Adult and Vocational Education Teachers


Employment Prospects


Approximately 57,750 adult basic and secondary education and literacy teachers and instructors are employed in the United States, along with 77,460 career/technical education teachers. Most of these teachers work in the educational services industry. Adult education teachers can find work in a variety of different schools and education programs. Community and junior colleges regularly have openings for teachers. Specially trained teachers can work for state-funded programs, such as literacy and ESL programs. Teachers are also hired for long-distance education programs and to lead continuing education courses for corporations and professional associations. Teachers are often needed in such institutions as prisons, hospitals, retirement communities, and group homes for disabled adults.

Starting Out

Most people entering this field have some professional experience in a particular area, a desire to share that knowledge with other adults, and a teaching certificate or academic degree. When pursuing work as an adult education teacher, you should contact colleges, private trade schools, vocational high schools, or other appropriate institutions to receive additional information about employment opportunities. Many colleges, technical schools, and state departments of education offer job lines or online job listings. You can also often find job openings in the classifieds of local newspapers.

Advancement Prospects

A skilled adult or vocational education teacher may become a full-time teacher, school administrator, or director of a vocational guidance program. To be an administrator, a master's degree or a doctorate may be required. Advancement also may take the form of higher pay and additional teaching assignments. For example, a person may get a reputation as a skilled ceramics teacher and be hired by other adult education organizations as an instructor.

Tips for Entry

Read industry publications, such as Adult Education Quarterly and American Educator, to learn more about trends in the education field.

Take advantage of social media tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date on industry developments and learn about job openings.

Visit,, and for job listings.

Participate in student-teaching opportunities.