Secondary School Teachers


Employment Prospects


Secondary school teachers are needed at public and private schools, including parochial schools, juvenile detention centers, vocational schools, and schools of the arts. They work in middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools. Though some rural areas maintain schools, most secondary schools are in towns and cities of all sizes. Teachers are also finding opportunities in charter schools, which are smaller, deregulated schools that receive public funding.

Starting Out

After completing the teacher certification process, including your months of student teaching, you'll work with your school's career services office to find a full-time position. The departments of education of some states maintain listings of job openings. Many schools advertise teaching positions in the classifieds of the state's major newspapers as well as on their Web sites. You may also directly contact the principals and superintendents of the schools in which you'd like to work. While waiting for full-time work, you can work as a substitute teacher. In urban areas with many schools, you may be able to substitute on a full-time basis.

Advancement Prospects

Most teachers advance simply by becoming more of an expert in the job that they have chosen. There is usually an increase in salary as teachers acquire experience. Additional training or study can also bring an increase in salary.

A few teachers with management ability and interest in administrative work may advance to the position of principal. Others may advance into supervisory positions, and some may become helping teachers who are charged with the responsibility of helping other teachers find appropriate instructional materials and develop certain phases of their courses of study. Others may go into teacher education at a college or university. For most of these positions, additional education is required. Some teachers also make lateral moves into other education-related positions such as school counselor or resource room teacher.

Tips for Entry

Visit for job listings and advice on preparing a resume and portfolio and acing interviews. 

Read industry publications, such as American Educator (available at, to learn more about trends in your profession.

Become certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in order to show employers that you have met the highest standards established by your profession.

Participate in student-teaching opportunities.