Magnet schools are valuable educational alternatives for students, providing a specialized education that balances traditional coursework with a focused area of study. Magnet schools come in all types, including art and STEM-specific schools, and are intended to foster diversity and bring together students with like interests. Unlike charter schools and private schools, which operate largely independently, magnet schools are generally public schools that are held to the same standards as the others within the area school system. This means that teachers working in magnet schools are bound to the same minimum education and certification requirements as all other public school teachers.
Teachers in magnet schools may teach core classes, like English and Math, while others may teach magnet-specific classes. In many ways, teaching for a magnet school is similar to teaching for any other district.
Magnet school teachers are very similar to standard public school teachers. In magnet schools, students attend classes in all of the basic subjects. However, unlike a standard public school, anywhere from one to three classes a day may pertain to a specialized area of interest. For example, a student in an arts magnet school may take classes in orchestra, dance, or visual art on a daily basis. Teachers in magnet schools may teach these specialized classes, or may be standard public school teachers. The categories of magnet school in which teachers can work include:
In most ways, a teaching job in a magnet school is similar to teaching in any other public school district. Teachers are required to meet state or local educational guidelines, including course material and standardized test scores. There may be additional curriculum flexibility for those who teach in a focused area. A standard magnet school teaching job includes:
A good magnet school teacher is an education professional who is invested in the success of students and, where applicable, is able to provide specialized instruction related to areas of focus. Strengths of a good magnet school teacher include:
In virtually all public school districts, teachers are required to hold, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in an education program. Some districts prefer or require teachers to have a master’s degree, but this will vary regionally.
Teachers are also required to maintain a valid license in most states. This usually requires a licensing test after the completion of a qualifying bachelor’s degree. Licensing requirements will vary from one state to another, so teachers moving for jobs may need to take additional tests.
As magnet schools function in a similar manner to standard public schools, the salaries for magnet teachers are in line with others in the same district.
Salaries for magnet school teachers can vary based on several factors, including a teacher’s years of experience and level of education. The grade level of students, as magnet schools can encompass elementary, middle, and high schools, may impact salaries as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average high school teacher earns $60,320 annually, while a middle school teacher makes $58,600 per year. The average salary outcome for teachers with a Montessori teaching degree or Waldorf teaching degree is $47,925; the average salary outcome with a secondary education degree is $53,212.
Some job sites report lower figures; these are national averages for public school teachers:
The job outlook for teachers in the United States is relatively neutral. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teacher jobs are expected to grow around 3% to 4% between 2018 to 2028, on par with average job growth. However, the situation is a little different for magnet schools. Magnet schools are on the rise across the country, particularly as STEM careers continue to grow. The concept of magnet schools started in the 1960s but weren’t fully embraced until the 1990s. Teachers passionate about teaching in a magnet environment now have more options than ever before.
In the United States, there are around 98,158 public schools at all grade levels. Around 4,300 of these are magnet schools. As the number of magnet schools continues to expand, more jobs will be available for magnet school teachers.
There are pros and cons to all careers, including magnet school teachers. Interested candidates should consider all of the advantages and disadvantages before moving forward.
For magnet school teachers, professional development depends on career goals and overall educational aspirations.
In most states, continuing education is not required to maintain certification, but it’s recommended to stay current on the latest educational research and trends. Those seeking a higher salary or to move into an administrative position may choose to pursue higher education with s master’s degree in education or educational administration.
Due to the niche nature of magnet school positions, there are few directly associated professional organizations. However, some teachers may choose to get involved with more general education organizations. Options include: