The educational services industry employs some of the most highly educated workers in the labor force. Postsecondary teachers-particularly college and university faculty-generally need a doctoral degree for full-time, tenure-track employment, but sometimes can teach with a master’s degree, especially at 2-year colleges. Most faculty members are hired as instructors or assistant professors and may advance to associate professor and full professor. Some faculty advance to administrative and managerial positions, such as department chairperson, dean, or president.
Kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree and complete an approved teacher training program, with a prescribed number of subject and education credits, as well as supervised practice teaching. All States require public school teachers to be licensed; however, licensure requirements vary by State. Many States offer alternative licensure programs for people who have bachelor’s degrees in the subject they will teach, but lack the education courses required for a regular license. With additional education or certification, teachers may become school Librarians, reading specialists, curriculum specialists, or guidance counselors. Some teachers advance to administrative or supervisory positions-such as department chairperson, assistant principal, or principal-but the number of these jobs is limited. In some school systems, highly qualified, experienced elementary and secondary school teachers can become senior or mentor teachers, with higher pay and additional responsibilities.
Special education teachers have many of the same requirements as kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers. In addition, most States require specialized training in special education. A master’s degree in special education, involving at least 1 year of additional course work, including a specialization, is also required by many States.
Vocational, or career and technical, education teachers sometimes need work or other experience in their field-and a license or certificate when required by the field-for full professional status. Most States require career and technical education teachers and adult literacy and remedial education teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, and some States also require teacher certification. Self-enrichment teachers need only practical experience in the field in order to teach.
School counselors generally need a master’s degree in a counseling specialty or a related field. All States require school counselors to hold State school counseling certification; however, certification procedures vary from State to State. Some States require public school counselors to have both counseling and teaching certificates. Depending on the State, a master’s degree in counseling and 2 to 5 years of teaching experience may be required for a counseling certificate. Experienced school counselors may advance to a larger school; become directors or supervisors of counseling, guidance, or student personnel services; or, with further graduate education, become counseling psychologists or school administrators.
Training requirements for education administrators depend on where they work. Principals, assistant principals, and school administrators usually have held a teaching or related job before entering administration, and they generally need a master’s or doctoral degree in education administration or educational supervision, as well as State teacher certification. Academic deans usually have a doctorate in their specialty. Education administrators may advance up an administrative ladder or transfer to larger schools or school systems. They also may become superintendent of a school system or president of an educational institution.
Training requirements for teacher assistants range from a high school diploma to some college training. The No Child Left Behind Act mandates that all new teacher assistants working in schools that receive Title I funds have a minimum of an associate’s degree or the equivalent, and that current workers meet these requirements by 2006. Districts that assign teaching responsibilities to teacher assistants usually have higher training requirements than those which do not. teacher assistants who obtain a bachelor’s degree, usually in education, may become certified teachers.
Librarians normally need a master’s degree in library science. Many States require school librarians to be licensed as teachers and have courses in library science. Experienced librarians may advance to administrative positions, such as department head, library director, or chief information officer. Training requirements for library technicians range from a high school diploma to specialized postsecondary training; a high school diploma is sufficient for library assistants. Library workers can advance-from assistant, to technician, to librarian-with experience and the required formal education. School busdrivers, need a commercial driver’s license and have limited opportunities for advancement; some become supervisors or dispatchers.