Do I Need a Teaching Degree to Teach in a Vocational School?

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teaching in a vocational schoolVocational schools offer programs and courses for high school students and adult teachers. Those interested in teaching in a vocational school might find that they do not need a college degree. Vocational programs seek to teach students the skills that will help them work full time in various fields immediately after graduating high school. They earn the credits needed to graduate from high school as they learn practical skills. Some schools also offer classes that adult students can take at night.

What is a Vocational Teacher?

A vocational teacher, also known as a career teacher or a technical teacher, is someone who teaches a vocational field. Nursing, culinary arts, phlebotomy, horticulture, construction, computer repair and automotive repair are some of the programs offered by most schools. While similar to a community college, vocational schools typically grant students a certificate at the end of the program as opposed to a degree, although some schools now offer degree programs as well. Vocational teachers use the tips and tricks they learned on the job to give students a better idea of what the field holds and the experiences that they might have.

How Much do Teachers Make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median salary for those teaching in a vocational school is $51,910 per year, which is nearly $25 an hour and is around the same salary as those teaching in public high schools make. With an estimated growth of nine percent, the number of vocational teachers will increase by more than 21,000 new workers. Vocational teachers often follow the same schedule as other teachers, working throughout the school year and having the summer off, but some vocational schools now operate year-round.

Do You Need a College Degree?

Whether you need a college degree to teach in a vocational school depends on your field. Certain fields require that teachers have a bachelor’s degree, but as bachelor degrees are not available in all fields, other teachers need an associate’s degree and some experience in the field. Computer science and engineering are two examples of teaching fields that require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Those teaching automotive repair or another subject can substitute the work experience they have for a college degree. Those teaching culinary arts classes and other subjects may lack any type of degree. Those working as pastry chefs and head chefs may still teach with only a high school diploma.

More Requirements

Before working in a classroom, teachers need to pass the licensing examination offered by their state. This test is usually only open to those with a bachelor’s degree in teaching, but those teaching at the vocational level can use another type of degree or work experience to sit for the exam. Not all states use a licensing test, but most states do require that applicants successfully pass a criminal background check┬ábefore teaching. Some vocational schools may also require that teachers spend a semester or more student teaching and working under the supervision of a licensed teacher before working with students.

Vocational schools help students learn skills that relate to their future careers and help them immediately find work in their chosen field. Before you start teaching in a vocational school, you need to gain some work experience in your field and apply for a teaching license in your state.

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