Trade and Industrial Teacher

Trade and industrial teachers educate students in trade skills to help prepare them for careers. Read on for more information about teaching trade and industrial education.

Is Teaching Trade and Industrial Education for Me?

Career Description

Trade and industrial education (TIE) is a specialized field within the career and technical education (CTE) field. TIE teachers may teach in one of the following subject area - autobody repair, computer repair, computer networking, TV production, electrical wiring, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), cosmetology or auto mechanics, among other areas. Generally, TIE programs include lab work, which allows for hands-on training.

Work Environment

As a high school TIE teacher, you may work with both local companies and vocational colleges to find places for your students to get practical work experience. You may also work in technology and career centers, correctional facilities, industrial or business training classrooms or adult education centers.

Job Duties and Skills

As a TIE teacher, you plan classroom and hands-on lessons to help your students learn specific skills and teach them the history, laws and business practices relevant to practicing the trade. You are responsible for assessing students' progress, helping find further training or jobs and communicating with parents. Teaching requires good communication and interpersonal skills, and you need to be detail oriented, creative and able to work in environments that can be stressful at times.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2012 vocational teachers in general held 239,800 teaching jobs ( Middle school vocational teachers held 18,510 jobs and earned a median salary of $54,220 in May 2012. BLS anticipated employment opportunities for middle school and high school vocational teachers to increase by five percent and projected 12% growth for vocational postsecondary teachers, between 2012 and 2022. High school vocational teachers held 87,780 teaching jobs in 2012 and earned a median salary of $55,160 at that time. Vocational postsecondary teachers made a median salary of $47,990 in 2012.

How Can I Work as a Trade and Industrial Teacher?


All states require that trade and industrial education teachers working in public schools must obtain licensure. Unlike most other teaching professionals, trade and industrial education teachers may enter the teaching field without completing teacher preparation. Requirements to do this vary by state.

Education and Certification

You must have the required amount of work experience (so many hours working in the field) and either a bachelor's that does not include teacher preparation or a high school diploma. You must work out a certification plan, i.e. how you are going to get certified. You then are issued a teacher's license, such as an emergency teaching permit, so you can begin teaching immediately. Your certification plan may include taking teacher training courses and passing an exam.

Degree Programs

You may take the traditional route to teaching TIE subjects by earning a 4-year degree in the area that you want to teach. You must also complete teacher training, which may include classes in curriculum and instruction, teaching methods and educational psychology. Teacher training may be part of the bachelor's program, or you may take a post-bachelor's certification-only program or a master's degree program in teacher training. You need to complete a student teaching practicum and pass a basic skills exam in order to be certified.

To teach in a community college or adult education you generally need a degree (associate's or bachelor's) and work experience in the subject you will be teaching. There may be other requirements depending on the state.

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