Career and Technical Education Teachers: Everything You Need to Know

These are technical education or vocational education instructors. They teach students skills that will be useful for them when they eventually gain employment. These skills include practical nursing, secretarial science, auto repair, culinary arts, healthcare, etc.

In middle school, high school, and post-secondary institutes, career and technical education (CTE) is divided into 16 career clusters, namely:

1.  Business

2.  Health science

3.  Sales

4.  Information technology

5.  Finance

6.  Logistics

7.  Manufacturing

8.  Engineering, science, math, and technology

9.  Hospitality

10.  Agriculture

11.  Government

12.  Law

13.  Training

14.  Human services

15.  Construction

16.  Audio/visual technology, arts, and communications

CTE teachers can work in these fields, where they focus primarily on skills, unlike theory-based traditional education. Though CTE teachers also teach theory, it’s typically limited to the introductory materials. Hands-on experience, practice, and application tests make up the bulk of courses taught by CTE teachers.

While working practically and theoretically, CTE teachers leverage their industry experience to create challenges that their students are likely to come across in the real world. Whether it’s mechanics or healthcare, such a balanced blend of learning the “hard” skills and understanding the underlying or relevant theory while still in high school increases the chances of students pursuing a technical profession in the future successfully. Such learning is also aligned to CTE careers that require workers to have experience in their chosen fields before starting their careers.

Typically, CTE teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree. They also need to have years of hands-on experience in the subject they’ll teach. Depending on their chosen field, employers may prefer the CTE teachers to get a state-issued teaching license or certification in that field too. For instance, nursing classes would need a teacher who was an RN or LVN. Another essential criterion for becoming a successful CTE teacher is the desire to share experiences and teach the students.

As there’s a growing demand for preparing a job-ready workforce, CTE teachers are likely to be in demand for the next decade. However, the overall employment of CTE teachers is anticipated to grow slowly – at just 5%, from 2020 to 2030. This growth rate is sluggish than the average for all other occupations. But despite limited employment growth, almost 17,500 openings for CTE teachers are projected every year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings will probably arise due to the need to replace workers who exit the labor force (owing to retirement) or move to different occupations.

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