Junior High Teacher: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for junior high school 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 Teaching - Elementary & Middle Grades degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Junior High School Teacher?

Junior high school, or middle school teachers generally teach a variety of subjects to sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. They plan lessons, teach content and assess students on their abilities. Teachers grade assignments and tests to check progress of students. They also communicate this progress to parents. Teachers must be able to teach to a large group of students, small groups and individually. They prepare students to do well on state testing in their content area. They also set up class rules and enforce them so that the classroom runs efficiently.

The following chart gives you an overview about becoming a junior high school teacher.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Major in the subject to be taught (such as science or geography) with a minor in education
Key Responsibilities Prepare lesson plans and teach lessons; grade student work and tests; provide individualized attention to students who are behind or more advanced to keep them engaged in the learning process; communicate with parents about student progress and other classroom issues
Licensure and/or Certification All states require public school teachers to be licensed or certified
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%*
Median Salary (2015) $55,860*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What are the Job Responsibilities for Junior High Teachers?

Junior high or middle school teachers typically work in public and private schools. A teacher working with sixth to eighth graders often teaches more than one subject, such as math and science, in the course of the day. Other junior high teachers might only teach one specialized area of study, such as art or physical education. Some teachers may focus on a particular area of their chosen subject; for example, a science teacher may have extensive knowledge in biology or chemistry.

What Education Do I Need?

You could enroll in a bachelor's program in middle school education. You might take courses like curriculum development, teaching adolescents and educational psychology. In this type of program, you'll choose a specialty based upon which subject you want to teach; you'll take elective courses in this subject. Some graduates choose to continue their training by pursuing a related master's or doctoral degree.

You could also pursue a bachelor's degree in the subject that you want to teach. For example, if you want to be a math teacher, you could enroll in a mathematics or mathematics education bachelor's program. In this type of program, you'll take courses in your specialty as well as teacher training courses, like diversity in a learning environment or educational foundations.

You'll need to complete a student-teaching internship as part of both types of bachelor's programs. Upon completing the required curriculum, you may be expected to pass the Praxis II exams, which are designed to assess your teaching ability in a particular subject. You'll also need to earn your teaching license; licensure requirements vary by state. Common requirements may include completion of a bachelor's program with teacher education courses, a student-teaching experience and a passing grade on a state licensure exam.

What's the Job Market Like?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed middle school teachers was expected to increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the BLS estimated that the median annual wage of middle school teachers was $55,860, with the lowest ten percent of teachers making $37,350 or less and the upper 90% making $87,060 or more during that year.

However, pay rates vary from state to state. For example, BLS estimated that the mean wage for middle school teachers in Florida was $48,200 in 2015. The mean wage of middle school teachers located in New York earned $77,130 during the same year.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you would rather not teach junior high school, you have many other options that require a bachelor's degree. One option is teaching high school students, which includes ninth through twelfth graders. You would need to choose a content area such as math, biology, English, or geography to teach. You would have many of the same duties, just with an older age group. Another option is becoming a career and technical education teacher. These teachers prepare students for occupations in fields such as healthcare and culinary arts.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Pacific Oaks College

    Pacific Oaks College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Pacific Oaks College:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »