Secondary Education

If you’ve always known you want to become a teacher to share your knowledge, why not become a middle-, junior- or high-school teacher? Math, science, reading, English, foreign language, the arts: you name it. Secondary teachers help young adults succeed in school, work and life.

Secondary Education

If you’ve always known you want to become a teacher to share your knowledge, why not become a middle-, junior- or high-school teacher? Math, science, reading, English, foreign language, the arts: you name it. Secondary teachers help young adults succeed in school, work and life.

Online Degrees for Middle- and High-School Teachers

All public secondary school teachers need to be licensed to teach in their state. To become a certified teacher, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, have a supervised student teaching experience, and pass teaching and content-knowledge exams. With the exception your student teaching which must be done on-site, many teachers today get their teaching degrees online.

Salary and Job Growth

Annual Median Salary


Middle School Teachers


High School Teachers

graphic supporting preschool kindergarten salary

Secondary School Teacher Outlook


Salary Information

Middle- and high-school teachers make a solid living. But the benefits of the job don’t stop there. Teachers also get summers off to travel, take continuing ed courses, or work and earn even more money.

In 2016, the median salary* for middle- and high-school teachers across the U.S. was almost the same: $56,720 for middle-school teachers and $58,030 for high-school teachers.

Job Growth Information

Middle- and high school is the place that kids really show their preferences for certain subjects, so it’s sometimes the first real glimpse of what they’ll do when they grow up. Teachers help them improve in challenging subjects and encourage them in strong ones.

Employment of middle- and high school teachers is projected to grow 8 percent through 2026.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018-19 Occupational Outlook Handbook.
*The salary information listed is based on national median salaries, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Teaching Career Skills

You love your subject matter

You want to help young adults succeed

You're a creative problem solver

You're a natural teacher

You like studying and learning

You are proud of your work

You understand complex problems

You believe in the power of education

Work Environment

What grades can I teach?

Depending on the school district you teach in, you can teach kids in grades 6 through 12, so from age 12 to 18. The age you teach depends on the group you relate to most. Some people know they want to teach younger students, while others prefer high school.

What's the job like?

Secondary ed teachers are subject-matter experts, and they have special training so they can effectively impart their knowledge to different types of learners. Whether you choose English composition and literature, math, biology, chemistry, physics, and another subject, you’ll need to adapt it to the students in each grade level.

Day in the Life

Like teachers at other grade levels, middle- and high-school teachers follow a curriculum, develop lesson plans, teach classes in their subject matter, and correct their students’ work. They also communicate with parents, fill out report cards, and give individual students the specialized attention they need.

Program Overview

High school students have their own personalities and needs, and they need to be inspired. That’s where you come in.

But first, you’ll need to get a bachelor’s degree so that you can learn how to teach this dynamic age group. A supervised student-teaching internship is also required, and it will let you see what the job is really like on a daily basis. During your internship, you’ll work under an experienced teacher who can give you support as you’re developing your teaching skills.

What You’ll Study

A bachelor’s degree in secondary education will teach you how to be a successful teacher.

First, you’ll get a deeper knowledge of your content area. State departments of education generally require that teachers be highly qualified, so this is the first step.

Then you’ll study pedagogy (the art of teaching), goal setting and student evaluation. You’ll also learn about customizing your teaching to reach all your students.

Length of Program

To become a high-school teacher, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in secondary ed. Most people finish their bachelor’s degree in four years, but some take longer, especially if they need to work while going to school. But don’t forget the many convenient online options for getting a bachelor’s degree in secondary education.

Sample Classes

In secondary ed programs, you’ll take the same general requirements as other undergraduates, but you’ll also get special teacher training and specialize in your content area:

  • Introduction to Educational Thought
  • Teaching in a Diverse Society
  • Learning Theory in Practice
  • Teaching Adolescents
  • Teaching HS English
  • Using Computers in Education
  • Classroom Management
  • Legal and Ethical Issues for Teachers

Explore Other Teaching Careers

Early Childhood Education

From crayons to show-and-tell, set the foundation for young learners.

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Elementary Education

Inspire children in grades K-8 to a lifetime of learning.

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Special Education

Make a real impact in the lives of differently abled students.

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English as a Second Language

At home or abroad, share your love of English with non-native speakers.

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Improve the quality of education at the school or district level.

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Find a Secondary Education Program Near You

Tell us a little about yourself and we’ll connect you with schools that offer secondary education programs.