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How do I Become a Vocational Teacher?

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  • Written By: Jami Yontz
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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Becoming a vocational teacher is an exciting pursuit for those who would like to share their knowledge of specialized skills to students who are training for specific job duties. Vocational teaching gives a person the chance to provide direct instruction and teach practical skills to students. Vocational teachers may not need a post-secondary education, but they are usually required to have many years of experience in the field in which they wish to become a vocational teacher and be licensed to teach.

Most educators obtain a bachelor's or master's degree in education, but many people find their way to the educational field after years spent elsewhere in the work force, because of the demand for teachers with trade and technical knowledge. Many states have created alternative routes so skilled professionals with experience in fields such as technology, plumbing, health care, agriculture, hospitality and other trade jobs can obtain teaching credentials. They then can use those credentials to find work teaching at community colleges, vocational and trade schools, charter schools or in a traditional educational environment.

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Having a high school diploma or GED and at least five years of work experience in the field is the first requirement for becoming a vocational teacher. Teachers must be licensed before they can teach in any public school or university in the U.S., and each state and school will have additional requirements that must be met. Some states will require the prospective teacher to obtain teaching credentials in vocational or adult education designated special subjects. Other schools or states will require continuing education courses to be completed to become a vocational teacher or that certain tests, such as literacy exams, are passed to obtain a teaching license. Other institutions may require a specific number of student teaching experience hours to be considered for a position.

Vocational teachers will also need the skills to effectively instruct and evaluate students. Creating lesson plans, determining the skill level and needs of individual students and coordinating with administrators will be required by a school. In addition, it is important that teachers can create a classroom environment that inspires ethical behavior, trust and determination in its students.

Teaching certification classes can be beneficial for those who want to become a vocational teacher, because such classes provide training in various teaching methods, psychology and communication skills. There are many online teaching certification programs that can be completed from home. Each state's specific requirements and individual educational institutions' standards make it is best for those interested in a teaching position to talk to their local school administrators about the steps they should take to become a vocational teacher.

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