Have you thought about a teaching career? Teaching has some very solid, quantifiable benefits that you don’t find in other career options. Here are the best reasons to become a teacher.
Stability & EarningsYou won’t find many careers that offer the stability of being a teacher. Historically, there have always been jobs for graduates with teaching degrees. This need is expected to grow by 13 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. A teaching career has always been one of the few professions that is considered “recession proof.”
You are more likely to find a job faster than other college graduates, and despite what some people think, starting salaries for teachers are right in line with other professions that require the same level of education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that public teachers are paid as much as 11 percent more than the average professional worker. Depending on the state in which you teach, average annual teaching salaries range from $34,700 in South Dakota to $59,800 in California. You can find your state’s average salary for teachers at the Teacher Portal, along with other valuable information about teaching careers.
Unlike some stagnant careers, teaching has plenty of opportunities for advancement and pay increases over time.
Healthcare & Benefits
A guaranteed retirement plan, healthcare insurance, parental leave, sick days and tuition reimbursement are standard benefits for teachers. The State Teachers Retirement System initiates your pension plan with your first paycheck and gives teachers not only retirement benefits, but survivor and disability benefits as well. Most school districts pay 100% of their teachers’ premiums, and include dental and vision benefits. Teachers get prenatal benefits, generous maternity leave and a guarantee that their job will be there when you return. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers monitor and support teacher benefits, as do unions that advocate for teachers’ salaries, benefits and work environments.
Wouldn’t you like to have three months’ vacation each year? Not only can you earn extra income by working during the summers, you will also save on childcare expenses, since you will be home when your children are home. With vacation time during the holidays and spring break, that makes your hourly wage look very attractive. Think of all the things you can do during your time off. Even teachers who work in districts with yearlong schedules may have up to six weeks off between school sessions.
Teachers know all the answers! Well maybe not all of them, but it’s true that the best way to learn a subject is to teach it. And with the extra time off, teachers can pursue additional degrees, or just take courses for personal enrichment. In-service days and continuing education is often paid for by school districts, and there are stipends and bonuses for completing master’s and doctoral degrees. The government also provides student debt forgiveness programs for people who become teachers in areas that are experiencing the need for teachers.
You can teach about the things you are the most passionate about. Middle school, high school and college teachers can specialize in the fields they enjoy most, and can continue to learn more ab out the subject throughout their entire career. You get to share that passion with your students. Children provide immediate feedback– usually this is a good thing! And many students have fond memories of their teachers throughout their lives. Some may even follow in the footsteps of a teacher who inspired them.
There is always something new in your teaching career. There is variety in the classroom. No two students, classrooms or school days are ever the same. Teaching can be rewarding, stimulating and a very satisfying career.