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CAREER GUIDE Master of Arts in Teaching, English Education (Secondary)

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Career guide: English teacher.

Whether you are a blue collar or white collar worker, a computer programmer or a marketing executive, a construction worker or a doctor, you probably had an English teacher who helped shape the person you are today. English teachers are the ones who help us sort out and understand the complexities of our language, giving each of us a unique voice that continues to evolve as we learn, grow, and make our way in the world.

If you have a love of the English language and a profound understanding of the importance of good written and spoken communication skills, maybe your true calling is that of a middle school or high school English teacher. It can be an extremely rewarding career (or second career), and it’s achievable with an accredited teaching degree and a license to teach in your home state.

A great place to start is finding an institution with CAEP accreditation that offers a Master of Arts in Teaching, English Education degree that leads to teacher licensure. A modern, innovative curriculum will empower you to complete much of your coursework online, so you’ll be able to fit your studies into your current schedule without disrupting your personal and professional responsibilities. A comprehensive programs will also require you to complete a demonstration teaching (student teaching) component, be evaluated by a Host Teacher, and monitored by a Clinical Supervisor, providing you with the opportunity to demonstrate your teaching knowledge and skills in an actual classroom setting.

Think about the ABC’s of a rewarding career, and you might realize the next chapter in your professional future is as an English teacher!

Job listing growth 2016–2026.

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Career opportunities.

In most states, English teachers are required to be licensed and have at least a bachelor’s degree. However, many school districts seek teachers who have earned a master’s degree with a more advanced and detailed level of instruction specific to the teaching of reading, English, literature and writing composition.

By earning your M.A. in Teaching, English Education, you’ll not only acquire advanced knowledge and specialized training, you’ll be developing skills that are transferable to a wide range of occupations. Should you ever decide to take your credentials outside the classroom, you might consider a position like:

Positions in the field.

  • Secondary English teacher
  • School counselor
  • School librarian
  • Instructional coordinator
"My graduate degree has awarded me many more opportunities that my undergraduate degree could not provide including increased salary, multiple job offers, and the ability to be given specialized work." Lacie Smithee
M.A. Teaching, Elementary Education

Job market forecast.

Learning the English language is essential to student success in all areas of study, so the demand for English teachers will be a constant in the U.S. school system. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of middle school and high school teachers will grow 8 percent from 2016-2026, in part due to the fact that many older teachers are expected to retire by then. If you’re good at connecting with kids and think you could make a difference helping adolescent students develop a command of the language that will serve them for the rest of their lives, maybe it’s time to consider becoming an English teacher. Who knows whom you might inspire to become tomorrow’s next great novelist, entertainer, or political leader!

Job growth 2016–2026.

Work environment.

The great thing about being an English teacher is that every day presents opportunities to help students discover something new. You’ll promote and nurture an atmosphere where curiosity about and experimentation with language help to develop their creativity and capacity to understand complex thoughts.

To be a great English teacher, your classroom will offer a productive learning environment that supports individual learning, collaboration, and positive social interaction. An industry-current MA in teaching English can provide you with a variety of instructional strategies that engage students in the learning process and encourage deep understanding of content and development of the skills needed to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Once you become an English teacher, your day-to-day schedule will typically include time before and after school to meet with parents, students and other teachers, so good communication skills are essential. You may also spend time on evenings and weekends grading papers and preparing your lessons.

Professional organizations.

Job search resources.

There’s always a demand for English teachers, and with the right education and credentials from a top-notch teacher’s college, you can become one! Check out some of the current opportunities for dedicated educators across the country.

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. English teachers in rural or urban areas often command higher salaries, as do those who have bumped up their credentials by earning a master’s degree.

Average salary of jobs with related titles.


The decision to become an English teacher is oftentimes personal and not necessarily based on financial gain or market needs. Many people gravitate towards teaching English because language is at the very heart of everything we do. Effective communication is a critical function of our society and is highly valued in the workplace, regardless of industry. Many English teachers feel a deep sense of satisfaction knowing they are helping to shape the minds of future scholars, writers, business leaders, and yes… English teachers!

Maybe you’re thinking about a career change that will leave you with a greater sense of purpose, or perhaps you’re already a teacher looking to elevate your credentials and take the next step towards personal and professional satisfaction. Either way, an industry-relevant MA in teaching English can help pave the way!

Your career’s next step: Earn a degree.

Ready to jump-start your career in teaching English? The next step could be earning your M.A. in Teaching, English. Accredited, competency-based WGU offers this degree online for 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!