Over the past year, one of the more thrusting drivers in job growth within the greater Los Angeles region has been education. Spurred by an increase in enrollment and a decrease in student-teacher ratios, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of available positions for kindergarten, elementary and middle school teachers to continue to flourish in coming years.

According to current employment data, most public school teachers in L.A. earn an annual salary of about $60,000. It is a rewarding profession that prepares students for future schooling. It is also an occupation that is attracting former military men and women who are actively transitioning to a new career.

Managed by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, Troops to Teachers is a program, with a branch office in Southern California, that helps military personnel make that turning point from the battlefield into a classroom setting. Thanks to recent appropriated funding, qualified veterans are able to receive a grant totaling $5,000 to offset the cost to become a certified educator. In addition, a unique incentive offers $10,000 bonuses to encourage returning marines, soldiers, sailors and aviation pilots to teach for a period of three years in schools that enroll students from under-served families.

Due to a veteran’s marked leadership skills, experience and dedication, individuals with an admirable background in the armed forces are beneficial candidates for a credentialed teaching position. With more than 890 schools and educational centers crisscrossing the metropolis, the Los Angeles Unified School District ranks as the nation’s second largest division. Recruiters are constantly looking for teachers that are innovative, worldly, proficient in their content area and committed to the academic development of youth. Currently, there is a high demand for science, math, technology and special education instructors.

Becoming a subject teacher is easier for military members that have already earned a baccalaureate degree. All they need is a state-approved certificate to complete the process.

Contact the local Troops to Teachers assistance office at (619) 594-6326 to learn about available teaching opportunities for veterans in Los Angeles and its outskirts.

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.


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