Economics Teachers: Job Outlook & Requirements

If sharing your enthusiasm for economics in a classroom setting sounds appealing, a career as an economics teacher could be a good fit. Whether concentrating on macroeconomics, accounting, finance or basic econometrics, economics teachers use their knowledge to help students gain a better understanding of their field. Read on to learn more about how to enter this profession.

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Career Definition

Economics teachers gather course materials, organize instruction and create assessment tools such as tests or research assignments to meet the learning objectives outlined at the beginning of the course. Teachers deliver lectures or facilitate student discussion on a daily basis. Over the course of a term teachers also provide students with feedback regarding their progress towards desired learning outcomes, which might be economics fundamentals, or a specialization within the field.

Becoming an Economics Teacher

Required Education

The requirements for teaching economics in high school differ from those at the collegiate level. Teaching high school courses requires a Bachelor of Science in Economics and state teaching certification. A teaching certificate can be obtained by completing a college or university's teacher education program alongside the coursework for your major. This program may include courses in educational technologies, developmental and cognitive psychologies or a methods course for teaching economics. If you want to teach at a 2-year or 4-year college, a Master of Science in Economics is the minimum requirement, and most universities require a Ph.D. However, some career schools employ teachers with a B.S. and experience in related career fields.

Skills Required

Economics teachers need a thorough knowledge of their subject area. Good social and analytical skills are also required since they must communicate information to students in the most effective manner and respond to student inquiries and problems in a timely and appropriate way. Economics teachers must also work with administration and other faculty to meet the curriculum requirements of their school.

Career and Economic Outlook

For high school teachers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects slower than average job growth; urban areas and faster-growing regions like the West and South are the most promising. Jobs for postsecondary teachers in general are expected to grow faster than average, increasing by 19% from 2012-2022. This is largely due to increasing enrollment, especially in career-related fields like business. As of May 2012, postsecondary economics teachers earn a median annual income of $87,950; secondary school teachers in general earn $55,050 per year.

Alternate Career Options

Career and Technical Education Teacher

Usually having a bachelor's degree and work experience in their chosen fields, these educators teach various vocational and technical areas, like culinary arts, healthcare and auto repair, to help students prepare for the job market. Average job growth of 9% was forecast by the BLS for the 2012-2022 decade, and a median annual salary of $51,910 was reported in 2012.

Economist

Those interested in the field of economics may want to earn a master's degree to analyze data about the distribution and production of resources, research trends and evaluate economic problems. A slightly above-average increase of 14% in available economist positions was forecast by the BLS from 2012-2022. That same source also revealed their annual median wage as $91,860 in 2012.

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