Secondary School Teachers

(NOC 4031)

in All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Secondary school teachers prepare and teach subjects at public and private junior and senior high schools. Secondary school teachers who are heads of departments are included in this group. Secondary teachers may specialize in areas like mathematics, English, French, special education, or second language instruction. Secondary school teachers of vocational and trades subjects may specialize in areas like hairdressing or auto mechanics.

Job Outlook

average

Read more

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 255 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

  • Estimate 1830 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 5515 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Secondary School Teachers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. Also, a average portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

Growth in the number of positions in the public education system is generally limited by budgetary pressures and declining enrolments. Opportunities may vary depending on a jobseeker's teachable subjects. Teachers with French and/or Math backgrounds are in highest demand, and some opportunities for teaching English as a Second Language has been noted. It can still be challenging for many new teachers to secure a permanent position, and it may require being mobile, as there can sometimes be less competition in rural or isolated communities. Shortages of substitute teachers still periodically occur, creating opportunities for new graduates who have not yet secured a full-time position to gain some experience. Enrolment in private schools has been expanding and this is expected to continue, offering additional job opportunities, mostly in the Halifax area.

Hourly Pay

$25.48

Minimum

$40.38

Median

$52.53

Maximum

Annual Pay

$12,906

Minimum

$70,443

Median

$86,277

Maximum

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Hourly Pay

$16.30

Minimum

$30.00

Median

$51.30

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Secondary school teachers prepare and teach subjects at public and private junior and senior high schools. Secondary school teachers who are heads of departments are included in this group. Secondary teachers may specialize in areas like mathematics, English, French, special education, or second language instruction. Secondary school teachers of vocational and trades subjects may specialize in areas like hairdressing or auto mechanics.

Job duties

Secondary school teachers:

  • Plan goals and designated outcomes for all students and clearly communicate to those learners.
  • Use a variety of teaching strategies like group work, lecture, mini-lessons, exploration, questioning, discussion, and other cooperative teaching techniques.
  • Assign and correct homework.
  • Prepare, administer, and correct tests.
  • Use a variety of assessment strategies to evaluate student progress and discuss results with students, parents, and school officials.
  • Identify children’s individual learning needs and adapt curriculum to meet the varying rates, patterns, and needs of all students, including students who extend learning beyond designated outcomes.
  • Contribute to and manage an individual program plan for students with special needs.
  • Maintain records for student attendance, evaluations, report cards, discipline records, and other related documents.
  • Plan and implement classroom management strategies and techniques to ensure productive, interesting, respectful, and safe classrooms.
  • Apply appropriate consequences for inappropriate student behavior.
  • Communicate effectively with students, staff, parents, community, and outside agencies to better meet with the needs of students.
  • Participate in staff meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops.
  • May teach and evaluate students through distance or online courses.
  • May advise students on course selection and on vocational and personal matters.
  • May supervise student teachers.

Sample job titles

  • adult education teacher, secondary school
  • alternative high school teacher
  • behaviour support teacher
  • cooperative education teacher
  • department head
  • English as an additional language teacher, high school
  • fine arts specialist teacher
  • high school teacher
  • learning centre teacher
  • private teacher - secondary school
  • resource teacher
  • skilled trades education teacher

Skills

  • You should be patient, imaginative, objective, and resourceful. Leadership skills and the ability to motivate students are important. You must be able to communicate ideas in a clear, concise, and interesting way. Planning and organizational skills are also necessary. Teachers must be knowledgeable about their subjects and keep informed of new material and methods of teaching.

Job requirements

  • Teachers of academic subjects require a bachelor's degree in education which is often preceded by a bachelor's degree in the arts or sciences.
  • Teachers of vocational or technical subjects require a bachelor's degree in education which is usually preceded by specialized training or experience in the subject.
  • Department heads usually require several years of teaching experience.
  • To specialize in special education or English or French as a second language, additional training, often at a master’s level, is required.
  • A Nova Scotia teaching certificate is required.
  • Membership in a provincial teachers' association or union may be required.

Other considerations

  • The work can be demanding and require a great deal of physical, mental, and emotional energy. While most of the time is spent teaching in the classroom, many hours are spent out of class working with individual students, preparing lessons, and marking assignments. Progression to vice-principal or other administrative positions in the education system is possible with experience and additional training.

By the numbers

Quick look

4,150

employed in 2016

83.8%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

59.2%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
40.8%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44

median age

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

55,420

employed in 2016

76.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

64.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
36%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

40.5%

Halifax

$70,128 median annual income
16.9%

North Shore

$73,834 median annual income
15.9%

Cape Breton

$71,481 median annual income
13.5%

Southern

$69,378 median annual income
13.2%

Annapolis Valley

$69,163 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

99.5%

Educational services

0.3%

Public administration

0.3%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

What is the age of Employment?

32.0%

35-44

24.0%

45-54

21.0%

25-34

18.0%

55-64

5.0%

65+

1.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

24.2%

35-44

22.7%

45-54

21.4%

25-34

17.2%

55-64

8.4%

15-24

Top levels of education

43.7%

Bachelor

$57,859 median annual income
40.8%

Master

$80,755 median annual income
10.0%

Diploma Above Bachelor

$72,337 median annual income
2.9%

College Diploma

$30,667 median annual income
1.2%

Diploma Below Bachelor

$52,422 median annual income

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

28.9%

Bachelor

$45,929 median annual income
21.2%

College Diploma

$35,398 median annual income
16.8%

Master

$71,043 median annual income
14.6%

High school

$29,055 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$100,443 median annual income

Education & training

Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching

College or University Program

These programs prepare individuals to teach adult students in various settings, including basic and remedial education programs, continuing education programs, and programs designed to develop or upgrade specific employment-related knowledge and skills.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Art Teacher Education

College or University Program

These programs prepare individuals to teach art and art appreciation programs at various educational levels.

Institutions providing this program

NSCAD University

Halifax, NS

Curriculum and Instruction

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the curriculum and related instructional processes and tools and prepares students to serve as professional curriculum specialists. They include courses in curriculum theory, curriculum design and planning, instructional material design and evaluation, curriculum evaluation, and applications to specific subject matter, programs or educational levels.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Education of Students with Multiple Disabilities

College or University Program

These programs focus on the design of educational services for children or adults with multiple disabilities which adversely affect their educational performance and that prepares individuals to teach such students. They include courses in identifying students with multiple disabilities, developing individual education plans, teaching and supervising multiple handicapped students, counselling, and applicable laws and policies.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Educational/Instructional Media Design

College or University Program

These programs focus on the principles and techniques of creating instructional products and related educational resources in various formats or combinations like film, video, recording, text, art, computer software, virtual reality technology, and three-dimensional objects, and that prepares individuals to function as instructional media designers. They include courses in the techniques specific to creating in various media, the behavioural principles applicable to using various media in learning and teaching, the design, testing and production of instructional materials, and the management of educational/instructional media facilities and programs.

Institutions providing this program

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

English as an Additional Language (Canada)

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the development of proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking English for those for whom English is not their mother tongue. They include courses in the use of basic communication skills to develop and transmit ideas and thoughts in English as well as specialized programs that focus on the development of proficiency in English sufficient to meet specific occupational or academic demands.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Junior High and High School Education and Teaching

College or University Program

These programs prepare individuals to teach students in the secondary grades, which include grades seven through twelve. This includes preparation to teach a comprehensive curriculum or specific subject matter.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Mathematics Teacher Education

College or University Program

These programs prepare individuals to teach mathematics programs at various educational levels.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Outdoor Education

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs preapre students to work as an educator, instructor or facilitator in parks, recreational facilities, camps and other outdoor settings. They include courses in leadership skills, wilderness survival skills, first aid, group processes, counselling techniques, environmental studies and instruction in recreational activities such as rock climbing, ropes courses, backpacking, kayaking and canoeing.

Institutions providing this program

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Physical Education Teaching and Coaching

College or University Program

These programs prepare individuals to teach physical education programs and/or to coach sports at various educational levels.

Institutions providing this program

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Special Education and Teaching - General

College or University Program

These programs focus on the design and provision of teaching and other educational services to children or adults with special learning needs or disabilities, and that prepares individuals to function as special education teachers. They include courses in diagnosing learning disabilities, developing individual education plans, teaching and supervising special education students, special education counselling, and applicable laws and policies.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Teacher Education, Multiple Levels

College or University Program

These programs prepare individuals to teach students at more than one educational level, like a combined program in elementary/secondary, early childhood/elementary, elementary/middle school, or junior high/high school teacher education.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Teaching English to Speakers of Another Language

College or University Program

These programs focus on the principles and practice of teaching English to students who are not proficient in English or who do not speak, read or write English, and that prepares individuals to function as teachers and administrators in such programs.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

East Coast Language College

Halifax, NS

Technology Teacher Education/Industrial Arts Teacher Education

College or University Program

These programs prepare individuals to teach technology education/industrial arts programs at various educational levels.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Truro, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Teacher

Special Requirements: Nova Scotia Teacher Certification is required to work in the public school system. Certification may be required by other education related employers.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Department of Education & Early Childhood Development, Office of Teacher Certification
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Teacher Certification
Halifax, NS
Canadian Teachers' Federation
Ottawa, ON