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

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Career guide: earth science teacher.

Empowering students with scientific knowledge, preparing them to make informed decisions as citizens of Earth, is a vital undertaking for science educators. Do you have what it takes? As more high school earth science teachers retire, schools are tasked with filling those open positions with highly qualified geoscience teachers. School districts are looking for candidates with the right education, a teaching background, and a passion for natural Earth processes. The Master of Arts in Science Education (Secondary Earth Science) is a program designed to equip already-licensed teachers for secondary certification to teach high school earth science.

Consider accredited online education when you decide to advance in your teaching career.

Job listing growth 2016–2026.

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Career opportunities.

A highly qualified teacher is one who has not only earned the proper certification, but also has solid content knowledge of the subject he or she teaches. With a Master of Arts in Science Education (Secondary Earth Science), you'll be equipped to teach geoscience (also known as Earth science) to middle school or high school students.

School districts are always in search of educators who are committed to both teaching and inspiring young minds— especially in the dynamic field of science. If you're an already-licensed teacher with an interest in natural sciences, chemistry, Earth, space, and ocean systems, then perhaps you should consider advancing your career by becoming a high school geosciences teacher.

There are other educational roles — in addition to high school or middle school geosciences teacher — that your specialized M.A. Science Education degree can help you obtain.

Positions in the field.

  • Curriculum developer
  • School counselor
  • Earth science tutor
  • 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 Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of middle school and high school teachers will grow 8 percent from 2016-2026, which is near the average for all other occupations.

You can expect some variation by region and school setting. The BLS projects better opportunities in urban and rural school districts than in suburban school districts.

If you are an already-practicing teacher with a bachelor's degree, and you take the next step in advancing your career by obtaining a Master of Arts in Science Education (Secondary Earth Science), expect a bright future in teaching high school Earth sciences. The market looks strong and steady.

Job growth 2016–2026.

Work environment.

The work environment of a high school geosciences teacher won't differ much from the teaching setting you're already used to, assuming you plan to teach in the same area. Administrative staff and classroom size varies from school to school, but most factors — including hours — will be consistent across the board.

Middle school and high school teachers generally work during school hours, occasional weekend and evening hours for lesson planning and paper grading. Teachers typically do not work summers in traditional school environments.

Educators often work with children and young adults who have special needs, or are academically or behaviorally at risk.

Professional organizations.

The right education will give you the subject-matter expertise you need to be successful as an Earth sciences teacher, but as a serious geosciences educator, it's important to know what other career resources are available.

Job search resources.

Interested in seeing what career opportunities currently exists for those with a Biological Science degree? Check out the following links.

Salary stats.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teachers, including earth science teachers, earned a median annual salary of $58,030 in May 2016, while middle school teachers earned a median annual salary of $56,720.

Teacher salaries will fluctuate depending on the subject area taught, but those who possess an advanced degree in education will earn more over time.

The longer you've worked as a teacher, the higher your earnings potential. The budget available in the school district will affect potential earnings as well.

Average salary of jobs with related titles.


Geoscience explores society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and the health of the environment. Today, there are truly innovative geoscience teaching curriculums offered completely online that are specifically designed to prepare you with an industry-current knowledge of this evolving field and its increasing prominence in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms.

Becoming a geoscience teacher requires a bachelor's degree, preferably with a focus on competencies including astronomy, geology, meteorology, and oceanography. If you can demonstrate an advanced understanding of the structure and function of Earth's systems, you'll have the knowledge required to be an earth science teacher.

Of course, you'll also need valid teaching credentials in the state where you live, so look for a top-ranked teaching degree. Choosing the right university and program is key to becoming a highly qualified earth science teacher. And even if you choose to go the online route to earn your degree, it's even possible to find an online university that incorporates student teaching and live classroom field experiences into its curriculum.

Your career's next step: Earn a degree.

Ready to jump-start your career in education? The next step could be earning your M.A. in Science Education (Secondary Earth 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!