History teachers usually work in a high school or university environment, but as university professors, they concentrate on more specific history courses such as 19th Century America, pre-modern Asia or the Ottoman Empire.
They prepare lesson plans, lecture, give exams, grade student work and assist students.
For most private and public high school teaching positions, a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a specialty in history will suffice. College history teachers need a minimum of a master’s degree in history or education. 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.
History teachers spend significant time reading and planning lessons based on curriculum content and student level. They often lecture to share the material with students, give directions for completing assignments, evaluate student progress, develop tests and assign grades. History teachers also support students with challenging material or assignments.
History teachers may perform any or all of the following tasks:
The ideal history teacher truly enjoys the subject matter and communicates well with others. Teaching often requires multi-tasking, a willingness to help students in need and record keeping skills.
University level history 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 history 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 history teacher was over $58,000 with an annual salary range of $29,000 to $122,000. The average salary of high school history teacher was around $50,000 depending on degree level.