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Adult Literacy, Remedial Education, and GED Teachers and Instructors Career Overview

Teach or instruct out-of-school youths and adults in remedial education classes, preparatory classes for the General Educational Development test, literacy, or English as a Second Language. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.

Salary for Adult Literacy, Remedial Education, and GED Teachers and Instructors

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U.S. $34,620
Annual figures are on top. Hourly figures are below in parentheses.
N/A = Information not available

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Career Outlook for Adult Literacy, Remedial Education, and GED Teachers and Instructors

Employment is expected to grow faster than average, and many job openings are expected due to the need to replace people who leave the occupation or retire. Job opportunities are expected to be favorable, particularly for teachers of English to speakers of other languages.

Employment change. Employment of adult literacy and remedial education teachers is expected to grow by 15 percent through 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. As employers increasingly require a more literate workforce, workers' demand for adult literacy, basic education, and secondary education classes is expected to grow. Significant employment growth is anticipated especially for ESOL teachers, who will be needed by the increasing number of immigrants and other residents living in this country who need to learn or improve their English skills. In addition, greater proportions of these groups are expected to take ESOL classes.

The demand for adult literacy and basic and secondary education often fluctuates with the economy. When the economy is good and workers are hard to find, employers may relax their standards and hire workers without a degree or GED or good proficiency in English. As the economy softens, employers can be more selective, and more students may find that they need additional education to get a job. In addition, adult education classes often are subject to changes in funding levels, which can cause the number of teaching jobs to fluctuate from year to year. In particular, budget pressures may limit Federal funding of adult education, which may cause programs to rely more on volunteers if other organizations and governments do not make up the difference. Other factors such as immigration policies and the relative prosperity of the United States compared with other countries also may have an impact on the number of immigrants entering this country and, consequently, on the demand for ESOL teachers.

Job prospects. Job prospects should be favorable as high turnover among part-time workers creates many openings. Opportunities will be best for ESOL teachers, particularly in States that have large populations of residents who have limited English skills—such as California, Florida, Texas, and New York. However, many other parts of the country have begun to attract large numbers of immigrants, making good opportunities in this field widely available.

Employment Overview

Teachers of adult literacy and remedial education held about 96,000 jobs in 2008. Additional teachers worked as unpaid volunteers. Many of the jobs are Federally funded, with additional funds coming from State and local governments. The majority of these teachers are employed by the educational services industry.

Job Zone Description

Job Zone 4 - Preparation needed

Overall Experience
A minimum of two to four years of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant needs four years of college and several years of accounting work to be considered qualified.

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Accountants, chefs and head cooks, computer programmers, historians, and police detectives.

These occupations often involve coordinating, supervising, managing, and/or training others.

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Additional Resources for Adult Literacy, Remedial Education, and GED Teachers and Instructors Job Seekers

Information on adult literacy, basic and secondary education programs, and teacher certification requirements is available from State departments of education, local school districts, and literacy resource centers. Information also may be obtained through local religious and charitable organizations.

For information on adult education and family literacy programs, contact:

For information on teaching English as a second language, contact:

  • The Center for Adult English Language Acquisition, 4646 40th St. NW., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20016. Internet:

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