How to Become a Middle School Teacher

Middle School Teacher
Middle School Teacher Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$66,880
Education4+ Years
Outlook3%

When you become a middle school teacher your task will be to look after the educational needs of students between the schooling years of 5 and 9.

During middle school, students will develop their literacy and math skills while being introduced to new topics like history and geography.

Middle school is also an important time for social development.

The role of a middle school teacher can be challenging.

One part of your job is to help students achieve academic success, but there are many other aspects that you must focus on.

For instance, keep in contact with parents, attend staff meetings, plan curriculums, and even discipline students when required.

Ultimately, making a difference in the lives of your students can be very rewarding.

If you are passionate about a school-taught subject, and think you would enjoy working with children in the education sector, then you might like to become a middle school teacher.

Education Requirements to Become a Middle School Teacher

If you have decided that becoming a middle school teacher is the career you would like to pursue, then you will need a four year bachelors degree from college.

When you first start out, complete you major in the subject you wish to teach at middle school.

It could be English or math, for example.

When you reach sophomore year, you will be able to take elective subjects in education.

You will also complete professional experience which you will require for your accreditation.

In every state, the requirements to work as a middle school teacher in a public school are different.

Usually it is a requirement to enroll in a four year accredited course including, supervised professional practice, and exams in basic numeracy and literacy.

If you already have a degree in the subject area you wish to teach, but without the education portion of your college degree, you can still become a middle school teacher.

In many states there are bridging programs, which allow you to complete teaching methodology subjects and work experience as a teacher so you can become licensed.

It usually takes about a year to complete these courses.

Middle School Teacher Job Description

When you become a middle school teacher you can expect to divide you time between teaching classes, grading papers, completing administrative work, and attending faculty meetings.

You may also need to spend some time developing new curriculum.

Some of the tasks of a middle school teacher include:

  • Planning lessons in advance
  • Taking classes
  • Working with students
  • Marking and report writing
  • Enforcing discipline where required
  • Staff meetings

Middle School Teacher Salary and Career Path

When you have a few years of experience as a middle school teacher you could expect to earn close to the median salary of between $47,000 and $51,000 a year.

New teachers in the public school system usually start out their careers around $35,000 to $40,000 per year depending on location.

The top 10% of earners make $75,000 and over per year.

This kind of salary would be awarded to someone who had a lot of responsibility in their role, for instance a school’s principal.

As you progress as a teacher, you might move on to specialized roles.

Many middle school teachers work with special education students, are leading teachers, or become a head of school.

There are many options for career development when you become a middle school teacher.

Some other jobs that are similar to that of middle school teacher might interest you:

  • Elementary teacher
  • High School Teacher
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • College Professor
  • Librarian

When you become a middle school teacher, you will have the opportunity to work in a challenging and stimulating environment that will always leave room for personal and professional development.

If you’re looking for a place where you’re able to make a real difference in the lives of children, and like helping kids achieve their full potential, then you should become a middle school teacher.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$66,880
$45K
$48K
$66K
$77K
$99K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$54,870
Alaska$75,290
Arizona$50,580
Arkansas$52,650
California$92,350
Colorado$59,580
Connecticut$82,790
Delaware$66,780
District of Columbia$74,510
Florida$60,280
Georgia$64,460
Hawaii$63,100
Idaho$50,280
Illinois$67,170
Indiana$55,510
Iowa$57,940
Kansas$59,630
Kentucky$55,650
Louisiana$52,170
Maine$59,760
Maryland$73,480
Massachusetts$85,740
Michigan$62,910
Minnesota$65,630
Mississippi$46,880
Missouri$57,560
Montana$57,560
Nebraska$64,030
Nevada$62,880
New Hampshire$62,900
New Jersey$74,390
New Mexico$59,750
New York$94,690
North Carolina$50,630
North Dakota$59,750
Ohio$67,190
Oklahoma$54,220
Oregon$75,570
Pennsylvania$68,850
Rhode Island$73,210
South Carolina$56,350
South Dakota$48,230
Tennessee$54,000
Texas$59,080
Utah$64,520
Vermont$59,640
Virginia$75,760
Washington$83,460
West Virginia$50,190
Wisconsin$58,450
Wyoming$64,210
Guam$48,630
Puerto Rico$32,640
Virgin Islands$44,380

The top earning state in the field is New York, where the average salary is $94,690.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New York - $94,690
California - $92,350
Massachusetts - $85,740
Washington - $83,460
Connecticut - $82,790
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Middle School Teachers, OCC Code 25-2022, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a middle school teacher do?

A middle school teacher is a professional who is typically responsible for the education of the children from grades 6 to 8.

Middle school teachers teach general academics or specific subjects – social studies, science, mathematics, language arts, and so on.

The professionals teach in private and public schools and, generally, do not work during the summer.

The typical responsibilities of a teacher usually include planning lessons; presenting them with the help of hands-on methods; assigning and evaluating the works of the students; tracking and assessing their progress, etc.

A middle school teacher should have impeccable communication skills and outstanding personal qualities.

Sometimes the professional would have to find ways to engage the students more in the education process, as children can be unmotivated and unruly.

How much do middle school teachers make?

On average, a middle school teacher can make a little less than $48.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to follow this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $35.000 and $71.000 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your education and experience level, the school you work for, the location and so on.

Teachers in New York, California, and Texas, for example, have the highest average salaries.

An entry-level middle school teacher can earn around $11 per hour, while a top-level specialist with plenty of experience can make $43 and more per hour.

How much does it cost to become a middle school teacher?

You would certainly need a bachelor’s degree in education or in a specific field that you want to teach (English, math, etc.) in order to become a middle school teacher.

A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $45.000 (and more); the cost depends on a variety of factors (the books, supplies, and accommodation expenses are not included).

To improve job perspectives, you can go for a master’s degree (over $30.000).

You must be certified to be able to teach in schools; the cost of teacher certification can vary from state to state, so be prepared to pay anywhere between $40 and $200.

What is the demand for middle school teachers?

Between 2018 and 2028, the middle school teacher job market is expected to grow by 3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That is slower than the national average for all occupations in the United States.

Even though the number of students in middle schools will increase over the next decade, the employment rate depends on local and state budgets.

The professionals that possess plenty of experience and certificates will have the best job prospects.

How long does it take to become a middle school teacher?

It will take you 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree and 1-2 years to earn a master’s degree.

To become a certified teacher, you would need to have at least a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved teacher education program, pass a background check and knowledge and skills tests.

The initial certificate is valid for 5 years; you would have to complete a certain number of professional development hours every five years to maintain the certification.

Jamie Willis