How Can I Become a GED Instructor?

Research what it takes to become a GED instructor. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Adult Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a GED Instructor?

GED instructors are teachers who work with students who need to demonstrate they've acquired the knowledge and skills needed to earn a high school equivalency diploma. They often work with adult students and perform many tasks that all teachers perform, such as developing lesson plans, teaching classes and grading student work. GED instructors may also need to modify the curriculum based on student weaknesses and strengths, and they may also help students develop study skills. GED instructors may also work with students one on one.

Degree RequiredBachelor's degree at minimum;
Master's degree required in some states
Education Field of StudyEducation
Secondary education
Key ResponsibilitiesTeach adults and youth not currently in school in preparation for taking the GED exam
Monitor student work and progress and suggest methods for improvement
Maintain records as required by local laws and regulations
Licensure/CertificationTeacher's license may be needed
Certification is available and may be required
Job Growth (2014-2024)7% for adult literacy and high school diploma equivalency teachers*
Mean Salary (2015) $54,060 for adult basic education, secondary education and literacy teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Get Your Degree

Education requirements for GED instructors vary from state but state, but, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you'll probably need at least a bachelor's degree. Depending on your state's requirements, you may need a master's degree and a teaching license. Two options are the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Education and the B.S. in Secondary Education. Not only would you study teaching theories, but you'd also choose a concentration in a subject area and complete a teaching internship at a local school. Your student teaching internship will determine whether or not you'll be eligible for certification. Most schools will require you to complete between 120-145 credits of coursework to graduate.

How Can I Become a GED Instructor if I Have a Bachelor's Degree?

If you already have a bachelor's degree, you could enroll in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program, which is generally an 18- to 24-month program that consists of classroom courses and a student teaching internship. Like the bachelor's degree program, you could choose a concentration in a secondary subject area like math, English, science, chemistry, history, geography, foreign language and more. If the state where you plan to work requires GED instructors to have master's degrees, you could enroll in a Master of Science in (M.S.) Adult Education, which is a good degree option because, like a post-bachelor's degree program, it includes the teaching internship you may need to get a teaching license.

Get Certified

You'll need to check with your state's board of education to see if you need a teaching license to be a GED instructor. The BLS reports that some states offer teaching credentials specifically for adult education teachers. After your complete your education program, you can begin to work towards fulfilling state certification requirements.

One of the first things you'll need to do is register to take teacher assessment exams. Although some states administer their own exams, many use the Praxis II exam, administered by the Educational Testing Service. This test will assess your proficiency in your subject area and in teaching in general. You can take a paper or electronic test and have your scores sent directly to your board of education for assessment. You'll also have to pay certification and criminal background check fees. Some states also require GED instructors and examiners to attend annual development training programs.

Search for Jobs

After you complete your state's education and certification requirements, you can begin to look for jobs. You could work at a high school, community college, hospital, residential treatment center or even a prison. You could also work for the government, which funds GED preparation and testing programs. You'll likely want to prepare a professional resume that lists your education and experience, especially your teaching experience. Any technical skills that you may have should also be listed on your resume, because GED instructors frequently use technology in their teaching curriculum. Also be sure to list references that can attest to your experience and character.

If you have access to the Internet, you can visit websites to find vacancies for GED instructors. School websites are a good place to start, followed by job boards and state government websites. It could even help to send your resume to schools and organizations that aren't currently hiring, because your resume could be kept on file and referred to at a later time.

Salary and Projected Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean income earned by GED instructors in 2015 was $54,060. Job growth from 2014 to 2024 is projected to be 7%, which is an average rate of growth, according to the BLS.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Adult literacy teachers and English as a second language teachers perform many of the same duties as GED instructors. They all need a bachelor's degree and may need a teaching license. They all prepare lessons, teach students and assess their progress. Adult literacy teachers work with adult students, like GED instructors. They focus specifically on teaching literacy skills. English as a second language teachers may work with students of all ages. Their focus is working with students who do not speak English as their mother tongue and helping them increase their English vocabulary, work recognition, pronunciation and understanding spoken and written English.

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