What Are the Duties of a Computer Teacher?
Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue as computer teacher. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and job outlook information.
What Is a Computer Teacher?
Computer teachers help students learn different computer-related skills based on grade level. An elementary level teacher may help younger students learn how to navigate a computer, while a postsecondary instructor may teach advanced programs and computer analysis. They have many of the same duties as a regular teacher, including creating and evaluating assignments and exams, monitoring student progress and enforcing class rules. Depending on the level of education, they may also be required to supervise students on free time, such as during lunch and recess. Computer teachers need to stay up to date on current technology and applications for their students. The chart below has information regarding possible job opportunities in this field.
|Kindergarten/Elementary School Teachers||High School Teachers||Postsecondary Computer Science Teachers|
|Degree Required||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree||Master's degree or doctorate|
|Licensure||Required by all public schools||Required by all public schools||Not required|
|Education Field of Study||Elementary education, information technology||Secondary education, information technology, programming, coding||Computer programming, database management, computer analysis|
|Key Responsibilities||Teach students basic computer literacy and usage||Teach students computer usage, programming and typing skills||Teach students computer operations and research; how to design programs; and how to analyze computer systems, hardware and software|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||3% (for all kindergarten and elementary school teachers)*||4% (for secondary school teachers except special and career/technical)*||4% (for computer science instructors)*|
|Average Wage (2018)||$62,200 (for elementary school teachers except special education)*||$64,340 (for secondary school teachers except special and career/technical education)*||$96,200 (for postsecondary computer science teachers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Kinds of Computer Teachers Are There?
If you choose to become a computer teacher, you have a wide variety of possibilities available to you. Computer teachers educate students in a numerous technical and information technology (IT) related fields, not to mention industries that utilize software and hardware. A common career path is to teach computer classes at the elementary, middle or high school levels. Another is to teach computer science at a college or a university.
What Education Do I Need?
If you have a high school diploma or a GED, a common way to prepare for a computer teacher position is to enroll in a bachelor's degree program in computer science or a related discipline, such as IT. A few classes you can expect to take in a typical computer science program are operating systems, programming, computer languages, computer networks and database management. If you wish to teach at the postsecondary level, you'll most likely need to continue your education in a master's or doctoral degree program.
What Duties Will I Have?
Your responsibilities will depend upon the kind of computer teacher that you choose to become. One of the key skills you'll need at any level is the ability to explain complicated ideas and principles with understandable language. You'll need to be able to manage a classroom with groups of students while making sure that individuals comprehend the concepts that you are explaining. Student assessment and evaluation is also a large part of the job. Much of the training you'll provide will be hands-on and will take place in a laboratory setting.
What Is the Job Market Like?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for computer teachers at all levels is increasing (www.bls.gov). From 2018-2028, the number of jobs available for kindergarten, elementary, middle and secondary school teachers, including computer teachers, was set to grow by 3-4%. In this same time period, jobs available to postsecondary school professors were expected to grow by 155,000, or 11%.
The salary you can expect to draw depends upon the level at which you choose to teach. In May 2018, the BLS estimated that the annual mean wage for secondary school teachers, including computer teachers, was $64,340, with the middle-half range falling between $47,980 and $77,720. The BLS stated at the same time that $96,200 was the mean annual wage for postsecondary computer teachers, with the middle 50% of earners bringing home $58,250-$119,690.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Some related careers that require at least a bachelor's degree include special education teachers and other career and technical education teachers. Special education teachers typically work at the elementary, middle or high school levels with students coping with various types of disabilities. Career and technical education teachers, like computer teachers, teach students particular skill sets and knowledge to prepare them for a specific career or trade. Another related occupation is computer support specialist, which is someone who assists and instructs individuals in the use of specific computers and programs. This job often requires a bachelor's degree, but an associate's degree or training courses may be sufficient.