The Salary for a Job as a Drama Teacher

by Rick Suttle

Drama teachers instruct students on acting and expressing themselves in various roles. They also teach students play production procedures and history, hold rehearsals and select students for roles in plays. Drama teachers work for high schools, colleges, museums and theater production companies. If you become a drama teacher, your salary will vary depending on your employer and the state in which you work.

Average Salary

The average annual salary for a postsecondary or university drama teacher was $73,340 as of May 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you were among the top 10 percent, you'd earn more than $125,440 annually. The BLS doesn't report salaries specifically for high school drama teachers, but secondary or high school teachers in general earned average annual salaries of $57,770 in 2012, with the top 10 percent making more than $85,690 annually.

Salary by Employer

Drama teachers can make more money working for specific types of employers. They earned the highest salaries of $90,410 working at museums and historical sites, according to 2012 BLS data, where they might help actors rehearse for Civil War reenactments, for example. Drama teachers also earned above-average salaries of $74,810 at junior colleges and made $73,650 per year at four-year colleges and universities. If you worked as a drama teacher in a technical school, you'd only make $51,390 annually.

Salary by State

In 2012, drama teachers earned the highest salaries of $104,630 in New York, according to the BLS. They made high earnings of $95,800 and $93,640 per year in New Jersey and California, respectively. If you worked as a drama teacher in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, you'd earn an average of $78,410 or $75,120, respectively. In Oregon or Texas, you'd make $69,030 or $56,010 per year, respectively.

Job Outlook

The BLS predicts a 21-percent increase in jobs for self-enrichment teachers, including drama teachers, through 2020 -- faster than average. Increased demand for self-enrichment courses among students of all ages may create jobs for drama teachers. Students realize that skills they learn in drama can enhance their marketable skills for jobs. For example, a business major who takes drama may develop better public speaking and presentation skills, which he'll need to be successful in sales or marketing. All these factors may create more job opportunities if you're interested in teaching drama.

Photo Credits

  • Chad Baker/Jason Reed/Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images