outlook for career and technical education teachers

The July 31 OCTAE Connection published the following announcement about the occupational outlook for career and technical education teachers.  It also contains a link to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which, if you haven't accessed it before, you will find helpful in guiding your adult learners in choosing career paths.

Career and Technical Education Teachers: Occupational Outlook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, a website from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the U.S. Department of Labor, contains information on a wide variety of occupations, including their type, environment, necessary preparation and qualifications, salaries, and employment outlook.  This article looks at current (2012) and projected (through 2022) employment for career and technical education teachers.


Job outlook.  Between 2012 and 2022, CTE teachers’ employment is projected to grow by 9 percent overall, varying by level of the educational institution at which they teach. This growth will be driven by the continuing need for training that prepares students for technical careers. For example, even as the numbers of students enrolled in middle and high schools will also be growing between 2012 and 2022, the demand for CTE teachers in these schools will be limited, according to the handbook, because it is projected that these students will continue to take more academic courses and fewer CTE courses.  Moreover, the handbook notes, as federal and state governments reduce funding for career and technical education, fewer CTE teachers overall may be hired.

At the postsecondary level, the handbook explains, the growth of employment in technical, trade, and business programs often depends on the strength or weakness of the economy.  In addition, people seek new or more skills when the demand for their current ones lessens.  More sophisticated technology also drives the demand for higher-level technical skills.  BLS projects that these changes will increase the demand for postsecondary CTE teachers.


Job prospects.  The handbook forecasts that most job opportunities will result from the need to replace teachers who leave the profession.  Teachers who have work experience and certifications should have the best job prospects.  The handbook also suggests that job opportunities may vary geographically and within certain career and technical specialties.


Pay.  In May 2012, the median annual salary (the salary at which half the teachers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less) for all CTE teachers was $51,910.  The lowest 10 percent of CTE teachers earned less than $31,530, while the highest-paid 10 percent earned more than $83,180. The median annual wage for CTE instructors was $55,160 for a secondary school CTE teacher, $54,220 for a middle school teacher, and $47,990 for a postsecondary teacher.

This BLS data represents a forecast of future trends.  Intervening occurrences or variables could change this occupational outlook for CTE teachers and for the factors affecting their employment.