Adult Literacy Teacher Salary and Career Outlook

Acquiring a high school diploma or learning to read is a goal for many adult individuals. Adult learners know the value of getting the basic skill set needed to pursue employment or further educational goals. Other adult learners may want to improve their skills to better complete day to day tasks within their household and community. Teaching and helping individuals achieve these milestones can be a satisfying and fulfilling profession. Obtaining your Online Master of Adult and Continuing Education Degree from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education can provide you with the necessary skills and information to help you achieve this.

Job Outlook


According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for teachers who specialize in the area of adult literacy and high school equivalency teaching will continue a steady rise of 9 percent to 2022. The continuous, steady growth is due to the overwhelming need of adult learning programs based on the changing expectations of employers nationwide. Adult learners come from various backgrounds across the entire United States.

Adult Literacy Teacher Duties


An adult literacy teacher instructs adults in various areas of learning; the basic skills needed to meet goals, find employment, and pursue higher education. The focus is primarily on remedial reading, writing and learning how to speak English.
The literacy teacher focuses the learning experience on the needs of each individual adult student by assessing their current reading and writing levels followed by developing a detailed plan for success. Teachers sometimes assess the adult student for any type of learning disability or other challenges that may affect the overall learning style. Each person may learn at a different rate which needs to be considered throughout the program.

The literacy teacher must draw from a variety of educational resources to help make the learning experience engaging and challenging for the adult. The teacher may have to help the student improve on study techniques or other basic learning methods.

Resourceful adult literacy teachers may have to implement a variety of teaching aids to help in the learning process. Lesson plans and creative teaching materials will help the adults achieve their learning goals by focusing on each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Basic computer skills and knowledge of human behavior can help maintain success in the classroom. Teachers design lessons and a learning context to ensure success for each participant in the program.

Salary Projections


The BLS has reported the median pay range for adult literacy teachers at $48,590 per year which breaks down to about $23.36 an hour. However, the pay rate varies depending on numerous factors including location, program and number of students. The projection is the annual pay rate will continue to rise over the next ten years at a steady increasing rate.

Educational Requirements Needed


In most states, an adult literacy teacher must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in education to begin teaching in a program. Programs may require the teacher to have a master’s degree in education with a focus on adult studies, English as a second language, and/or literacy skills. Bilingual studies and speaking a second language can be a positive attribute for gaining successful employment.

Job Training


A teaching background with previous experience working with children or adults can help in gaining employment in the field. On the job training or is sometimes offered. A basic knowledge of teaching methods and curriculum will often be required. Hiring requirements vary from state to state.

Employment Opportunities


Educational programs are designed to meet the unique needs of the adult learner. The program settings are usually more casual to help the adult learner feel comfortable in the learning environment. The purpose of the program is to help students meet their goals and achieve success. There are literacy teaching positions in both private and public sectors. In the public sector, these include community colleges, public school systems, community-based education programs, and penitentiaries, and in the private sector, these include private schools, corporate trainers and private tutoring opportunities. Other employment opportunities for adult literacy teachers include trainers that work in health care, community based organizations, and faith-based organizations.


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