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CAREER GUIDE Master of Arts, Science Education (Secondary Biological Science)

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Career guide: biology teacher.

As a highly qualified biology teacher, you'll be ready to play a critical role in students' development. As more high school biology teachers retire, schools are having difficulty finding and hiring qualified educators to fill those roles. With the right credentials, relevant experience, and a passion for biological science, you'll be well positioned for a prosperous career as a middle or high school biology teacher. The Master of Arts in Science Education, Secondary Biological Science, is a program designed to equip already-licensed teachers who hold bachelor's degrees with secondary certification to teach high school biology.

There are job opportunities in schools all over the United States for both middle school (5–9) and high school (5–12) teachers; it's up to you to add relevant credentials to your resume. Online education is an ideal option for professionals seeking career advancement while they continue to honor their current work and personal commitments.

Job listing growth 2016–2026.

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Career opportunities.

Schools across the U.S. are in need of qualified biology teachers to educate and inspire young adults about plant and animal life. If you're a licensed teacher with an interest in natural sciences, chemistry, and biological sciences, perhaps the vital role of high school biology teacher is the perfect fit for you.

A Master of Arts in Science Education with a specialization in biology is the next step in preparing you to teach high school biology. If your professional instincts are telling you that it's time to play a more significant role in the lives of teen learners, take your career to the next level by becoming a high school biology teacher.

Though most educators pursue a career in the classroom, some teachers obtain an advanced degree so they can move into other educational roles. Your specialized training in the field will prepare you for other positions like.

Positions in the field.

  • Curriculum developer
  • School counselor
  • Instructional coordinator
  • School administrator
  • Subject area specialist
  • Testing director
"I am glad I went back to WGU for my master's degree. I wanted to start teaching at the higher start rate and I was able to get the credits that allow me to teach any secondary science class in my district. I know that I will always have a job in the field that I love." Zoe Bole
M.A. Science Education (Geosciences, 5–12)

Job market forecast.

The job market for biology teachers with master's degrees is healthy; as high school teachers retire, schools are seeking qualified professionals to replace them.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of high school teachers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth will vary by region.

Job opportunities vary by location and school setting. Opportunities are likely to be better in urban and rural school districts than in suburban school districts.

Teachers who pursue a Master of Arts in Science Education (Secondary Biological Science) are positioning themselves for successful careers as biology teachers in the United States.

Job growth 2016–2026.

Work environment.

The work environment of a high school biology teacher will vary according to region, classroom size, and the number of school administrators and other staff. You should plan to work during school hours as well as on the occasional evening and weekend grading papers and planning lessons. In traditional school environments, teachers have summers off.

High school teachers sometimes work with children who have special needs, or are academically or behaviorally at risk. Ask the school districts you're interested in working in for more details regarding work environment.

Professional organizations.

Once you've decided to advance your teaching career by earning a master's degree in science education, the following resources can provide for more information about teaching biology in a classroom setting:

Job search resources.

Interested in seeing what career opportunities currently exist for those with a biological science degree? Check out the following links:

Salary stats.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teachers earned a median annual salary of $58,030 in May 2016, while middle school teachers earned a median annual salary of $56,720. Keep in mind that salaries will vary depending on the subject area taught. On average, those with an advanced degree in education are placed higher on the pay scale rubric, meaning they will earn more over time.

It's also worth noting that the longer you've worked as a teacher, the more you'll make. As in any career, the region and state where you work — along with available budget— will affect potential earnings.

Average salary of jobs with related titles.


If you are a licensed teacher with a bachelor's degree, and you are interested in elevating your career to a new level of respect and satisfaction, consider becoming a middle school or high school biology teacher. Science teachers are in demand across the country, and earning your master's degree with an emphasis on teaching biology can help you develop the instructional expertise to explain and demonstrate how the world’s many life forms and ecosystems are all connected to each other.

Biology teachers must have the knowledge and skills to help students make connections between isolated topics. For example, it's important to know how living organisms use and produce energy, how life grows, develops, and reproduces, how life responds to the environment to maintain internal stability, and how life evolves and adapts to the environment. A top-ranked teaching degree will emphasize the building of skills in science curriculum development, design, and evaluation as you earn the credentials to teach biology in grades 9-12.

Become a biology teacher, and discover the personal and professional satisfaction that go hand-in-hand with inspiring young minds. WGU's online M.A. in Science Education is specifically designed for current educators wishing to specialize in teaching biology. If becoming a biology teacher is in your DNA, the evolution of your teaching career can start right here!

Your career's next step: Earn a degree.

Ready to jump-start your teaching career? The next step could be earning your M.A. in Science Education (Secondary Biological Science) . Accredited, competency-based WGU offers this degree online at a surprisingly affordable flat-rate tuition. Flexible enough for a working adult's schedule with the option to accelerate, your degree may be closer than you think!