How to Become a Middle School Educator: Career Advice & Information

Overview & Salaries


Middle school teachers teach, usually, grades six through eight in the United States. They teach specialized subjects, such as English, history or math, and prepare students for the more demanding and difficult work ahead in high school. They also help to guide kids and instill positive attitudes and values in them.


Annual salaries for middle school teachers will vary depending on your experience, education level, and expertise. In 2013, the average annual salary for middle school teachers working in the U.S. was $56,630 per year.

For more information on what parts of the country have the most opportunity for middle school teachers, click through to our Best Places to Work tab for information on the number of people employed and the average salary in each state.

Discover the Best Cities and States to Work in Middle School Teaching

Texas has the greatest number of middle school teachers, with 71,640 teachers earning a yearly average salary of $50,860. California is second, where 47,380 middle school teachers earn an average salary of $67,390.

The metro areas employing the most middle school teachers are:

  • New York-White Plains (23,450)
  • Chicago-Joliet (18,520)
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach (16,890)

The metro areas employing the highest concentration of middle school teachers are:

  • Merced, CA (12.6 jobs per thousand)
  • McAllen, TX (12.22 jobs per thousand)

The metro areas employing the best-paid middle school teachers are:

  • Nassau-Suffolk, NY (average annual salary $97,920)
  • Chico, CA (average annual salary $86,820)

Employment and Salary Information for Middle School Teachers

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career as a middle school teacher. The associated information has been gathered from Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Middle School Education

Why Become A Middle School Teacher?

Everyone says that few jobs are more rewarding than teaching, but it’s worth spelling out just what the benefits of teaching are—for you and the students.

  • Work with young people. It’s not for everyone. But if it is for you, then middle school is one of the best possible ways to work with young people.
  • The demand is there. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there were 621,970 middle school teachers in the U.S. in 2012.
  • Decent pay. The average salary for middle school teachers is $56,630 per year.
  • Set students up for life. Middle school education allows you to teach vital skills that will shape the rest of kids’ lives. That’s a big responsibility, but also very rewarding.
  • Vacations. Yes, teachers work hard, and they need the breaks between school semesters for grading and planning lessons, so it’s not all a vacation for them. But still!

Middle School Teaching: What You Need To Know

Many people remember great middle school teachers from their own schooling, but a lot of a teacher’s work is done before they step inside a classroom. A working knowledge of these skill sets will help to set you apart from other candidates.

  • Lesson Structuring and Planning
  • Classroom Management and Discipline
  • Subject-Matter Knowledge
  • Public Speaking and Communication
  • Working with Teenagers

Feel like you’ve got a lot to learn? Get more information about middle school teaching careers, degrees, and applicable courses from one of the schools below.

Degree Options for Middle School Teaching Careers

Bachelor’s degree

Middle school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree in a particular subject area, such as English, math or science. Public school teachers are also required to also hold a state-issued certification or license, showing that they know their subject area, and can create a good learning environment for kids. In some states middle school teachers may need to take part in further professional development to keep their certification. Private schools often, but don’t always, require their teachers to be publicly certified too.