Economics teachers typically work with high school or college students. Often, economics teachers also teach other areas of social studies. An economics teacher shares knowledge about finances, business, macroeconomics, microeconomics, technology and personal finance. These teachers prepare lesson plans, lecture, give exams, grade student work and assist students as needed.
Economics teachers typically find employment in private or public high schools, and at colleges and universities. Many schools require that economics teachers also have the ability to teach other areas of social studies as well.
For most private and public high school teaching positions, a bachelor’s degree in secondary education is required. College economics teachers need a minimum of a master’s degree in economics or education, with an emphasis or minor in business, finance or economics. Whether teaching in secondary or postsecondary positions, an elevated degree typically translates into higher salaries and greater job stability.
Every state requires examination and certification of high school teachers. Each state has different requirements, but national certification is also available through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Economics teachers spend a substantial amount of time reading and planning lessons based on curriculum content and student level. They lecture to share the information with students, give directions for completing assignments, evaluate student progress, develop tests and assign grades. Economics teachers also support students with challenging material or assignments when necessary.
High school economics teachers communicate with parents verbally or in writing to share student progress. Both high school and college economics teachers interact with other educators to develop curriculum, problem solve and for continuous education learning. College economics teachers may focus on a specific type of economics including macroeconomics or microeconomics.
Economics teachers may perform any or all of the following tasks:
University level teachers can expect an increase in employment opportunities through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is anticipated that this profession will grow by 15%, which is greater than average compared to other professions. High school economics teachers may expect a steady rate of employment over the next decade with a 13% growth rate.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor in May 2008, the average income for a secondary economics teacher was over $58,000 with an annual salary range of $29,000 to $122,000. The average salary of high school economics teacher was around $50,000 depending on degree level.
Advanced degrees and teaching experience both substantially affect possible income level and tenure opportunities for both high school and college level economics teachers.