Business Instructor: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a business instructor. Learn about job duties, education, and potential salary figures to find out of this is the career for you. Schools offering Business Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Business Instructor?

A business instructor teaches students the knowledge and skills they need to prepare them for a career working for or running a business. A business instructor may enter the field as a prospective teacher specializing in business education or as an experienced businessperson who wants to change careers. Business instructors equip students not only with the necessary business knowledge including accounting and finance, but also with the basic business skills like memo writing and business communication, which can benefit any professional. Aside from these, business instructors are expected to prepare their own course materials, conduct lectures, facilitate learning and assess student performance.

Review the information below to learn more about the career prospects for a business instructor.

Degree Required Bachelor's Degree (for high school teachers)
MBA or Ph.D.(for college instructors)
Field of Study Education
Business
Key Responsibilities Design and implement lessons
Accounting and finance instruction
Instruction on management techniques
Assess and track student progress
Certification State certification required
Job Growth 6% (for all high school teachers)*
9% (for all postsecondary business teachers)*
Median Salary (2015) $57,200 (for all high school teachers)*
$75,370 (for all postsecondary business teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Training Is Required to Become a Business Instructor?

The training needed to work as a business instructor depends on the level of education at which you hope to teach. If you want to teach business classes in high school, you could get certified to teach with only a bachelor's degree in some states and a master's degree in others. If you want to teach business at the college level, you would likely need a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a doctoral degree in business. Additionally, you could secure a job in this field with degrees in either education or in business, although postsecondary teaching positions usually require an expertise in business. Degrees that combine education and business are available at the graduate level.

To secure teaching certification, you usually need a bachelor's degree in education. In order to work as a business instructor, you typically need some experience in business. Bachelor's degrees in education can usually be completed in four years. You can find these programs in both online and on-campus formats. Curriculum development, student assessment, technology for the classroom, theories of pedagogy and psychology will likely be part of the curriculum.

Master's degrees in business education can typically be finished in 2-3 years. In addition to academic coursework, you will likely be required to complete a research component in order to graduate, and many programs require you to complete internships or externships. You might take courses in:

  • Managing business and marketing programs in schools
  • Research methods for business education
  • Instructional strategies for business
  • Technology for business education
  • Advanced educational psychology
  • Learning disabilities

An MBA focuses on advanced business training and prepares you to work in the business world; postsecondary business teachers often hold this degree. An MBA degree could train you in areas like leadership, human resources management, customer and market analysis, strategic planning and process development. Many MBA programs facilitate business-related internships for their candidates.

A Ph.D. in Business is a research-oriented degree that culminates in a dissertation. Pedagogical training is often included and allows you to teach undergraduate classes. You can usually specialize in a particular area of business, such as strategy, operations management, marketing, finance or decision sciences.

What Are the Job Duties?

As a business teacher, you could prepare students for business-related jobs by teaching them about accounting and finance, administrative office systems, management techniques and computer information systems. You could also educate students in the basic business skills required for non-business jobs, such as memo writing, professional communication and business math.

At all levels of education, you could expect to perform the duties required of all teachers, which might include student assessment, classroom management, syllabus writing, recordkeeping and lesson planning. Business teachers at the middle school and high school levels may also work as counselors or academic advisors. Program development or extracurricular activity management could also be among your responsibilities. If you work at the postsecondary level, you may be required to perform research, publish your work or speak at conferences.

How Much Can I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), middle school teachers earned a median annual salary of $55,860, while high school teachers earned $57,200 as of 2015 (www.bls.gov). Business teachers who taught at colleges or universities earned a median annual salary of $75,370, according to the BLS.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

As an alternative, you can be a career and technical education teacher or an economist. As a career and technical education teacher, you will help students prepare for a specific occupation. If you choose to focus on a field like hospitality and tourism, for example, you could still cover key business concepts. For instance, you may teach students some marketing strategies and management techniques to successfully operate a lodging business. On the other hand, as an economist, you will analyze economic issues affecting various industries including health, environment or education to help lawmakers craft necessary policies that will benefit the public. While a career and technical education teacher requires only a bachelor's degree, an economist with a master's degree is preferred by most companies.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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