Teacher Employment Outlook
While the projected job outlook for teachers varies greatly depending upon location and position, there are general trends worth noting. Also, take time to carefully explore the outlook in the region and field you wish to teach. Talk to local teachers and administrators to gain a sense of job prospects.
Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of 2015 the demand for teachers will grow at a comparable rate to other professions. A large number of baby-boomers who entered the teaching profession will be retiring during the decade of 2015-2025, which will create many education related job openings.
Regarding location, school districts that are high-poverty tend to have a constant demand for teachers due to high attrition rates. Federal funds for education are often directed towards securing highly qualified teachers in such high-needs school systems.
Also, increased student enrollment is projected for states in the South and West. Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Georgia are expected to have the greatest growth. Comparatively, the Midwest is expected to have steady enrollment while the Northeast has declining enrollment. Therefore, teachers who are willing to relocate have overall better job prospects.
The fields of math, science, and bilingual education have strong job outlooks. Since there often other career opportunities for those who major in these subjects, many schools will work hard to attract qualified candidates. Also, there will be high demand for qualified school administrators. In comparison, the fields of elementary education, health and physical fitness, and social studies typically have a greater supply of qualified candidates.
According to the BLS, the demand for special education teachers is expected to rise faster than average occupations. While student enrollment overall will decline as the baby-boomer’s children graduate, the number of children requiring special education services is expected to increase. Those who specialize in the area of severe disabilities have the best job prospects. Also, public education is required to offer services to infants and toddlers, which creates additional opportunities for those in special education.
The BLS also predicts increased efforts by employers to attract highly qualified minority teachers, especially in high-needs school districts. The U.S. Department of Education reports that 40 percent of students are minorities while only 5 percent of teachers are minorities. Schools have a desire to reflect a community of diversity among their teaching staff as well as students, which will lead to focused strategies to employ quality minority teachers. There will also be demand for minority education administrators.