What's the Salary of a Middle School Teacher?

Explore the salary and job outlook for a middle school teacher. Get the facts about job duties and education requirements to determine if this is career is right for you. Schools offering Teaching - Elementary & Middle Grades degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Middle School Teacher?

Middle school teachers work with students between sixth and eighth or sometimes ninth grades. They may have a subject area specialization, such as math, social studies, science or English. Each day, they plan lessons and teach students through lectures, small group discussion and hands-on projects. In addition, they serve as supervisors in the classroom and in other school settings, such as the cafeteria or playground. They also help prepare students for success on standardized tests and in high school.

Read more to learn about the salary prospects of middle school teachers and other career information.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Field of Study Education
Key Responsibilities Develop lesson plans,
Design and administer assessments,
Track student progress,
Guide and mentor adolescents
Certification State certification required
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%*
Median Salary (2015) $55,860*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can a Middle School Teacher Expect to Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of 2015, most middle school teachers earned salaries from $37,350 to $87,060, with a median of $55,860 (www.bls.gov). However, October 2016 figures from Payscale.com showed a somewhat lower range of $32,450 - $68,770. In 2015, the top five states by mean salary, according to the BLS, were Alaska at $79,760, New York at $77,130, Connecticut at $76,710, Massachusetts at $71,090 and New Jersey at $69,930.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

You will spend the majority of your time preparing class materials and interacting with students. Working with parents, colleagues and school administrators will also be a major aspect of your job.

Preparing materials and interacting with students includes such activities as writing, administering and grading assignments and tests. You'll also assign and grade homework, maintain performance records, communicate lesson and project objectives and set and enforce classroom rules. In addition, you can expect to deliver lectures, conduct demonstrations and lead discussions, as well as provide advice and guidance to students who are having difficulty with their work. At your discretion you might also supervise student organizations, clubs and contests.

Your interactions with parents will entail providing accurate feedback about their children's performance, discussing educational goals and conferencing with them about any behavioral problems. Interacting with colleagues and administrators will revolve around attending meetings to discuss programs, curriculum changes and school rules and participating in training workshops and education conferences.

What's the Job Outlook?

The BLS reports that as of 2014, there were approximately 627,500 middle school teachers in the U.S. excluding special and vocational teachers. That number is expected to increase 6% to 664,200 by 2024, which is about average compared to all occupations.

What Training or Education is Required?

You need to earn at least a bachelor's degree in secondary education in order to become a middle school teacher. Programs are available from schools across the U.S., a number of them offering subject area specializations in math, science, languages, the arts or the social sciences. Core courses might cover the history of public education, teaching methods, education theory, student assessment, computers in education and cultural diversity. You'll also complete a teaching internship.

After earning a degree you should be qualified to obtain a teaching license in your state, which you will need to work in the public school system. Licenses applicable to middle school teachers might cover grades 5-8 or grades 7-12. Some states require you to maintain a specific grade point average or complete basic technology training. Others obligate you to earn a master's degree in education within a fixed time period after you start teaching.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Individuals who are interested in teaching can also find teaching jobs at the high school and elementary school levels. High school teachers often teach a particular subject, while elementary school teachers may provide more general instruction to help children build basic problem-solving and communication skills. Another job option for those interested in working with middle school students is a job as a school counselor, but it is important to note that these professionals need a master's degree in addition to a bachelor's degree and license.

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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