Private School Teacher: Education Requirements, Salary and Career Info

Private school teachers work in a variety of unique school settings and teach K-12 curricula according to the specific philosophical, religious or academic standards of a particular school. Private schools tend to have smaller class sizes and lower rates of disciplinary problems than public schools.

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Private School Teacher Education Requirements

Private school teachers design and teach K-12 curricula according to specific school requirements. Private school educators can teach K-12 classes in a variety of settings, including faith-based schools, college prep academies or boarding schools. Some work in schools with a specific teaching philosophy, such as Montessori or Waldorf schools.

A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement for a private school teacher. Private schools typically prefer to hire graduates with either a 4-year subject degree or expertise in a specialized field, such as history or mathematics. Many private schools offer fellowships or internships to qualified applicants after they graduate from college. Fellows and interns complete on-the-job training, learn the specific teaching theory of the private school and are supervised by fellow teachers.

Some private schools require a state teacher license or other specialized certification. Certain private Catholic schools require a 2-year course of study focused on principles of Catholic education, completion of a teaching internship and practice of the Catholic faith before one can earn a certification to teach in Catholic schools. Schools with specific philosophies, such as Waldorf or Montessori schools, also require additional Waldorf or Montessori teacher education and training. It is important to research the private school of interest to determine whether a particular degree, certification or training is required.

Private School Teacher Salary and Career Info

Private school teachers tend to earn lower salaries than their public-school counterparts. However, the BLS reports that they also tend to have fewer students in their classes and more autonomy in setting educational and behavioral standards for their students.

In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported annual mean wages for public and private school teachers at the preschool and kindergarten level to be $37,800 annually, while middle and elementary teachers earned $56,180 and high school teachers earned $57,710.

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