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High School Art Teacher: Job Description and Education Requirements

High school art teachers instruct students on drawing, art history and painting. They use class time to help students build skills and show personal expression through art. At the bachelor's degree level, candidates for this job study the arts, art history and education. Public high school art teachers must be state-licensed; the following article explains this process in further detail.

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Job Description for High School Art Teachers

High school art teachers oversee basic, intermediate and advanced art classes for teenage students. These courses include basic drawing, painting and ceramics projects that allow participants to build a portfolio of work. High school art instructors might also teach art history lessons and critical thinking skills. In addition to teaching their elective, high school art teachers might be called on to monitor hallways and lunchrooms or to oversee homeroom classes.

Education Requirements

Becoming a high school art teacher requires completing a bachelor's degree program in art or art education along with classes on general education. All secondary school education programs, regardless of the major, require the completion of a teacher assistant internship. They often allow students to specialize in the grade levels they wish to teach, such as K-8 or 5-12. Participants study human development, learning issues, classroom management, curriculum development, pupil assessment, critical thinking and teaching resources. In an art or art education program, students take studio classes to practice in areas such as sculpture or painting. They are expected to develop an art portfolio.

Licensure Information

All teachers working in public schools are required to be licensed by the state in which they intend to teach. Prerequisites vary by state, but common requirements for teacher licensure includes completing an accredited teacher education degree program and taking skill-assessment tests. Candidates must typically take the PRAXIS I test and submit those scores as a part of the licensure process. Scores from the PRAXIS II test, which is taken upon graduating from a teacher-education program, must also be submitted for licensure. Aspiring high school art teachers commonly take the PRAXIS II-Art Content Knowledge exam; some states might also require licensee prospects to pass the PRAXIS II-Art Content, Traditions, Criticism and Aesthetics exam.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

In 2013, secondary school teachers, including art teachers, earned an annual median salary of $55,360, in general. At that time, the highest paying states included New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Alaska. The BLS predicts that employment growth for high school teachers will be slower than other areas of education, with only a 6% increase from 2012-2022. The best opportunities may be found in the West and South of the U.S., and in rural or urban areas, the BLS suggests.

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