into accreditation issues. This will not only be true if you move to a different country, but even if you only move to a different state since every state has its own educational requirements for teachers.

Is it stressful to work as a Teacher?

While working as a teacher is not physically demanding, it can still be quite stressful on a mental level since you will have to deal with many kids full of energy at the same time and you have to keep them under control.

You will also have to deal with snarky comments and if you don’t have a stable mindset, school kids can really bring you down in the long run.

Is it boring to work as a Teacher?

Working as a teacher barely becomes boring since you will have new school kids on a regular basis and every kid is different.

Consequently, you also always have to adjust and improve your skills and there will just be no time for feeling bored.

Is being a Teacher hard?

Being a teacher can be pretty hard if you are an introvert and also not confident. In such a case, school kids will notice your weaknesses pretty soon and will give you a pretty hard time.

Consequently, make sure to have a stable mindset before you decide for a career as a teacher.

Is there a dress code for Teachers?

There is no dress code for teachers. You can just wear what you like and feel most comfortable with in most countries of our planet.

While school kids often have to wear school uniforms, teachers don’t have to meet the same requirements and are more flexible regarding how they want to dress.

What kind of Teachers are paid the most?

High school teachers usually earn more than elementary teachers or middle school teachers since they have to teach more advanced stuff and keeping older kids under control is often also more challenging.

What percentage of Teachers are women?

Around 75% of school teachers are female in public schools. Hence, male teachers are still the exemption rather than the norm and you may have good chances for becoming a teacher as a man due to that since gender quotas become more important and men may have an edge in this regard.

Do I need a mentor to succeed in the Teacher industry?

Even though you don’t necessarily need a mentor to succeed as a teacher, it can be helpful to get advice from seasoned teachers if you face problems with school kids and don’t know how to solve certain conflicts that may appear sooner or later.

Do Teachers have a high life expectancy?

Even though the job of a teacher can be mentally demanding, it is not physically stressful or dangerous most of the time. Consequently, teachers enjoy a pretty high life expectancy compared to most other people out there.

What states are best for working as a Teacher?

New York is a great state for working as a teacher since teachers in New York have one of the highest salaries on average and also get the best benefits. Also teacher satisfaction is above average in this state.

What are the pros and cons of working as a Teacher?

If you want to get even more information about working as a teacher, also make sure to check out my article where I show you all the pros and cons of a teacher career.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/185025/average-salary-of-teachers-in-public-schools-since-1980/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/305608/us-salary-of-public-school-teachers-by-state/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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