High School Economics Teacher Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for high school economics teachers. Get the facts about education and licensure requirements, salary, and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Business Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a High School Economics Teacher?

High school economics teachers teach economics to students in grades 9 through 12. They usually provide students with a broad introduction to the field of economics, covering concepts such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics and cyber economics. In order to help students truly understand the field, they typically draw up a curriculum that includes a combination of lectures, reading assignments, group discussions and hands-on projects. Some high school economics teachers also prepare students to take advanced standardized tests, like the AP Macroeconomics or Microeconomics exams. Alongside their teaching responsibilities, teachers may also work with other school staff to develop and implement school policies and supervise students outside the classroom.

The following chart gives you an overview of the requirements to enter this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Major in economics, minor in secondary education
Key Responsibilities Prepare lesson plans; teach economics and administer tests; grade homework and tests; communicate with parents about student progress and conduct
Licensure All states require public school teachers to be licensed
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% for all high school teachers*
Median Salary (2015) $57,200 for all high school teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do I Need a Degree to Become a High School Economics Teacher?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you need at least a bachelor's degree to work as a high school economics teacher (www.bls.gov). Some states expect you to earn a master's degree after you begin teaching. Common bachelor's programs for aspiring economics teachers include those in secondary education or economics; you could also earn a master's degree in either field. If you choose to earn a degree in economics instead of education, you may need to complete an alternative licensing program. This type of program allows you to take courses in education that are often required for teaching licensure, including a student teaching experience.

Bachelor's programs in secondary education might examine topics like teaching methods, classroom management, curriculum development and educational psychology. Other areas of study might include student evaluation and adolescent literacy. A hands-on teaching experience is a required part of most secondary education bachelor's programs.

Bachelor's programs in economics may include training in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. You could also study economic ethics, public economics or global finance. Some economics programs may allow you to enroll in a student teaching internship.

Do I Need a License?

As noted by the BLS, most teachers need to be licensed in order to work in public schools. However, licensure may not be required for teachers in private schools. Though licensure requirements vary from state to state, you'll usually need to complete a bachelor's program, a student teaching experience and a state-administered exam. You may need to earn continuing education credits on an annual basis in order to renew your license.

What Is the Job Outlook and Pay?

The number of employed secondary school teachers is expected to increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS. In 2015, the median annual salary for high school teachers was $57,200. The top paying states for secondary school teachers included New York, Alaska and Connecticut at this time.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Aspiring educators may also be interested in jobs teaching middle school students. Although economics courses are not usually offered at the middle school level, teachers may find jobs teaching other social studies subjects, such as history. Similar to high school teachers, public middle school teachers must have a bachelor's degree and hold a teaching license or certification. Another possibility for individuals who are interested in economics is a job as a financial analyst. These professionals analyze stocks and bonds in order to advise individuals and businesses on investment decisions. To work as a financial analyst, it is necessary to hold at least a bachelor's degree in economics or a closely related field.

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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