So, you've decided to go into the wonderful world of teaching. You're passionate about getting into the classroom, working with students, and arguably the most fun part, getting to decorate your own space.

However....there is a small bump in the road.

You have no clue what you want to teach.

A Love Island USA contestant asks,

You think back to your childhood and all the different subjects you learned. Math, science, English...then it comes to you! You'e always loved learning about history. Why not teach it?

From a current history teacher to a future history teacher, let's get into the details of teaching history!

Why Teach History?

History often gets a bad reputation.

Many people find themselves yawning at the thought of sitting through another class that just goes over dates and events from hundreds and thousands of years ago.

A student falling asleep in a classroom and falling out of a desk.

However, history is more than just learning about dates and events. You can look at patterns throughout time and see how the past continues to affect today's growing world.

You can also study different eras of time and learn all about the people, places, and things that made life unique!

Teaching history can help future generations understand who they are and how they can help the future.

Two people look our over a lake.


True or False: History only involves teaching about dates and events.

The Role of a History Teacher

There are lots of misunderstandings about what a history teacher does. However, these are proven false time and time again by many different and amazing history teachers.

Flaticon Icon What people think history teachers do:

  • Only teach content (dates and events)

  • Create boring lectures and slides

  • Teach the same things over and over again

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But here's what history teachers actually do:

  • Teach content and skills

  • Plan interactive and engaging lessons

  • Tell stories (after all, it is in the name...history)

On a daily basis, history teachers also:

  • Plan and collaborate with other history teachers and educators on lessons and projects

  • Interact and communicate with students and parents

  • Actively participate in their school's community (including academic and extracurricular events and field trips)

    A teacher says,

Requirements for Teaching History

To become a history teacher, there are a few things you have to do first:

  1. Earn a college degree in history or education with a history focus.

    Tip: You can also earn a degree in a subject that is history-related (social science, geography, political science, anthropology).

    An animation depicting a graduation cap flipping in the air.

  2. Complete a student teaching program.

    This is where you'll work and teach at a school, along with a certificated teacher while taking college courses that teach you all about teaching as a career. To student teach, you need to be in a student teaching program.

    Jimmy Fallon and Janelle Monae dressed as teachers dancing in front of a class.

  1. Take teaching exams.

    Based on your state or country, you may be required to take an examination that tests your knowledge about history and teaching. Make sure to study using test booklets or online study programs to help you!

    Ranveer Singh in a library reading books. He points to his glasses. The text reads:

Where You Can Work

As a formal teacher, in general, you have 3 types of educational stages that you can work in:

  • Primary (elementary) education teachers work with young children, ages 3 to 11.

  • Secondary education teachers work with teenagers and young adults, ages 12-18.

  • Post-secondary education teachers work with adults of all ages, starting from age 18 and going up.

If you want to teach history, the best educational stages to work in are secondary and post-secondary education because you're only required to teach history.

Grover from Sesame Street in front of a chalkboard with with

Secondary education:

  • Work in middle schools or high schools

  • Classes are more general and provide basic overviews of the subject

  • Examples of classes: United States History, World History, Ancient World History, Government, Economics

A female teacher talking to entire class of young students during a lesson.

Post-secondary education:

  • Work in colleges, universities, or trade schools

  • You can teach more specific courses that relate to your interests

  • Examples of Classes: African American History, History of World Trade, Middle Eastern Culture and History

A university style seating with lecturer at front of classroom presenting information.


Mary wants to teach history, however she doesn't know what educational stage she should work in. She loves working with both teenagers and adults, but she wants to teach a specifically about Latin American history. What stage should she teach in?

How Much Money Can I Make?

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In the United States

Secondary education history teacher

  • Average pay: USD $54K/year

Post-secondary education history teacher

  • Average pay: USD $91K/year

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In Canada

Secondary education history teacher

  • Average Pay: CAD $65K/year

Post-secondary education history teacher

Average pay: CAD $105K/year

You'll Love This Job If...

  • You enjoy learning about history. History is one of the most constantly changing subjects there is. We make history daily!

A man asks,

  • You love the art of teaching. Teaching is a complex field that requires patience, adaptability, and passion!

A teacher enters the classroom and says,

  • You love collaborating and planning with others. Teaching isn't a one-person job. Collaborating with fellow teachers, administration, and other staff or faculty comes with the title of a teacher.

An animation depicting a diverse group of people putting their hands together.

You'll Hate This Job If...

  • You're not interested in history.

Bugs Bunny looking bored.

  • You prefer to work independently. With teaching, you're constantly working with other people, including students, parents, families, and staff/faculty on the job. If you prefer a job that doesn'ot require as much interaction with others, teaching might not be the right fit.

A Doctor Who character says,

  • You prefer a less demanding occupation. Teaching often comes with lesson planning, grading, and other duties that go beyond the classroom. This could be a setback if you prefer a job that includes less extensive duties.

A cartoon character looks overwhelmed. Numbers & letters spin around their head.

Take Action

Does becoming a history teacher sound like your next career? If so,

A woman folds her hands and smiles, then says,


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