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Education

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October 14, 2007

In education, it's a lot about what you teach. And where. If you teach English at the elementary level, you may have to look beyond Boston. If you teach science, math, English as a second language, or students with disabilities, at elementary or secondary levels, they’re looking for you.

At the university level, a similar picture emerges. Demand and pay are higher in business, engineering, the sciences, and law than they are for the humanities and social work.

According to Peter Hunt, an assistant director of the Boston College career center and its liaison with the School of Education, "The market in the Boston area is particularly tight at the elementary level."

If you're struggling to find work in Boston, Hunt advised, try Springfield, Lowell, and Lawrence. The southeastern United States also needs teachers. To research options, visit www.doe.mass.edu and aisne.org.

INDEPENDENT SCHOOL TEACHERS

Average salary: $46,620

Demand: Good. Independent schools are attractive to teachers seeking smaller classes and an individualized approach to education. Professionals from other careers sometimes move to these schools for more fulfilling work.

Qualifications: Strong academic background; athletics skills or arts experience help, as teachers often serve as coaches or work in additional disciplines.

LIBRARIANS

Average salary: $60,330

Demand: Good. Librarians today are finding new opportunities in corporate or law libraries, or as database specialists or systems analysts. Computerization has eliminated many jobs, but many retirements are opening positions.

Qualifications: Library science master's degree; schools often require teaching certification; PhD needed for many specialty fields.

PRESCHOOL TEACHERS

Average salary: $29,850

Demand: Good. With preschools becoming increasingly prevalent, and low pay leading to high turnover, the job market is quite good. Many use a preschool as a learning experience for future teaching.

Qualifications: Minimum high school education, but degree in early childhood education required many places; enthusiasm, patience, and energy are needed.

PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS

Average salary: $55,730

Demand: Mixed. The picture is generally bright - if you teach science, math, languages, special education, English language learners, reading, or students with disabilities. Humanities jobs are tight in Boston, but available in other New England urban or rural areas, or in the southeast United States.

Qualifications: Public schools require degree, state certification, and supervised experience; private schools or provisional licenses are options to certification for those with advanced degrees.

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS/PRINCIPALS

Average salary: $89,550, principal, Massachusetts; $76,500, assistant principal.

Demand: Very good. People who are well qualified for one of these positions and able to handle the heavy workloads, long hours, responsibilities, and public scrutiny are in high demand. Pay and benefits are rewarding.

Qualifications: Teaching and administrative experience, plus certification, required; advanced degrees preferred.

SUPERINTENDENTS

Average salary: $135,000; Massachusetts ranges from $115,000 to more than $200,000.

Demand: Strong. School districts have a hard time finding qualified, appropriate candidates for these demanding positions. Strict accountability, long hours, stress, and political demands are difficult, and turnover high, but pay and benefits are very good.

Qualifications: Teaching and administrative experience, certification, and advanced degree. Some candidates qualify with business or legal experience.

UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE TEACHERS

Average salary: $58,660 (literature professor), to $119,300 (biological science, economy, business professor); $44,990 (graduate teaching assistant). Ranges widely depending on discipline and level of experience.

Demand: Fair. Competition is tight for fewer full-time positions as schools hire more part-time faculty at lower pay and no benefits.

Qualifications: Doctorate usually required; master's qualifies in some disciplines and two-year schools; teaching experience required.

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