How to Become a GED Instructor

Learn how to become a GED instructor. Research the job description and the education and licensure requirements, and find out how to start a career as a GED instructor.

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Do I Want to Be a GED Instructor?

General Educational Development (GED) instructors help adult students prepare for the GED high school equivalency exam. Most of these teachers work part-time during the mornings and evenings when adult students have time to spare for learning. Since these instructors lead classes of older students, they often do not have to worry about issues related to student discipline or motivation.

Job Requirements

In most states, individuals who would like to pursue a career in GED instruction need to earn a bachelor's degree and obtain teacher certification. The type of certification required depends on the state. Some states require certification in adult education, while others expect GED instructors to have an elementary or a secondary education certificate. The following table highlights the main requirements for working as a GED instructor, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Common Requirements
Degree Level Bachelor's degree required; some employers prefer a master's degree
Degree Field Education, although other fields may be acceptable if a teacher training program is completed
Licensure A teaching license is usually required
Experience Prior teaching experience is preferred
Key Skills Patience, communication skills and instructional skills

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree is the minimum education requirement to teach GED preparation courses in most states. Many colleges and universities offer majors, minors or specializations in adult education. In some states, those who already hold a bachelor's degree in another field may meet licensure requirements by completing a stand-alone teacher preparation program or workshop. Most teacher education programs include a substantial student teaching experience. Aspiring GED instructors should check their states' licensure requirements before selecting a program.

Success Tip

  • Get teaching experience. While still enrolled in school, future GED instructors can seek out internships or volunteer teaching opportunities in adult education. Having experience in addition to student teaching may help future teachers stand out on the job market.

Step 2: Get a Teaching License

Because licensure requirements vary by state, aspiring GED instructors should contact their local education department or agency to learn what is required. Licensure usually involves proving completion of a bachelor's degree and an accredited teacher preparation program, as well as passing state exams and background checks.

Step 3: Earn a Master's Degree

Although only a bachelor's degree is required to be a GED instructor, some employers prefer to hire individuals with a master's degree. According to O*Net Online, 57% of GED and adult education instructors held a master's degree as of 2010. Master's degree programs in education generally include coursework in program development, assessment, online course design and multiculturalism.

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    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
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    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
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      • Counseling and Guidance
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    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
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    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
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      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
        • Teaching, Elementary
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      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
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    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
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