How Do You Become a American History Teacher?

If you have a passion for American history and a desire to inspire the next generation, becoming an American history teacher may be the perfect career path for you. However, getting there requires a certain level of education and dedication.

Educational Requirements
To become an American history teacher, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree in education with a concentration in social studies or history. This degree will provide you with the foundational knowledge necessary to teach American history at the middle or high school level.

After earning your bachelor’s degree, you must also obtain a teaching license. The requirements for obtaining a license vary by state, but typically involve passing a certification exam and completing a certain number of hours of supervised classroom teaching.

Continuing Education
Once you have obtained your teaching license and started your career as an American history teacher, it is important to continue your education. This can include attending professional development workshops, pursuing advanced degrees such as a master’s in education or history, or even participating in online courses.

Continuing education not only helps you stay up-to-date on new teaching methods and technologies but also allows you to expand your knowledge of American history and bring fresh perspectives to your classroom.

Skills Needed

In addition to educational requirements, becoming an effective American history teacher requires certain skills. These include:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to communicate effectively with students is crucial for any teacher. As an American history teacher, you must be able to explain complex historical events in ways that are easily understood by students.
  • Passion for History: To be an effective American history teacher, it is essential that you have a deep passion for the subject matter.
  • Critical Thinking Skills: Teaching American history requires critical thinking skills.

    You must be able to analyze historical events from multiple perspectives and encourage your students to do the same.

  • Organizational Skills: Keeping track of lesson plans, assignments, and grading can be overwhelming. Strong organizational skills are essential to stay on top of everything.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for American history teachers is positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of high school teachers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029.

The median annual salary for high school teachers was $61,660 in May 2020. However, salaries vary depending on location, years of experience, and level of education.


Becoming an American history teacher requires dedication and hard work but can be a rewarding career for those with a passion for history and education. By obtaining the necessary education, continuing your professional development, and honing your teaching skills, you can inspire the next generation of historians.