high school history teacher average salary - QuestiEssaydatesCom

+0 332 548 954

[email protected]

high school history teacher average salary

Room 241:
A Blog by
Concordia
University-
Portland

Visit our Edu Site
Subscribe Now

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Linkedin

Teaching Careers Updated May 5, 2018

History Teacher Career: Job, Education and Salary Information

By
Eric Gill
October 4, 2012

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Linkedin
  • Email

History Teacher Career InformationTeaching history is an ideal profession for people with a passion for investigating the past and exploring events that shape our world. People who are fascinated with ancient cultures, historic facts and important discoveries are well-suited for careers as history teachers.

Detail planning, problem solving and critical thinking skills are important for history teachers, who devote much of their time to organizing lectures, drafting lessons and creating presentations that project the past in vivid yet accurate detail.

Our guide offers insights into the required education, salary and job outlook of the history teaching profession. Browse through the content or use the following links to jump to your desired destination:

At-a-glance
> Who makes good history teachers?
Teaching at the various levels
> Middle school history teachers
> High school history teachers
> Postsecondary/college history teachers
Professional development
> Continuing education
> Professional associations
Related careers
> Jobs beyond teaching
Best of the Web
> Sites and Twitter handles to follow


At-a-glance: history teachers

K-8High schoolCollege/postsecondary
EducationBachelor’s; master’s preferredBachelor’s; master’s preferredMaster’s; doctorate
Typical study time4-6 years4-6 years5-10 years
Median salary$55,860$57,200$69,400
Job outlook+6%+6%+10%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

A bachelor’s degree — preferably in history, political science, anthropology or social studies — is a minimum education requirement for history teachers at the middle and high school levels. A state-issued teaching certificate or license is also required; however, some private schools do not specify a teaching credential as a job prerequisite. Some states require a master’s degree for middle and high school teachers; and most postsecondary schools require at least a master’s degree in order to teach history.

History teacher job description

History teachers must have sharp minds focused on how past events influence the present and can impact the future. These insights build the foundation of history curriculum for the classroom. In addition, history teachers can leverage other forms of instruction to bring the classroom to life. These include:

  • Historical sites and museums: Local museums and planned field trips to historic places, including state or commonwealth capitol buildings, are well-suited for exploring history.
  • Structured debates: Structured in-class debates centered on lively subjects are excellent instructional formats for history students because they help advance critical thinking skills. Debating historic events also encourages students to research and gather factual information, communicate their findings in front of their peers and hone public speaking skills.

Who makes good history teachers?

History teachers should be capable of uncovering facts and storing significant amounts of information for quick recall. An inquisitive nature, a sense of wonderment about historically relevant details, and the desire to bring a fresh instructional approach to students each day are excellent characteristics for history teachers.

Great history teachers are:

  • Naturally inquisitive, detail oriented and fascinated by significant past events.
  • Well-organized yet flexible about allowing students to ask questions and debate subjects.
  • Personable and capable of motivating students to participate in group discussions.
  • Interested in social issues, civics, international politics, and world events.
  • Devoted to preserving historical records and uncovering new information about history.
  • News oriented and able to draw parallels between past and current events.
  • Intellectually curious, committed to accuracy, well-grounded in facts and data.
  • Optimistic, fun, spirited, and passionate about teaching and learning history.
  • Motivated, patient, resourceful, objective and tolerant of opposing viewpoints.

Interested in becoming a history teacher?

Here’s a spotlight on Jill Szymanski, 2013 National History Teacher of the Year. Do you share similar traits and qualities to be a great history teacher?

Teaching history at the various levels

A number of factors come into play in deciding what education level to teach. These include:

  • Educational background (postsecondary institutions typically require an advanced degree).
  • Range and breadth of history subjects: the higher the grade level, the more specialized the curriculum.
  • Age and maturity levels of students, from middle school to college.
  • Local salary considerations and employment opportunities.

Middle school history teachers

Middle school is a crucial transition time for children entering their teens. Middle school history teachers should be prepared to deal with students who aren’t used to having subject-specific teachers throughout the school day.
Click here for in-depth details about middle school history teachers

  • Overview
  • What do middle school history teachers do?
  • Educational and certification requirements
  • Salary and employment projections
  • Pros and cons of being a middle school history teacher

Middle school history teachers are responsible for introductory courses in social studies and history. They are sometimes required to teach history in tandem with other subjects, such as English grammar or expository writing.

Middle school history teacher job description

Although middle school students usually have some grounding in U.S. history and a basic understanding of civics, many are introduced to local, state and world history for the first time. In addition to subject expertise, middle school history teachers need to be familiar with basic teaching responsibilities.

Typical duties:

  • Organize and manage classrooms and work with school administrators to implement procedures.
  • Plan lessons, lectures, multimedia demonstrations and other presentations.
  • Assign classroom lessons and homework, grade essays, book reports and quizzes.
  • Administer and grade tests and stay current with standardized test requirements.
  • Plan and arrange classroom visitors, expert speakers and other relevant guests.
  • Work with students individually when necessary to assess progress, improve learning performance levels and achieve overall education success.
  • Prepare students for grade advancement through subject-specific assessments.
  • Conduct open classroom sessions and schedule parent-teacher conferences.

Middle school history curriculum

Middle school history teachers are responsible for teaching introductory local, state and regional history; U.S. history; and world history.

  • Local and state history covers Native Americans and cultures, early pioneers and explorers specific to the locale and region.
  • U.S. history covers early explorers, the founding of the Thirteen Colonies, the Revolutionary War, the writing and ratification of the U.S. Constitution, slavery and the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression and other important events from the 1940s to the present, including the Civil Rights Movement and Watergate.
  • World history focuses on a widely accepted timeline of events, including the significance of the Egyptian pyramids, the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the Bronze Age and the Renaissance, WWI and WWII, the Holocaust and the Southeast Asia wars from Korea to Vietnam.

How to become a middle school history teacher: educational requirements

History teachers at all levels are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree (preferably in history or social studies). Because history is one of the most expansive subjects in education, there are countless areas to focus upon, including Native and early American history, U.S. civics, world history and the various specializations of each topic.

Level of educational attainment for K-8 teachers:

  • Less than high school diploma: 0.2%
  • High school diploma or equivalent: 0.3%
  • Some college, no degree: 2.9%
  • Associate degree: 1.9%
  • Bachelor’s degree: 44.3%
  • Master’s degree: 46.5%
  • Doctoral or professional degree: 3.9%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (Note: Data listed is for middle school teachers overall, and not history specific)

History teachers looking to move from the middle to high school level, and possibly to postsecondary instruction, are expected to become increasingly knowledgeable about the subjects they teach. History teachers should keep specialization in mind when considering a graduate program and selecting a school that is best-suited for their choice.

Certification requirements for middle school history teachers

A state-issued teaching certificate or license is generally required to become a middle school history teacher. However, some private schools do not specify a teaching credential as a job prerequisite. Specific certification and licensing requirements for middle school teachers vary from state to state. Teachers are usually required to take professional development courses as a condition of certification.

Teaching License Reciprocity by State : Visit our state-by-state teacher licensing and reciprocity page for regulations in your state.

Alternative certification is becoming increasingly popular, with one in five teachers entering the profession through nontraditional means. Because of fluctuating teacher shortages, states are offering alternative ways for people who already have a bachelor’s degree to get certified. The teachers are hired after graduation and are mentored by an experienced teacher until they earn full certification.

Middle school history teacher salary and employment projections

The median salary for middle school history teachers across the United States ranges from about $42,000 to $54,000 according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The figures below are estimates for all middle school teachers from 2010 to 2013.

  • Recruiter.com: $54,890
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: $53,430
  • Payscale.com: $42,216

The employment outlook for middle school appears stable in certain regions, and the demand for teachers is stronger than many other professions. In some expanding U.S. regions, such as the Southeast, Southwest and West, job growth for middle school teachers is relatively strong. Overall, the BLS estimates a 12 percent growth rate for middle school teachers through 2022.

Pros and cons of being a middle school history teacher

Pros:

  • Helping students develop analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Expanding students’ knowledge of regional, U.S. and world events that have shaped the present.
  • Teaching historic and factual information that is vital to developing thoughtful citizens.
  • Working with young people who are beginning to think for themselves.
  • Most middle school teachers have up to two months off during the summer.

Cons:

  • Introductory level history curriculum can become routine and requires teachers who thrive on the teaching/learning process.
  • Teaching middle school students at a difficult developmental age is challenging.
  • Working with students who are transitioning from elementary to middle school requires extraordinary patience and empathy for teenagers.
  • A wide range of students with diverse backgrounds and at various learning levels necessitates teachers with excellent organizational skills and strong classroom management abilities.

High school history teachers

High school history teachers are responsible for more advanced and in-depth courses than their middle school counterparts. Because they generally teach students at different grade levels, high school teachers enjoy opportunities to expand their history curriculum and engage students at different levels.
Click here for in-depth details about high school history teachers

  • Overview
  • What do high school history teachers do?
  • Educational and certification requirements
  • Salary and employment projections
  • Pros and cons of being a high school history teacher

High School History Teacher Salary InformationHigh school history teachers are responsible for covering a broad scope of topics. High school history teachers assume the responsibility of preparing all students as knowledgeable local, state and world citizens.

High school history teacher job description

In addition to mastering history subjects, high school teachers should be adept at performing basic teacher responsibilities and classroom management functions.

Typical duties:

  • Organize and manage classrooms and work with school administrators to implement procedures.
  • Plan lessons, lectures, multimedia demonstrations and other presentations.
  • Assign classroom lessons and homework, grade essays, book reports and quizzes.
  • Administer and grade tests and stay current with applicable assessment standards and graduation requirements.
  • Plan and arrange classroom visitors, expert speakers and other relevant guests.
  • Work with students individually when necessary to assess progress, improve learning performance levels and achieve overall education success.
  • Prepare students for grade advancement through subject-specific assessments to help ensure successful standardized testing achievement.
  • Conduct open classroom sessions and schedule parent-teacher conferences.

High school history curriculum

High school history teachers are expected to teach standardized subject matter and prepare students for college-level social studies, U.S. and world history curriculum. High school history teachers help students develop critical thinking skills and chronological thinking capabilities that enable them to interpret narrative texts, make logical connections with objective facts and data, and understand the relevance of key historical events.

  • Local and state history typically covers Native Americans and cultures, early pioneers and explorers specific to the locale and region.
  • U.S. history normally covers early explorers, the founding of the Thirteen Colonies, the Revolutionary War, the writing and ratification of the U.S. Constitution, slavery and the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and other important events from the 1940s to present, including the Civil Rights Movement and Watergate.
  • World history generally focuses on a widely accepted timeline of events, including the significance of the Egyptian pyramids, the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the Bronze Age and the Renaissance, WWI and WWII, the Holocaust and the Southeast Asia wars from Korea to Vietnam.

High school history teachers are given latitude to teach additional history and social studies subjects related to specific areas of interest, such as economics, or time-specific topics like the Industrial Revolution, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the Civil Rights Movement. They are also expected to teach standardized subject matter for testing and prepare students for college-level social studies, U.S. and world history curriculum.

How to become a high school history teacher: educational requirements

History teachers at all levels are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree (preferably in history or social studies). Because history is one of the most expansive subjects in education, there are countless areas to focus upon including, Native and early American history, U.S. civics and world history and the various specializations of each topic.

Level of educational attainment for high school teachers:

  • Less than high school diploma: 0.2%
  • High school diploma or equivalent: 0.2%
  • Some college, no degree: 2.3%
  • Associate degree: 1.5%
  • Bachelor’s degree: 43.4%
  • Master’s degree: 48.3%
  • Doctoral or professional degree: 4.0%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (Note: Data listed is for high school teachers overall, and not history specific)

Certification requirements for high school history teachers

A state-issued teaching certificate or license is generally required to teach high school history. However, some private schools do not specify a teaching credential as a job prerequisite. Specific certification and licensing requirements for high school teachers vary from state to state. Teachers are usually required to take professional development courses as a condition of certification.

Teaching License Reciprocity by State : Visit our state-by-state teacher licensing and reciprocity page for regulations in your state.

Alternative certification is becoming increasingly popular, with one in five teachers entering the profession through nontraditional means. Because of fluctuating teacher shortages, states are offering alternative ways for people who already have a bachelor’s degree to get certified. The teachers are hired after graduation and are mentored by an experienced teacher until they earn full certification.

High school history teacher salary and employment projections

The median salary for high school teachers across the United States is just above $55,000, according to recent data from the BLS. However, some survey sources list high school teachers’ salaries as high as $57,000. It’s important to note that these salaries are not subject specific. The figures below are estimates for all high school teachers from 2010 to 2013.

  • Salary.com: $55,927
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: $55,050
  • Payscale.com: $44,779
  • Indeed.com: $42,000

Employment for high school teachers appears stable, and the demand for teachers, in general, is stronger than for many other professions. In some expanding U.S. regions, such as the Southeast, Southwest and West, job growth for high school teachers is relatively strong. Nationally, the BLS estimates a 6 percent growth rate for high school teachers through 2022.

Pros and cons of being a high school history teacher

Pros:

  • Helping students develop and master analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Expanding students’ knowledge of regional, U.S. and world events that have shaped the present.
  • Working with young people who are choosing future careers and deciding on college.
  • Teaching historic and factual information that is vital to developing thoughtful citizens.
  • Most high school teachers have up to two months off during the summer.

Cons:

  • High school students comprise a wide range of diverse backgrounds, extracurricular interests and learning levels that require extraordinary patience and empathy.
  • Teaching students who are often distracted with multiple activities is challenging.
  • High school teachers must have excellent organizational skills and classroom management techniques.
  • High school history curriculum requires teachers to be experts in the subject matter, which necessitates a more advanced level of knowledge than is expected of middle school teachers.

Postsecondary/college history teachers

Compared to their K-12 counterparts, college history teachers are given broader latitude in the curriculum they are able to cover. Because postsecondary history teachers have more options, they are required to possess advanced expertise in the courses they teach.
Click here for in-depth details about postsecondary/college history teachers

  • Overview
  • What do postsecondary-level history teachers do?
  • Educational requirements
  • Salary and employment projections
  • Pros and cons of being a postsecondary history teacher

A postsecondary history teacher may teach constitutional amendments over one semester devoted entirely to Chief Justice John Marshall’s Supreme Court term during the early 1800s; or the college history teacher might devote a single course to the significance of the Missouri Compromise for an advanced U.S. History elective. Postsecondary history teachers also cover the range of professional schools, junior colleges, state and private colleges, and universities. However, their audience comprises adults of all ages who are interested in history curriculum.

Postsecondary history teacher job description

Postsecondary teachers have more flexibility over the format of their instructional methods than their counterparts in K-12 teaching. They also have greater control over their schedules, with many postsecondary instructors teaching part time, as well as full time. They have fewer classroom management and procedural responsibilities than grade school teachers, but are expected to devote significant time to preparing lectures and instructions for assignments, in addition to grading and providing individual guidance to students when necessary.

Typical duties include:

  • Preparing coursework and assignments for students.
  • Preparing and giving lectures, leading engaging discussion sessions, and giving multimedia presentations.
  • Grading term papers, tests and other assignments.
  • Advising students on class progress, goals and academic achievement.
  • Working with associates and department leaders to coordinate instructional best practices and teaching goals.
  • Working with colleagues to meet curriculum goals, make adjustments and modifications when necessary and ensure interdepartmental consistency across subjects.
  • Serving on academic and administrative committees and working with school leaders, department associates and administrative staff on policy decisions.
  • Working within budgets and helping to promote their department and school.
  • Attending professional advancement seminars, symposiums and other events to expand their knowledge of the subject matter and contemporary teaching methods.

And, specific to university professors:

  • Conduct research to advance knowledge in their field.
  • Publish original research and analysis in books and academic journals.
  • Supervise graduate students who are working toward doctoral degrees.

What about teaching history online?

With today’s computer technology advancements, the advent of relatively affordable telecommunications bandwidth and a dramatic demand for online college courses, postsecondary teachers have more career options available to them.

History teachers have a multitude of media at their disposal, including real-time audio and face-to-face videoconferencing to facilitate the instruction of history subjects in ways that were impossible or cost-prohibitive until the 21st century.

How to become a postsecondary history teacher: educational requirements

Educational requirements vary with the type of educational institution. Postsecondary teachers who work at four-year colleges and universities are most often required to have a doctoral degree in their field. However, schools may hire instructors with master’s degrees or those who are doctoral degree candidates for some part-time positions.

Instructors with master’s degrees comprise the majority of full-time teachers at two-year colleges. Candidates holding dual master’s degrees are at an advantage because they can teach more than one subject. Many two-year institutions prefer applicants who have experience with distance learning or teaching.

Doctoral programs generally take six to eight years to complete, including time spent earning a master’s degree and writing a doctoral dissertation. It is fairly common for students to conduct postdoctoral research for two more years before they take a faculty or adjunct position.

Postsecondary/college history teachers salary and employment projections

Postsecondary history teachers earn a median salary of $66,790, according to BLS data for 2013. The statistics cover history teachers working at colleges, universities and professional schools at the local and state levels, and for private institutions. On average, university and four-year college teachers earn higher salaries than their counterparts at the junior college level.

Employment of postsecondary history teachers is projected to grow 13.6 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Part-time positions will make up a considerable amount of these new jobs. There are also major differences in annual earnings, based on the specific industry of employment:

Employment by industryMedian salary by industry
Private junior college0.7%$63,690
State junior college8.7%$64,390
Local junior college13.4%$49,480
Private university39.2%$71,230
State university36.5%$66,410
Local university1.10%$107,200

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

A note on tenure: For postsecondary teachers, a significant goal in the traditional academic career is attaining tenure — a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause. Tenure can take up to seven years of moving up the ranks in tenure-track positions. The ranks are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Tenure is granted through a review of the candidate’s research, contribution to the institution, and teaching. However, institutions are relying more heavily on limited-term and part-time faculty contracts; therefore, tenured positions and positions on a “tenure track” are declining.

Pros and cons of being a college history teacher

Pros:

  • Teaching students who share a passion for history and are dedicated to the subject matter.
  • Teaching a wide range of topics within history subjects and becoming an expert in a niche area.
  • Working with young adults who are fascinated with history, either as a future career choice or to synergistically supplement professions such as law, journalism, teaching, social science, etc.
  • Working in an urban setting or college town where the local community places a premium on higher learning.
  • Collaborating with other educational professionals in a collegial environment that thrives on the acquisition of knowledge.
  • Opportunities to publish and work toward tenure are available.
  • Numerous opportunities exist to collaborate with other professionals in the field by attending conferences, symposiums, and visiting instructor exchange programs.

Cons:

  • Teaching college students is demanding and requires long hours devoted to course preparation.
  • The sometimes bureaucratic policies on campuses of higher learning can be frustrating for teachers who feel inhibited by structured environments that limit the creative process.
  • The competition to achieve tenure and get published is intense at most postsecondary schools.
  • The salaries for college professors are relatively low compared to some counterpart experts in the private sector.

Professional development for history teachers

History teachers seeking professional development can greatly benefit from learning to leverage simple audiovisual technology. The potential to incorporate presentation software and audiovisual projection tools into classrooms makes today’s technology ideally suited for multimedia demonstrations and interactive history lessons. With digital photo archives, film and audio libraries at their disposal, there has never been a better time in history for professional growth as a history teacher.

Additionally, history teachers considering graduate studies should consider a program specific to their area of teaching. Primary incentives include expanding knowledge of particular historical subjects and remaining competitive in the job market with their peers.

Benefits of continuing formal education for history teachers

Teachers with a master’s degree have a greater chance for promotions and an increase in salaries. The difference in salary between a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree for a novice teacher is $3,000 annually, and, after 10 years of experience, the bump increases to $4,500, according to BLS data.

Salary Increase for Teachers from Advanced Education

Of course, the benefits of continuing education are not limited solely to higher salaries, but also include personal and career gratification. Continuing education opportunities help teachers stay focused on career advancement, while learning new curriculum and professional best practices. In short, continuing education is a great way to keep a career on-track, expand knowledge, remain competitive, and increase one’s real value in the jobs market.

What kinds of graduate programs help history teachers?

Studies reveal strong, positive correlations between a teacher’s subject-specific expertise and the resulting student achievement relevant to the subject matter. These findings suggest that not all degrees are created equal, and that history teachers seeking graduate studies should look for programs that help elevate their history subject expertise.

For example, Concordia University-Portland’s MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies concentration alleviates many challenges associated with teaching history:

  • Assessment: History curriculum relies mainly on rote learning. Though rote memorization is integral to classroom success, assessing student knowledge purely on rote memory may not yield the best results. Developing the ability to modify instruction and promote alternative goals, particularly in relation to assessment, simply produces better history teachers.
  • Engagement: History curriculum may be dry at times. Concordia Portland’s MEd program includes The Social Studies Toolkit course. This course helps history teachers augment the classroom with lively and engaging digital tools, helping to keep students involved in the learning process.

Professional associations for history teachers

  • American Federation of Teachers: http://www.aft.org/
  • National Education Association: http://www.nea.org/
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation: http://caepnet.org/
  • National Council for History Education: http://www.nche.net/
  • New England History Teachers Association: http://nehta.org/
  • American Historical Association: http://www.historians.org/

Jobs available to history teachers beyond teaching

History teachers are resourceful and possess a natural curiosity for facts and figures. They are trained to gather information through disciplined, accurate research. This makes them well-suited for careers that tap into their educational backgrounds and history expertise. Careers for current history teachers looking to transition into other fields include:

  • Museum curator, guide or administrative professional
  • Historian researcher/analyst/archivist for historical society or major library
  • Pollster, polling organization analyst, writer or research associate
  • Journalism commentator or consultant
  • State Department analyst, research associate or administrator
  • Writer or editor for professional journals and websites

Best of the Web: Our favorite websites and Twitter handles for history teachers

The web is ideal for history teachers as a tool for research, lesson planning and presentations. Here is a list of some useful websites, followed by several Twitter resources:

Favorite history resource websites:

  • Teaching History
  • National Council for History Education
  • American Historical Association
  • World History for Us All
  • History World
  • Annenberg Learner
  • History.com
  • Ken Burns America
  • History Matters
  • Teaching American History
  • U.S. History Teachers Blog

Another helpful, entertaining resource for history classes, is YouTube. There are several notable channels to look for when your lesson plans need refreshing:

  • U.S. National Archives
  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • Surviving the Holocaust

Favorite history resource Twitter handles:

  • TeachingHistory.org @teachinghistory
  • Constitution Center @ConstitutionCtr
  • Smithsonian Civil War @SmithsonianCW
  • Colonial Williamsburg @colonialwmsburg
  • Civil Rights Museum @NCRMuseum
  • National History Day @NationalHistory
  • U.S. Supreme Court @USSupremeCourt
  • Library of Congress @librarycongress
  • The White House @WhiteHouse

Learn More: Click to view related resources.

  • ” Occupational Outlook for Middle School Teachers ,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Middle School Teachers
  • ” Occupational Outlook for High School Teachers ,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, High School Teachers
  • ” Occupational Employment Statistics for History Teachers, Postsecondary ,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013
  • ” The Value of a Master’s Degree for Teachers: Better Student Outcomes ,” Concordia University-Portland

Tags: History and Social Studies , Job Prospects

First Day of School - social media movement honoring your years (or first year!) of service

Sign up for our Newsletter

admin