If you love history and are passionate about sharing what you know with high school students, you can combine both these interests by being a history teacher. In this profession, you will not only be teaching young minds facts to memorize. Rather, you will be helping them develop their critical thinking skills by letting them analyze historical events.
You will be teaching students general social studies, civics and economics subjects as well. Your role will not only be limited to the classroom. You will also be supervising students during field trips and other out-of-school activities.
To be a successful and effective high school history teacher, you will need a lot of patience. You will be teaching students of differing learning styles and backgrounds so patience is an absolute must. You must be very resourceful as well. Like other teachers, you will need to have excellent communication skills and a passion to teach.
Why Become A History Teacher
Since a career as a history teacher isn’t really a high-paying job, the wages aren’t enough reason to pursue this profession. Rather, the satisfaction of being able to teach young minds is one compelling reason to become a history teacher. Teaching is a vocation and seeing students flourish and develop under your hands can be very rewarding indeed. The good thing about this profession is that most states adhere to tenure laws, giving teachers a stable job after they have taught for a number of years.
History Teacher Work Environment
History teachers work in public or private schools. The job of a teacher does not end in the classroom. After giving formal lessons to their students, they still have to check papers, prepare lesson plans and meet with parents of the students to update them on their progress. This work can extend even during weekends. The job can be stressful, particularly when the teacher has to deal with insolent students or those who have problems coping with the lesson.
The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that secondary school teachers except special and career/technical education teachers received mean annual wages of $58,260. Comparatively speaking, the same report showed that post-secondary high school teachers earned more with a mean annual wage of $74,100.
Average History Teacher Salary
Executive history teachers (Top 10%) earn $130,530
Senior history teachers (Top 25%) earn $97,150
Mid Level history teachers (Median) pay is $71,820
Junior of history teachers (Bottom 25%) earn $52,760
Entry Level of history teachers (Bottom 10%) earn $38,000
History Teacher Salary By State
District of Columbia
History Teacher Career Outlook
The employment rate of high school teachers is forecasted to grow slower than the average for all job types. For the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022, the employment rate is only set at 6 percent, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The demand will come from declining student-to-teacher ratios as well as increase in enrollment, both of which will prompt the need for more teachers. Job opportunities for history teachers will still vary by region, with the Southern and Western United States providing more opportunities for history teachers.
History Teacher Degree
History teachers typically hold a bachelor’s degree in history. They also sign up for a teacher preparation program. Public school teachers also need to obtain their license or certification. Private school teachers in general don’t have to. Each state has different licensure requirements but in addition to the degree and teacher preparation program, aspiring teachers also need to pass tests in general education as well as in history. In some states, high school teachers are required to get a master’s degree once they are certified to teach.