Vocational Instructor

Becoming a teacher usually requires at least a bachelor's degree. But sometimes you only have to have a strong experience working as a skilled person. Do you fit the description of someone skilled in trades like welding or carpentry?

You can become a vocational instructor. Find out how from our basic guide.

Vocational teachers belong to a special class of teachers. While having very similar responsibilities with a regular college faculty, they are different in that – rather than help students complete a regular college degree -- they train them on craft with immediate practical application. They train students how to be skilled on practical fields such as welding, cosmetology, culinary, tailoring, plumbing, and electronics. Sometimes, they also provide career guidance, oversee the internships of students, and help them find jobs.

Vocational Teacher Requirements

To become a vocational instructor, what you need is solid experience in the application of a certain technical skill and not necessarily high educational attainment (although having one is undeniably an advantage). Sometimes an associate degree is enough if you have sufficient work experience. Tenured vocational instructors, however, may be required to have a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree would even be better and could increase one’s chances for hiring or promotion. Depending on where you will teach, you may or may not need Vocational Teaching Credential or a Designated Special Subjects Teaching Credential. For specific requirements, ask the school where you intend to apply. Generally, private schools tend to be lenient with regards to requirements than public schools.

Vocational Teacher State Licensing

Different states have different licensing processes and programs. For example, Mississippi grants a special beginner’s teaching license to people who have taken non-degree courses and those without degrees in education. They are given up to three years to work their way to obtain the standard license to teach. In California, they require a Vocational Credential and an Adult Education Credential. In Pennsylvania, a new teacher is granted a non-degree certification called the Vocational Intern teaching certificate, which can usually be obtained by completing the Occupational Competency Assessment testing program.

Finding Employment as Vocational Teacher

As a vocational teacher, you can find employment in public high schools, and also in private ones as teacher in their Adult Education Program. You can also become a professor, associate or assistant professor, and instructor in community colleges, private vocational schools/colleges and training centers. Career advancement in this field includes being promoted to department administrative head. To look for jobs, look for ads for vocational teachers in industry journals, Internet job listings, school and state employment placement offices. If you have a regular job, you can continue with it and apply as part-time teacher or teaching assistant. Later, you might want to decide to pursue teaching as a full-time employment.


  • Lattisha Penniston said on February 17, 2010
    i am currently a canadian citizen looking to relocate to atlanta georgia and would like some information on Georgias vocational teaching license, it would be for a cosmetology teacher. thank u...any info would be a great help
  • Negin said on March 3, 2011
    Hi, i need some information! i am an English teacher, my question is whether i am considered as a vocational teacher or not. thanks in advance.
  • James expert adviser said on March 3, 2011
    @Negin, yes you can become one. you need more patience, problem solving skills and required education.

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • Negin said on March 4, 2011
    Hi again, thanks Mr. James for your reply, i tell you in brief about my educational background and please tell me if it is OK or not. I am a MA student in General Linguistics an I've got my BA in English Literature (my husband is the same as me but he's got his BA in English Translation)and we have been teaching English for 6 years, but in private Institutes and we have teaching books like interchange and books like this, now considering my story are we considered as vocational teacher? if no, what kind of teacher we are?
  • James expert adviser said on March 4, 2011
    @Negin, you are not counted under vocational teacher. You need to teach technology, professional courses or something that helps in getting into professional career to become vocational teacher.

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • soumya joseph said on August 26, 2011
    i am need the idea of vocational instructor .Thank you for kind information
  • Subodh Sharma said on November 5, 2012
    As having 23 years of Experience in Welding ,Worked 13 Years as a Welding Instructor in Liberia, Mauritius, Oman. Libya, saudi arabia, looking for a job.
  • Subodh Sharma said on January 26, 2013
    Dear Sir, As i am qualified Welding Fabrication Instructor and looking for a job . Subodh Sharma. 0091-9749210262
  • b.m.kharate said on April 8, 2013
    retired sr. chief instructor from govt. psu with 40 years experience seeking job in engg.college/vocational school in india
  • b.m.kharate said on April 8, 2013
    40 years experience in aviation industry as soft skills trainer & specialization in lean management with practical implementation.
  • sajid said on September 24, 2013
    hi sir i have a 4 years of experienced in vocational education current i am working in a vocational center as a trainer /instructor n chemical department under the tribal development department of Gujarat India i work as a social mobilizer to train the student as per industries demand now i want a good challenging job in overseas kindly guide me
  • Shoaib said on January 31, 2014
    Dear Sir, I have done BEd (Bachelor's of Education), I have teaching experience of 6 years as Computer trainer/instructor. I have done certification in MS Office Management, Graphics Designing and Computer Hardware n Networking. in 2013 I also done the course of HSE (health, Safety n Environment). I want to know that am I eligible to apply as vocational teacher in Canada?
  • Chieyedza Maphosa said on June 23, 2015
    I am a qualified vocational trainer in the field of civil engineering looking for a teaching post in Oman,Bed degree, Train the trainer certificate and trade as a journeyman class 1. Currently being a technical trainer in Saudi Arabia. Eligible to teach anywhere.


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