Vocational School Jobs

Vocational educators, also referred to as career and technology teachers, must have experience in a skill-based career. The typical vocational school offers classes for occupations like cosmetology jobs, mechanics, carpentry, electrical, technology, and commercial art. However, vocational schools are frequently expanding into fields that often require higher education like teaching and health care.

While some schools are stand-alone vocational schools, there are also vocational classes offered within the traditional public high school setting. In fact, most students, at least 80%, take a career-centered course at some point during their high school career. Vocational teachers have a variety of options beyond the traditional school settings. Factories, trade unions, and correctional facilities are additional avenues that employ vocational teachers. Adult education is also a growing field. As baby boomers retire, they frequently take on new hobbies or interests through classes offered at vocational schools.

Vocational teachers through public k-12 schools usually have the summers off. However, teachers employed at community colleges and trade schools may have to teach year round and instruct night classes.

The salary and benefits of vocational educators varies depending upon the individual school. Some vocational schools are extensions of a public school while others are privately run. According to 2008 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average elementary or secondary vocational teacher earns US$54,010 a year. Vocational teachers at a technical or trade school earn US$45,140.

Similarly, the education requirements for vocational teachers widely vary. Candidates are often required to have at least three years of experience in the field for which they will provide instruction. In addition, many schools require their vocational teachers to have or obtain a Bachelor of Science in Career and Technical Education. The coursework for this degree focuses on teaching methods in a career-based setting. In addition, to become certified one must pass an exam related to the given vocation.

Vocational teachers are responsible for teaching students the skills needed to obtain or pursue a career in a chosen field. The teaching methods used are extremely hands-on. At first the teacher provides lectures and demonstrations and then guides students to complete the skill independently. Some vocational programs offer licensure or certification to students after completing the program.

Often, the vocational teacher is responsible for placing students in an internship setting and monitoring their progress. Close relationships are formed between local experts in the field and the vocational teacher.

After a student completes a vocational program, she should have the skills to obtain a job in the field or complete further study through higher education.

Check the following resource for more information about teaching in vocational schools.

Association for Career and Technical Education

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