You can?t put a dollar value on the biggest perk of a job in education: watching students grow, learn and achieve.
Whether you take an elementary education job, a K-12 teaching job, a high school teaching job or a postsecondary education job, you?ll plan lessons, lead classes, figure out how to best impart information to your students, grade student work and get your pupils ready to move on to the next level.
Some teachers choose to focus their work in education on a specialty, such as special education, English as a second language (ESL) or school counseling.
Education Job Market
The outlook for jobs in education is mixed. Some factors are fueling increases in the number of teacher job openings, while others are reducing job opportunities in education:
Baby Boomers are reaching the end of their education careers. As they retire, teaching jobs will open for younger workers.
Enrollment is increasing in the South and West, but falling in the Northeast.
State and local governments fund schools and teacher salaries. The recession has forced budget cuts and teacher layoffs.
Some jobs are hard to fill, including those for math, chemistry, physics, ESL and special-education teachers.
Elementary education, special-education and postsecondary education jobs will grow the most -- 17 percent between 2010 and 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says. High school teaching jobs will grow at the slower rate of 7 percent.
Salaries in education vary based on student ages and the teacher's specialty skills: According to the BLS:
Kindergarten teachers'median salary was $49,520 in 2011.
Elementary school teachers'median salary was $52,840 in 2011.
Middle school teachers'median salary was $53,130 in 2011.
High school teachers'median salary was $54,270 in 2011.
Postsecondary teachers'median salary was $62,050 in 2010.
Special-education teachers'median salary was $53,220 in 2010.