Are you thinking about becoming a high school or middle school teacher, either as your first job or as a complete change in your career trajectory? How about a different job working in a school? There are plenty of occupations to choose from.
In recent years, the demand for qualified teachers in the United States has become critical. According to a 2019 series issued by the Economic Policy Institute, “The Perfect Storm in the Teacher Labor Market,” schools are struggling to find enough qualified teachers, especially in high-poverty schools.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that the demand for high school teachers is expected to increase by 4% between 2018 and 2028. The need for middle school teachers will be slightly less, at 3%.
There is a particularly strong demand for teachers who specialize in math, science, English as a second language (ESL), and special education.
However, not everyone necessarily wants to be a teacher. If you enjoy working with children and young people, there are still many career options available to you in either public or private schools.
From coaches to nurses, schools need a large staff to help keep students encouraged and safe.
Jobs in High Schools and Middle Schools
There are many positions available in education for teachers, as well as outside of teaching. Here's a list with more job titles for high school and middle school positions.
Common High School and Middle School Job Titles
Typically hired by private or parochial schools, the admissions director is responsible for recruiting and evaluating new students. They will give campus tours, discuss curriculums with parents and students, manage entrance exams, distribute scholarships and go to private school fairs to represent the school. Other administrative positions with schools include:
- Academic Director
- Admissions Recruiter
- Assessment and Curriculum Programs Coordinator
- Assistant Principal
- Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
- Communication Specialist
- Director of Equity and Compliance
- Human Resources Assistant
- Human Resources Director
- Resource Coordinator
- School Community Relations Coordinator
- Supervisor of Instruction
- Supervisor of STEM Programs
- Vice Principal
In both public and private schools, autism and behavior specialists are becoming more common. These specialists are responsible for helping students with special needs, such as autism or other behavior disorders, get the support they need to succeed in school. The specialist evaluates each student and works with the family and the student's doctors to come up with a plan. The specialist may determine the student needs extended time for taking tests or needs a smaller classroom, for example. Other specialized student support roles include:
- American Sign Language Education Assistant
- Behavior Analyst
- Behavior Specialist
- Bilingual Education Assistant
- Coordinator of Behavior Programs
- Director of Guidance
- Educational Assistant
- ESL Teacher
- Guidance Counselor
- Learning Disabilities Teacher / Consultant
- Life Skills Teacher
- Occupational Therapist
- Resource Room Teacher
- Special Education Compliance Coordinator
- Special Education Teacher
- Speech and Language Pathologist
- Teacher’s Aide
Coaches are needed in both middle and high schools for a wide range of sports. From soccer to swimming, many schools offer many sports and extracurricular activities for students. The coaches help students practice and improve their performance for competition and represent the school at meets.
- Athletic Director
- Football Coach
- Health / Physical Education Teacher
- Soccer Coach
- Softball Coach
- Tennis Coach
- Track and Field Coach
Music teachers can teach the history of music, but also can instruct students on how to play certain instruments. In larger schools, the music teacher may have a student orchestra to run and maintain, planning concerts and managing practice schedules. Other teachers that specialize in student electives include:
- Art Teacher
- Business Education Teacher
- Choral Music Teacher
- Computer Science Teacher
- Family and Consumer Science Teacher
- Industrial Technology Teacher
- Instrumental Music Teacher
College counselors play a large role in the lives of high school students. They help students identify their interests for a potential major, consider colleges and universities, apply for admission and scholarships and even help students apply their AP credits for college credit.
- Chief of Career Pathways and Integrated Learning
- Director of Guidance
- Parent Involvement Specialist
- Student Assistance Counselor
- Success Coach
The school nurse ensures all students have the appropriate vaccinations, waivers, and medicines on file if needed. They perform evaluations during certain milestones to check height, weight, hearing and eyesight to make sure all is normal. In the case of an illness or sports injury, the nurse can provide care until the student can be taken to a doctor or hospital, as needed.
- School Nurse
- School Psychologist
- School Social Worker
Food Service Specialist
In many schools, food service specialists do far more than just serve meals. They often are responsible for coming up with nutritional plans for students, making sure students have access to a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables and minimizing the amount of unnecessary calories.
- School Chef
- Food Service Worker
- Food Service Assistant
Librarians maintain the school libraries, keeping the school stocked with educational books and novels too. They catalog and manage book circulation, help students with research and work with other libraries to get other resources.
- School Librarian
- Library Aide
- Library Assistant
- Library Technician
- Technical Service Assistant
- Circulation Assistant
Transportation and Maintenance Roles
Transportation and facilities maintenance personnel are vital to keeping school operations running smoothly and safely.
- Bus Driver
- Maintenance Technician