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Self-enrichment education teacher salary & career outlook

Self-enrichment teachers specialize in teaching the finer things in life: recreation, arts and crafts, music, relationship skills and spirituality are some of the topics teachers may cover in a self-enrichment course.

Self-enrichment education teacher careers in brief

Self-enrichment education is typically voluntary -- Students take the course for the sake of fulfilling a personal interest, not because it leads to a degree or career. As such, self-enrichment education teachers generally teach to a classroom of interested, engaged students.

Self-enrichment classes are usually voluntary and informal, often taking place in the off-hours after school or the work day. They may involve hands-on instruction, and often involve one-on-one meetings between teacher and student.

Courses favor topics that make life worth living, including:

  • Life skills: cooking, personal finance, time management, marriage or parenting skills, spirituality
  • Arts and crafts: music, painting, pottery, photography, sewing, woodworking.
  • Academics: humanities, art history, literature and writing, local botany or bird-watching

Self-enrichment education teaching offers flexibility and the satisfaction of sharing a favorite skill or hobby with others.

Self-enrichment education teacher salaries

For many self-enrichment education teachers, the true reward is imparting skills and knowledge to others. In addition to non-financial compensation, self-enrichment teachers earn a moderate income in the $30,000-$50,000 range, or $15 to $25 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and GlassDoor.com. The BLS reports a 2010 average income of $41,210, or $19.81 per hour. There is considerable variation among self-enrichment teacher salaries -- from $18,790 at the tenth percentile to $70,550 at the 90th percentile.

Factors in a self-enrichment teaching salary include where you teach, the organization for which you teach and what you teach. The business sector pays more than local recreation and civic organizations. The top-paying employer is commercial and industrial machinery companies, who pay an average of $58,590 a year for skilled instruction. Management and scientific consulting firms are close behind, at $55,990 on average. Religious groups pay the least, at $38,940.

Regional hot spots for self-enrichment education are all over the map -- Connecticut, Oklahoma and New York-New Jersey are the top-paying regions, with annual wages in the $48,250 to $51,280 range. The most advantageous communities for a self-enrichment teaching job combine high pay with low cost of living. While pay levels generally track cost of living, the following cities offer favorable prospects:

  • Santa Fe, New Mexico: Average salary, $53,700. Cost of living in nearby Albuquerque, 96.4 on the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, below the national average of 100.
  • Central Nebraska: Average salary, $43,560. Cost of living in nearby Hastings, 92.4.
  • Savannah, South Carolina: Average salary, $49,310. Cost of living in nearby Beaufort, 103.3 and Charleston, 99.6.

Training for a career in self-enrichment education

Self-enrichment education teacher training varies based on what subject you plan to teach. Teachers require expertise in their subject area, and formal training can validate a teacher's skill in a particular area. Art teachers, for example, may have an Associate of Applied Arts, BFA or MFA in a chosen medium such as photography or painting. Self-enrichment education teacher schools also offer aspiring arts and crafts instructors the opportunity to develop a portfolio of their work.

Self-enrichment education career prospects

According to the BLS, self-enrichment education teacher jobs are growing much faster than average. Projected job growth over the 2008 to 2018 decade is 32 percent, making this the 19th fastest-growing occupation in the U.S. A trend toward lifelong learning, both for professional and personal life skills, should drive demand for qualified teachers. Popular course topics include personal finance, computer training and hands-on skills such as cooking, crafts and the arts.

People are looking for ways to enrich their lives outside the workplace. Self-enrichment education teachers help students explore their interests and expand their abilities.