California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education in Los Angeles County

May also be called: Teachers; High School Teachers; Secondary Teachers; English Teachers; Math Teachers; Social Studies Teachers; Science Teachers; Spanish Teachers; Art Teachers; Classroom Teachers; Biology Teachers

What Would I Do?

Secondary School Teachers, usually known as High School Teachers, educate teenagers generally between the ages 14 and 18 (Grades 9-12). Some specialize in single subjects like art, science, or music, while others teach two or more related subjects such as English and drama or physics and mathematics.

Secondary School Teachers work in private, public, and publicly funded schools such as charter schools, and can work more than 40 hours a week both in and outside the classroom. They are often rewarded when they see their students succeed. However, they must have the emotional stability to cope with unruly, unmotivated students and be prepared to see students fail as well.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Secondary School Teacher will appeal to you if you enjoy activities that involve assisting others and promote learning and personal development. This occupation satisfies those with social interests. Social occupations involve teaching, offering advice, helping, and being of service to people.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Salaries vary between school districts and generally are based on experience and college units completed. Teachers with a master’s degree or national certification often receive higher pay. In addition, some districts pay bonuses for advanced degrees or extra duty. Private schools pay somewhat less, but Teachers may be compensated with free or reduced tuition for their own children and greater independence in the classroom. Substitute Teachers are generally paid at a daily rate.

The median wage in 2021 for Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education in California is $90,214 annually. The median wage for Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education in Los Angeles County is $89,899 annually. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Annual Wages for 2021Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Los Angeles County$72,699$89,899$102,269
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2021 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Both public and private schools almost always provide medical, dental, vision, life, vacation, sick leave, retirement, and insurance benefits.

What is the Job Outlook?

In California, the number of Secondary School Teachers is expected to increase. Job openings will result from new jobs as well as the need to replace the large number of Teachers who are expected to retire or leave teaching for other reasons.

How Do I Qualify?

Secondary School Teachers must obtain a Single Subject Teaching Credential in order to teach in California. Teachers can earn this credential at an accredited college or university; through an internship program; from teaching experience obtained in the Peace Corps; or from teaching at a private school.

Finding a Job

Direct application to school districts remains one of the most effective job search methods. The California Department of Education publishes both a public and private school directory, which together contain a listing of all schools and school districts in the State of California. They also have a list of the county offices of education with their contact information that can be used to find job opportunities. In addition, college placement offices on campus are valuable resources for finding a job and are recommended to all teaching students. Job openings can also be found in newspaper ads, public libraries, and career centers across California.  Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Learn More About Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education