Becoming a Latin Teacher: Salary Information & Job Description

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A Latin teacher's median annual salary is around $56,310. Is it worth the education and licensure requirements? See real job descriptions and get the truth about career prospects to find out if becoming a Latin teacher is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of Becoming a Latin Teacher

Teaching Latin to students can be a highly rewarding career and one that pays well on average. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of becoming a Latin teacher to see if it sounds like the right career choice for your future.

Pros of Being a Latin Teacher
Above-average annual wage (median annual salary of about $56,310 for high school teachers as of 2014)*
Seeing students gain new skills can be rewarding*
Professional organizations are available for career resources and professional development**
Involves creative thinking when teaching and planning lessons***

Cons of Being a Latin Teacher
Need to cope with unmotivated or disruptive students*
Often need to spend weekends and evenings preparing lessons*
Schools may lack necessary resources (textbooks, computers)*
Bad standardized test scores could reflect poorly on high school teachers*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages, ***U.S. Department of Labor's O*NET OnLine.

Essential Career Information

Job Description and Duties

In general, teachers are responsible for planning lessons, assessing students and grading assignments. As a Latin teacher, you'll monitor student progress and communicate with parents as needed. In addition, you'll need to develop classroom management strategies, and you might need to supervise students outside of the classroom, including during lunchtime. Latin teachers typically find employment at the high school or middle school level.

Depending on your exact position, you might teach Latin in addition to other subjects, such as history, English or another foreign language. You might also coach sports or advise clubs and other activities that happen after school. You could work at a public, private, charter or magnet school, and you might work year-round or on a traditional 10-month school calendar with a 2-month break in the middle.

Salary and Career Outlook Info

Secondary school teachers made a median annual salary of around $56,310 as of May 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Salaries varied by region; the top-paying states were New York, New Jersey and California.

According to the BLS, employment of high school teachers was expected to grow six percent from 2014-2024, which was average for all professions. Jobs for middle school teachers were expected to grow six percent as well. Employment of middle and high school teachers was projected to be faster in urban and rural districts than in suburban ones.

What Are the Requirements?

To teach Latin at a public high school, you'll need a minimum of a bachelor's degree to qualify for state licensure or certification; private schools might not require credentialing. Some bachelor's degree programs in Latin offer an emphasis on teaching Latin. Another option is to choose a bachelor's program in education, which commonly includes coursework and a supervised experience in teaching.

Depending on the state where you'll teach, you'll likely be certified to teach students at a particular range of grade level, for example, ninth through 12th grade. To maintain licensure, you might need to complete approved professional development courses or activities. Additionally, some states require teachers to earn a master's degree within a set time frame after earning licensure.

In general, teachers should have the following qualities:

  • Patience
  • Understanding
  • Instructional skills
  • Ability to communicate with students and adults

Job Postings from Real Employers

Employers are typically looking for Latin teachers at the high school or middle school level who have at least a bachelor's degree and some teaching experience. Strong technology skills and a willingness to devise classroom management plans also are common requirements. Here are just a few job postings that were open during May 2012:

  • An online education provider looked for a part-time adjunct teacher who was certified to teach K-12 Latin in any state. The position involved working from home to coordinate and instruct classes, as well as communicating with students and learning coaches. Candidates were expected to have strong technology skills and needed to be able to hold virtual office hours at least three hours per week. The position offered benefits, and pay was based on the number of students and course workload.
  • A Texas high school sought a Latin teacher with a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary institution. Duties included presenting course material in accordance with Texas content standards, integrating technology into the classroom and devising classroom management strategies. One year of student teaching or an equivalent approved internship was required.
  • A college preparatory school in Oklahoma was looking for a full-time Latin teacher with at least two years of relevant teaching experience, although more than five years was preferred. The applicant would be required to teach introductory, intermediate and advanced Latin to students in grades 9-12, and a master's degree was preferred.

How to Stand Out in the Field

Since classroom teaching increasingly requires that teachers use technology and integrate it into their lessons, you should stay up-to-date on classroom technology and make sure you're comfortable using a variety of computer programs and technological devices. Earning a master's degree could be preferred by some employers and is mandatory to maintain licensure in some states, so this level of education could be advantageous.

While you may need to obtain required certification to hold a position as a Latin teacher, you can also reap the benefits of membership in professional societies related to your content area. Two examples are the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages and the American Philological Association. Both groups offer subscriptions to relevant publications, discounts on learning materials and the chance to collaborate with other professionals in language education.

Alternative Career Paths

Latin Professor

If you're interested in teaching Latin to older students, you could instruct at the postsecondary level. In addition to traditional teaching duties, you'll likely perform research, publish written works and serve on committees at your work institution. Educational requirements vary depending on the type of institution. Most postsecondary teachers hold a Ph.D., but a master's degree may be sufficient to teach at some community colleges. According to the BLS, job growth for postsecondary teachers was expected to be 17% from 2010-2020, which was about as fast as average for all industries. Postsecondary foreign language and literature teachers made an average wage of about $67,000 as of May 2011.

Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher

If you think you'd like to work with younger students and teach more general subjects, consider becoming a kindergarten or elementary school teacher. You'll plan and teach lessons in various subjects and monitor child development and behavior. As with becoming a high school or middle school teacher, you'll need to be licensed in the state where you work to be employed in a public school. You'll also need to have a bachelor's degree and, in some cases, a master's degree might be required. The BLS predicted employment growth for kindergarten and elementary school teachers to be the same as that of postsecondary teachers from 2010-2020, at 17%. As of May 2011, kindergarten teachers earned an average salary of $52,000, while elementary school teachers earned around $55,000 per year.

Popular Schools

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    1. Kaplan University

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      • Master: Education (for Practicing Teachers: K-12)
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      • BS in Early Childhood Administration
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    2. Penn Foster High School

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    Marquette University

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      • Certificate in Early Childhood Education
      • Diploma in Early Childhood Education JEE.13 (Techniques D'ducation L'enfance - JEE.13)
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    CUNY Hunter College

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Kaplan University

  • Master: Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers: Grades 5-12)
  • Master: Education (for Practicing Teachers: K-12)
  • BS in Early Childhood Administration

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Penn Foster High School

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Colorado State University Global

  • MS - Teaching and Learning

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CDI College

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  • Diploma in Early Childhood Education JEE.13 (Techniques D'ducation L'enfance - JEE.13)

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