Local colleges, high schools and communities need teachers for adult education courses around the country. Job prospects are good, and as an adult educator, you'll have the opportunity to change society by increasing opportunities through continuing education programs.
It is the role of a teacher to motivate students by building their confidence with new material and skill sets. You must be able to understand and work with the individual emotional and educational needs of each student, as well as communicate effectively. As an adult education teacher, you'll be able to help adults change the way that they have previously viewed the world around them and influence the changes they can make in society.
Adult educators influence organizations to change through learning, even when working with diverse backgrounds and cultures. Opportunities for employment can be found with continuing education centers, schools, not-for-profits and government agencies. Churches and private schools also need teachers to train adults in working with others, business courses and even childcare. You can also provide on the job training for company employees, with many courses featuring computer skills.
Prospects vary by location, subject and place of employment. Employment opportunities may be better in inner cities and rural areas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, adult basic and secondary education teachers earned a mean annual wage of $51,080 in May 2010 (www.bls.gov). The 10th percentile earned an estimated wage of $27,090, and the 90th percentile earned $83,580 that same year.
Teachers are typically required to possess at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Employment prospects may be best for those who have earned more advanced degrees. If you have a desire to focus on adult education, you can obtain a graduate degree in education, such as a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Education, Master of Education or Doctor of Education.
A Master of Arts (M.A.) in Adult Education may involve a curriculum concentrating on leadership, organizational dynamics and human resources. A Master of Education (Ed.M.) in Adult Education is more research-focused. Courses may include management, adult learning processes, organizational behavior and strategy development. A Doctor of Education in Adult Learning typically culminates in a research-based dissertation. Coursework may include emotional & social intelligence, organizational behavior and communication. These programs also focus on data collection for research purposes, including courses in qualitative and quantitative research methods.