Around four million people in the U.S. are teachers, and many more are professors of higher education and teach outside of academia.
There are many reasons why you might choose a teaching career. You might’ve had a wonderful teacher when you were younger who had a big influence on you. Or, there might even be an on-screen teacher who turned you on to the wonders of teaching.
You won’t be the first person to see the appeal of teaching after watching Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society or Jack Black in School of Rock.
And while there are some stresses and downsides of teaching jobs, there are lots of benefits that make being a teacher worthwhile. Here are all the top ones!
1. Job Security
Within the last decade alone, there have been several economic upheavals where many people have lost their jobs. The Great Recession of 2008 and the recent pandemic prove that not every industry can survive this type of turmoil.
But it has proven that being an academic teacher is recession-proof. And if you were a school teacher in the pandemic, you would have been a key worker, too. When it comes to jobs that are essential to society, teachers are up there with medical professionals and law enforcement.
You are far more likely to stay employed in the field of education than you are in other industries like travel and hospitality.
2. Stable Benefit Plans
As well as job security, a teaching career can offer stable benefits. As a full-time employee of a school or board, that would entitle you to a decent income. The average salary for teachers in the US is $61,660, but you could move to a state like California where the average is $85,010 for a higher income.
Teachers are also entitled to great health insurance and retirement plans. Many teachers get dental and vision health insurance and some school districts pay the premiums. Your whole family will be able to reap these benefits, too.
3. Extended Vacation Time
You likely already know that paid time off in the US is much lower than in other developed nations. The average amount of paid time off that a full-time worker gets after five years of working for the same company is 15 days.
How much time off do teachers get? It depends on the teaching opportunities available at different schools and states. But, you could get around one month off around Christmas and New Year and three months in the summer.
Since you don’t work weekends either, you might only work 180 days every year. That average teacher’s salary is looking like a sweet deal now, isn’t it?
There is an expectation that teachers should work outside of the classroom. And yes, you might have to do tasks like grade papers and plan lessons in your “free” time. But if you work on your productivity, you will be able to get many of these tasks completed in your lunch hour and planning periods.
But your vacation time is yours. You could commit to volunteering projects, venture on extended backpacking trips, or even pick up a seasonal second job. If you have children, you will have the same time off as them so you can spend more time together and you won’t have to spend money on childcare.
4. Favorable Career Prospects
One of the biggest misconceptions about teaching is that once you’ve become a teacher, you’ve reached the top of the career ladder. But there are lots of career opportunities within the academic field and you could become very successful.
Let’s not forget that all teachers have a degree in education (or a comparable degree) and are highly educated. Here are some possible further career options for you in the field of education:
- Head of a department
- Vice Principal
You can also gain more responsibility and income as a mentor and a master teacher within your specialism.
5. No Two Days Are the Same
For so many careers, you need to sit behind a desk for 40+ years. And when you’re not sitting behind a desk, you might be in meetings or on conference calls. Ordering a cappuccino instead of a long black coffee might be as exciting as your days get.
It’s the exact opposite when you are a teacher. Sure, you will likely spend most of your time in one classroom but you have much more variety in your work. You spend quiet time working at a desk, lecturing, one-on-one time, group discussions, and much more.
You can also decorate that classroom how you want. You and your students can make seasonal displays and brighten the place up. And you will also be able to take your students on domestic and international field trips.
Next year, you could even apply to teach a different grade and enjoy new experiences and challenges.
6. Very Rewarding Vocation
No matter what you are passionate about, you can spend the rest of your working life talking about your passions. You can teach children the beauty of Shakespeare, the perfection of the Pythagoras theorem, and the joy of the Jurassic period.
And speaking of children, teaching them and watching them grow is so rewarding. Many people complain of not having a purpose in their careers and not knowing if they are doing a good job. With a teaching career, you will be able to watch your students flourish and gain immense satisfaction from their successes.
Teachers are not only responsible for teaching academic subjects, but life subjects, too. You can influence kids to recycle, get into activism, and teach them how to be anti-racist. You have much more power, influence, and responsibility than you might think.
Are You Ready to Start a Teaching Career?
To be a teacher, you also need to be a nurturer and a leader. You need to relish in the highs of graduation and the lows of grading papers after midnight. And if you persevere, you will get to experience all these amazing benefits of a teaching career.
Teachers should never stop learning and they always need to have the best tools to be as productive as possible. Browse our website for tons of educational and tech articles filled with lots of advice and guidance!