Career and Technical Education Teachers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
Career and technical education teachers generally need a bachelor’s degree in the field they teach, such as agriculture, engineering, or computer science.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 4% (Slower than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Experienced teachers can advance to become mentors and lead teachers, helping less experienced teachers to improve their teaching skills.
States may require career and technical education teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified. Requirements for certification or licensure vary by state, but generally involve the following:
Median pay: How much do Career and Technical Education Teachers make?
$54,020 Annual Salary

Career and technical education teachers instruct students in various technical and vocational subjects, such as auto repair, healthcare, and culinary arts. They teach academic and technical content to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter an occupation.


Career and technical education teachers typically do the following:

  • Create lesson plans and assignments
  • Instruct students on how to develop certain skills
  • Show how to apply classroom knowledge through hands-on activities
  • Demonstrate and supervise the safe and proper use of tools and equipment
  • Monitor students’ progress, assign tasks, and grade assignments
  • Discuss students’ progress with parents, students, and counselors
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules and safety procedures

Career and technical education teachers help students explore and prepare to enter a specific occupation, in fields such as healthcare or information technology. They use a variety of teaching techniques to help students learn and develop skills related to a specific career or field of study. They demonstrate tasks, techniques, and tools used in an occupation. They may assign hands-on tasks, such as replacing brakes on cars, taking blood pressure, or recording vital signs. Teachers typically oversee these tasks in workshops and laboratories in the school.

Some teachers work with local businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide practical work experience for students. They also serve as advisers to students participating in career and technical student organizations.

The specific duties of career and technical education teachers vary by the grade and subject they teach. In middle schools and high schools, they teach general concepts in a classroom and practical exercises in workshops and laboratories.

In postsecondary schools, they teach specific career skills that help students earn a certificate, a diploma, or an associate’s degree, and prepare them for a specific job. For example, welding instructors teach students various welding techniques and essential safety practices. They also monitor the use of tools and equipment, and have students practice procedures until they meet the specific standards required by the trade.

In most states, teachers in middle and high schools teach one subject within the 16 major career fields, also known as Career Clusters®. For example, the Career Cluster known as architecture and construction includes instruction in designing, planning, managing, building, and maintaining structures.

Teachers of courses in agricultural, food, and natural resources teach topics such as agricultural production; agriculture-related business; veterinary science; and plant, animal, and food systems. For example, they may have students plant and care for crops and tend to animals so that students can apply what they have learned in the classroom.

Career and technical education teachers in hospitality and tourism teach students in subjects such as nutrition, culinary arts, and hotel lodging. For example, teachers may instruct and supervise students in creating menus and preparing food.

Some teach the skills necessary to work as technicians and assistants, such as nursing and dental assistants in health-science occupations.

Careers for Career and Technical Education Teachers

  • Agricultural, food, and natural resources Teachers
  • Architectural drafting instructors
  • Architecture and Construction Teachers
  • Aviation maintenance instructors
  • Barbering instructors
  • Barbering teachers
  • Building trades instructors
  • CTE Teachers
  • Carpentry instructors
  • Commercial art instructors
  • Computer repair instructors
  • Computer-aided drafting and design instructors
  • Cosmetology professors
  • Electrical technology instructors
  • Electronics technology instructors
  • Health-Science Occupational Teacher
  • High school auto repair teachers
  • High school career and technical education teachers
  • High school vocational education teachers
  • Hospitality and Tourism Occupational Teacher
  • Industrial electrical technology instructors
  • Industrial maintenance instructors
  • Machine tool technician instructors
  • Masonry instructors
  • Massage therapy instructors
  • Mechanical maintenance instructors
  • Middle school career and technical education teachers
  • Middle school vocational education teachers
  • Paralegal instructors
  • Postsecondary career and technical education teachers
  • Postsecondary vocational teachers
  • Residential construction instructors
  • Skin care instructors
  • Upholstery instructors
  • Vocational education teachers
  • Vocational horticulture instructors
  • Welding instructors

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