How Do I Become a Vocational Training Teacher?

Research what it takes to become a vocational training teacher. Learn about education and training requirements, job duties and salary 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 Vocational Training Teacher?

Vocational training teachers provide instruction in technical subjects in order to prepare students for particular careers. For instance, they may teach courses in culinary arts, construction, hospitality or agricultural science. Depending on the subject, courses may be primarily lecture-based, or they may focus on hands-on training in a workshop or laboratory. Jobs for vocational training teachers are available in wide range of settings, including high schools, colleges, adult training institutes and prisons.

Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Vocational teacher education, vocation-related programs
Licensure/Certification Licensure required to teach in public schools, certification is voluntary
Job Growth (2014-2024) 0% (high school vocational teachers)*
7% (postsecondary vocational teachers)*
Median Salary (2015) $56,130 (high school vocational teachers)*
$49,470 (postsecondary vocational teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Get Your Bachelor's Degree in Vocational Training

Some colleges and universities offer bachelor's programs for high school graduates that could prepare you for teaching licensure in vocational education or career and technical education (CTE). Other CTE bachelor's programs are geared toward working professionals and would require you to have a certain number of documented years of work experience in the subject area you want to teach.

Typically, you would start one of these programs by taking general education courses in subjects like math, English, history, physics, chemistry and the social sciences. The programs for high school graduates would then follow up with by a series of technical courses. Some bachelor's programs allow you to choose a concentration, such as industrial or technical vocations, information technology or marketing, and you may be required to complete a vocational internship. You'll also take educational courses in teaching principles, instructional theory, evaluation and assessment, as well as a student teaching practicum.

I Already have a Bachelor's Degree

If you already have a bachelor's degree in a subject other than education, you might choose to enroll in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program to prepare for licensure in a vocational subject, such as auto mechanics or nursing. By completing a post-baccalaureate program, you could gain your initial licensure to teach in a public school or prison.

You also could consider a master's degree program, such as a Master in Secondary Education with an emphasis in consumer science, industrial vocations or a related vocational field. A master's program also might be right for you if you're a licensed teacher who wants to add vocational subjects to your teacher's license. As a graduate, you might find teaching positions with secondary or postsecondary schools, adult education programs or training programs run by companies and organizations in the private sector.

I Just Have Work Experience

If you have work experience in a vocational area but not a bachelor's degree, you might opt to apply for a vocational teacher license. Requirements vary by state, but you'll typically need several years of documented work experience and a high school diploma. You also might need to be licensed or certified in your profession and be able to pass written and practical tests to demonstrate your skills and knowledge.

Get A Teaching Certificate or License

All U.S. states require teachers to gain licensure before they are allowed to teach in a public school. You may not need licensure to teach in a private school or adult education center.

If you complete a bachelor's, post-bachelor's or master's program in vocational teacher education, you can follow the traditional path to state licensure. This process usually involves passing teacher proficiency examinations, paying fees and submitting to a criminal background check. Some states may require you to take additional courses or exams.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of teaching career education courses at a high school, you could get a job teaching a standard academic subject, like biology, history or literature. In order to work in a public high school, you need to have at least a bachelor's degree, and you must have a teaching license. If you would rather work with adults, you could consider becoming an instructor of courses that prepare students for the test to earn a high school equivalency diploma (GED). You would offer instruction in language arts, math, science and social studies, as well as helping students build the fundamental communication and problem-solving abilities that they will need for future career success. The minimum educational requirement for this job is a bachelor's degree.

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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