Adult Education Teacher
How to Become an

Adult Education Teacher

The complete career guide to be an Adult Education Teacher: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $54,060
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 7.1%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

An adult education teacher is responsible for disseminating knowledge and life skills to people who are 18 years or older through thoughtfully crafted programs. This field entails working in a variety of educational settings and instructing students on diverse subjects like art, wellness, cooking, etc. Your chief duty is to adequately prepare students for a successful transition into post-secondary education or the workforce.

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What is an Adult Education Teacher?


Adult education teachers must have a deep understanding of the lives of urban adults, and may be involved in the following duties on a regular basis:

  • Take part in scheduled departmental professional development sessions as requested by the Director.
  • Be responsible for implementing the state department’s adult education curriculum, leading to a secondary credential or post-secondary diploma.
  • Implement instruction for adults with multiple learning styles and abilities, especially English language learners and special education students.
  • Collaborate with clinical staff and other members of the academic team on lesson plans to improve students’ behavioural and academic achievement.
  • Maintain a supportive and empowering classroom environment, centred on the principles of positive youth development.

Day In The Life

A career as an adult education teacher is not always easy – it involves individualized lesson planning, adequate preparation and administrative skills, same as other kinds of academic instructors. Your work will vary depending on the type of class or elective you are assigned and the education level you are tackling (i.e. high school, college, university). Based on your qualifications, you could teach classes on a wide range of subjects such as cooking, carpentry, IT, languages, publishing, literature, art and more.

Distance learning is another type of teaching adult education teachers engage in. Online courses are appealing for adult students who prefer a more independent learning system at their own pace. For this, one has to create detailed lesson plans and work with the computer or web interface to create impactful courses for students at varying ability levels.

Interacting with students in energetic and innovative ways is a process through which one can gain success in this rewarding career field. In addition, you can offer private tuitions for your adult students to aid them in advancing with their coursework efficiently and clarify concepts covered in class. Good interpersonal skills are a must to work successfully with adults who face personal and academic challenges, yet wish to improve their educational status.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

As an adult education teacher, you will often work evenings and weekends, though not normally any public holiday or Sunday. Full-time positions in this job sector are not easy to find. Most adult education positions require you to work part-time at community colleges and community organizations or teach night classes for a few days a week.

Growth Of The Job

As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow as much as the average for most other professions in the United States. The projected growth shows the total number of jobs as 84,200 by 2022. New positions will require teachers with a proven track record of working with students who have low English language proficiency or minimal formal education.

Typical Employers

Many adult education teaching opportunities can be found in local government programs at public schools or correctional facilities, teaching courses on basic literacy or GED. For these opportunities, you have to possess a state-issued teaching license. You could also find work with private companies like IT skills courses or at a niche business. There are increasingly more private tuition agencies the provide online courses as well as classroom teaching, for adult students with additional learning needs.

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How To Become an Adult Education Teacher

Adult education is a beneficial field of work that allows you to work with individuals who want a second chance at an improved educational status. In this role, you will truly make a difference to lives of adults, if you enjoy the idea of working either at a public institution or as a private teacher. You can start working in adult education with a bachelor’s degree in any field, though a major in adult education gives you the competitive edge.

To excel in this job area by working at a community college or government-related opportunities, you will eventually have to get a master’s degree with a specialization in adult education or ESL. Direct experience as a high school or elementary teacher can give you good prospects in adult education, should you decide to enter the field for a change of pace. You could also gain teaching experience as a teacher to ESL students abroad or as a professional tutor.

Adult Education Teacher Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Adult Education Teacher salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Adult Education Teacher's can make an average annual salary of $54,060, or $26 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $39,170 or $19 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #341 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an Adult Education Teacher. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Adult Education Teachers

  • 4.1%   Doctorate
  • 20.4%   Masters
  • 36.4%   Bachelors
  • 8.2%   Associates
  • 18.5%   College
  • 10.7%   High School
  • 1.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Adult Education Teacher job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 5,500 jobs for a total of 83,000 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 7.1% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #314 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Adult Education Teachers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Elementary and secondary schools; local 20,500 1,200 1%
Junior colleges; local 11,400 1,500 2%
Junior colleges; state 9,800 1,300 1%

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