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Jobs Outlook: Adult Literacy & Remedial Education




Opportunities for jobs as adult literacy and remedial education teachers are expected to be favorable. Employment is expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014, and a large number of job openings is expected due to the need to replace people who leave the occupation or retire.

As employers increasingly require a more literate workforce, workers’ demand for adult literacy, basic education, and secondary education classes is expected to grow. Significant employment growth is anticipated especially for ESOL teachers, who will be needed by the increasing number of immigrants and other residents living in this country that need to learn, or improve their English skills. In addition, greater proportions of these groups are expected to take ESOL classes. Demand for ESOL teachers will be greatest in States that have large populations of residents who have limited English skills—such as California, Florida, Texas, and New York,. However, many other parts of the Nation have begun to attract large numbers of immigrants, making good opportunities in this field widely available.

The demand for adult literacy and basic and secondary education often fluctuates with the economy. When the economy is good and workers are hard to find, employers relax their standards and hire workers without a degree or GED or good proficiency in English. As the economy softens, employers can be more selective, and more students may find that they need additional education to get a job. In addition, adult education classes often are subject to changes in funding levels, which can cause the number of teaching jobs to fluctuate from year to year. In particular, budget pressures may limit Federal funding of adult education, which may cause programs to rely more on volunteers if other organizations and governments do not make up the difference. Other factors such as immigration policies and the relative prosperity of the United States compared with other countries also may have an impact on the number of immigrants entering this country and, consequently, on the demand for ESOL teachers.