High School Teachers – Crucial to Preparing Students for College or the Job Market

by Lynn Wallis

November 1, 2019

High school or secondary school teachers are tasked with preparing students for postsecondary education or the job market. A good teacher also helps students become a good human being and a good citizen of the country.

Work Environment

The majority of high school teachers work in private or public schools and work the traditional 10-month year and have a two-month break during the summer. Teachers usually work during the school hours when students are present but may also spend time in the evenings and on weekends grading papers and preparing lessons.

High school teachers generally teach students from the ninth through 12th grades and usually specialize in one subject area like math, science or history. They may, however, teach several different classes within their subject area – for instance a science teacher may teach biology, anatomy, and/or nutrition for various classes.

Educational Requirements

To become a certified teacher in Oregon, you must have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and completed a teacher preparation program that is approved by the Oregon state board. If an individual has not yet earned a bachelor’s degree, they can take part in a joint program which blends together all the coursework they will need for a bachelor’s degree as well as a teacher preparation program. Following the educational requirements, there are a number of examinations to pass as well as a state and federal background check. Additional information can be found in the Oregon Teacher Certification and Licensing Guide.


In 2018, there were 10,391 secondary school teachers in Oregon. Job growth in this occupation is expected to add 9.5 percent or 896 new jobs from 2017 to 2027. Many more replacement openings will be available – most due to retirements. By 2027, it is estimated that replacement openings will reach 6,732.
Salary and Benefits

The average annual wage for secondary school teachers was $73,925 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent of teachers earned $42,071, and the highest 10 percent earned $108,303.

Generally speaking, public school teachers in Oregon have access to a generous benefit package which includes medical, dental, and vision coverage for themselves and their families. They are also entitled to sick days, paid leave, and a retirement pension.
Many people believe that teaching is one of the most rewarding careers that you can pursue. High school or secondary teachers will typically plan and teach a classroom of students using a specific curriculum. They have the option to specialize in subject material, with options ranging from foreign languages to core subjects like math, literature, or science. 

According to the Vittana Personal Finance Blog, teaching high school students can force teachers out of their comfort zone. Students can present challenging questions that will force teachers to re-examine their previously held assumptions and beliefs. The fact that teachers can create a positive impact in their students’ lives is a strong motivator for most teachers.

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