Biology Teacher: Job Duties & Requirements
Learn about a career as a high school biology teacher. Read the job description, duties, education requirements, salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career for you.
High school biology teachers teach biology basics to high school students at private and public schools. They develop engaging curricula, including lab experiments and other scientific investigations; present lessons and evaluate student performance. High school biology teachers are also in charge of preparing and grading examinations, working with parents on student performance, and supervising student behavior.
High school biology teachers also work in teams with the rest of their faculty to prepare standardized tests. They participate in the planning of and implementation of their school's policies and regulations for all students. High school teachers typically work ten months of the year, but some work during the summer. Additionally, high school teachers should plan on being available for clubs and other school-related activities before and after school hours.
How to Become a Biology Teacher
High school biology teachers typically have a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Biology with an education emphasis or minor. Courses in a biology program with an education emphasis may include math, chemistry, teaching methods and physics. Public high school biology teachers must be licensed by the state in which they teach. Private schools may not require licensure.
High school biology teachers must be able to keep their students on task and engaged. They need to employ various teaching methods to meet students' individual needs. Being bilingual may give a high school biology teacher an advantage in the job market.
Employment and Salary Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), high school teachers accounted for nearly 1 million jobs in 2012. High school teachers can expect slower than average job growth between 2012 and 2022, according to the BLS, with the greatest demand expected in the South and West. Additionally, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for high school teachers was $55,050 in 2012.
Alternate Career Options
Normally requiring at least a master's degree in their field of study, these educators teach students beyond high school in a variety of vocational and academic subjects. Many complete research and publish books and professional papers.
The BLS projected faster than average employment growth of 19% for teachers at this level in general, from 2012 through 2022. According to BLS records, postsecondary teachers overall earned a median annual wage of $68,970 in 2012, and those teaching biological science earned $74,180.
With a bachelor's degree in biology or a similar field, including laboratory experience, these technicians assist medical and biological scientists in their lab experiments and tests. As of May 2012, biological technicians earned a median annual salary of $39,750 and could expect average job growth of 10% from 2012-2022, the BLS said.
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