High School Teacher Salary

A high school teacher usually has a relatively difficult but extremely rewarding job.  Teachers are very good at what they do, which is basically that they shape the minds of our youth.  Sounds impressive, right?  However, high school teachers generally differ from lower education in teachers in that they are less of generalists and are more like college professors in that they focus on a particular subject.  Let’s look into what they have to do:

High School Teacher Education Requirements

High school teachers have to have at the very least a bachelor’s degree to be able to do the job properly.  There are further degrees that they can get, such as a master’s degree in teaching, or school administration, or something along those lines, and generally, the high school teacher salary is significantly better for someone that has a master’s.  But a lot of teachers choose to do these master’s programs after they’ve already taught for a while, because ironically, a master’s degree might make a school less likely to hire you out of the gate simply because they are going to have to pay you more to do more or less the same job (albeit better) than your regular teacher.  Once the teacher gets their bachelor’s degree, they usually have to go back and work as a student teacher for a semester or so, where they basically run and teach another teachers class WITH that teacher, getting instructions and advice from that other teacher.  Student teachers learn how to apply their practical knowledge here, and then they can graduate and say that they will, at the very least, get what’s going on in the classroom when they first start their new job.  Experience is important.

High School Teacher Job Description

High school teachers have to be able to run a classroom and need to still worry about behavioral issues some of the time.  Unlike a college setting, high school teachers still need to be student focused rather than material focused, so at its core, that’s what they are doing.  Once they can keep a classroom under control and enforce certain rules, they can begin to teach.  Most teachers specialize in a certain topic, usually in the fields of math, science, social studies, or English.  Math teachers need to have knowledge of the basic mathematical fields that will be confronted by most high school students, such as geometry, trigonometry, algebra, and calculus.  Social studies teachers need to be familiar with different types of history as well as things like psychology, sociology, and what not.  Then the science teachers will focus on biology, chemistry, physics, all of the basic sciences, while the English teachers will need to know how to teach their students to write properly while also knowing a decent amount about different types of literature.

Then there are the extracurricular teachers, who can teach physical education or art.  Phys. Ed. usually means having a solid knowledge of health, while other classes will focus on certain sports or certain types of sports (like Outdoor Rec., for example).  The art teachers will have to know how to teach different types of arts, like pottery, photography, painting, sculpting, and so on.

High School Teacher Salary

High school teachers are notorious for whining about how little they get paid, but this is kind of misleading.  In fact, the more experienced a teacher gets, the better they get paid, which is ridiculous, because Mr. Reinhardt was like 80 and he bitched about his low pay every single day.  Otherwise, the usual starting salary is around $40,000 a year, going up significantly as you gain more experience and gain the school’s trust.  By the end of your career, you can potentially be making up to double that, and if you get the Master’s, you may make as much as an extra 10 to 20 grand a year.

A high school teacher salary is usually supplemented by excellent benefits and a pension program where the teacher, after working for 30 years, can retire, and can continue to get a pension of 50%-80% of their former salary.  It is really a sweet deal.  And you get the reward of shaping the leaders of tomorrow.