Technology Educator: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become a technology educator. Learn about the educational requirements, job duties and potential salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Information Technology Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Technology Educator?

Technology educators prepare students for careers in a variety of technical and vocational careers. These professionals are found in middle and high schools, as well as postsecondary schools. Like other teachers, they must create and evaluate assignments and exams, track students' progress and communicate with parents and administrators on student behavior and performance. Technology educators specialize in teaching students particular sets of technology skills. They may teach students how to use various kinds of computer programs as well as the equipment and procedures used in such fields as healthcare, the construction trades or information technology. Their classes are typically hands-on and give students a chance to work with the technology. The table below outlines the general requirements for a career in technology education.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Training Required Work experience and/or student-teaching experience
Key Responsibilities Create and implement lesson plans
Assign tasks to monitor student progress
Demonstrate proper use of equipment
Enforce safety protocols
License State teaching licensure and/or vocational certification
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 0% for secondary career/technical education teachers; 7% for college vocational teachers*
Average Salary (2015) $58,170 for secondary career/technical education teachers; $54,260 for college vocational teachers*

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Are the Educational Requirements for a Technology Educator Career?

You'll usually need at least a bachelor's degree in a technology major and education training if you'd like to become a technology educator. Career and technical education bachelor's degree programs include courses in the practices and principles of technical education. You'll learn your role as a vocational teacher, as well as the different methods for teaching high school students and adult learners. Your technical courses generally depend on the major you choose, and a few relevant programs include computer science, technical education, software engineering or communications.

Most schools offer consecutive programs that allow you to complete a technical bachelor's degree, adding a year of education training that could qualify you for a state teaching license. You could also choose to earn a master's degree in education after completing your undergraduate technology program. Whichever option you choose, you'll learn the history and philosophy of education, curricula development, secondary mathematics and the use of technology in teaching. You'll spend significant time receiving practical experience by providing curricula development and classroom teaching.

How Do I Acquire a License?

State laws require career and technical education teachers who teach in public junior and high schools to be licensed by the state education boards. The requirements for licensure vary, but can include a bachelor's or master's degree and completion of a teacher preparation program. You might need to complete separate technology training and receive a passing grade on a written examination. Some states have fewer requirements if you only teach adult learners. You'll usually need to complete regular continuing education courses to renew your teaching license.

What Would My Job Duties Be?

Generally, your job duties depend on your area of specialization. As a technology educator, you'll integrate computers and electronics in the teaching of physics, science and mathematics. If you specialize in vocational or adult learning, you can instruct pupils in such areas as electrical wiring or computer networking. You'll need to provide demonstrations of tool and techniques, supervising students and evaluating their performance. Your technology training might require you to implement significant hands-on training and field work.

How Much Money Could I Expect to Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), vocational education teachers who worked in secondary schools earned average annual salaries of $58,170 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). If you want to provide career training for adults, the BLS reported the average salary for postsecondary vocational teachers was $54,260. For those in the postsecondary field, commercial and industrial machinery and equipment repair and maintenance paid the highest wages to technical trainers in 2015, offering an average of $84,300 per BLS information.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Middle school, high school and special education teachers are all closely related positions that also require at least a bachelor's degree. Middle school teachers typically educate children in the 6th to 8th grades. They may teach a variety of subjects and work to prepare their students for high school. High school teachers educate students in the 9th to 12th grades. They prepare students for postsecondary education or for a career after graduation. Special education teachers may work at the elementary, middle and high school levels. These educators work with students who have various disabilities. They often need to adapt their lesson plans to teach their students basic skills.

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