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Occupation Profile for Self-Enrichment Education Teachers

Teach or instruct courses other than those that normally lead to an occupational objective or degree. Courses may include self-improvement, nonvocational, and nonacademic subjects. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.


Significant Points

  • Many self-enrichment teachers are self-employed or work part time.
  • Teachers should have knowledge and enthusiasm for their subject, but little formal training is required.
  • Employment is projected to grow much faster than average, and job prospects should be favorable; opportunities may vary by subject taught.


$33,440.00 Median Annual Wage 9,000 Average Job Openings Per Year
4.1 Average Unemployment Percentage 16.7 Percentage That Completed High School
261,000 Employment Numbers in 2006 29.4 Percentage That Had Some College
322,000 Employment Numbers in 2016 (est.) 53.9 Percentage That Went Beyond College Degree

Sample Job Titles
Acting Teacher
Adult Educator
Art Instructor
Art Teacher
Athletic Instructor
Ballet Teacher
Ceramics Instructor
Chef Instructor
Choir Teacher
Civil Preparedness Training Officer
Community Educator
Computer Technology Instructor
CPR Instructor (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Instructor)
Dance Instructor
Dance Teacher
Defensive Driving Instructor
Diving Instructor
Dramatic Coach
Driver Education Instructor
Driver Trainer
Driving Instructor
ESL Instructor (English as a Second Language Instructor)
ESL Teacher (English as a Second Language Teacher)
First Aid Instructor
Flight Instructor
Flute Teacher
Guitar Instructor
Guitar Teacher
Gymnastics Coach
Gymnastics Instructor
Horseback Riding Instructor
Instructor, Bridge
Instructor, Dancing
Instructor, Driving
Instructor, Flying
Instructor, Modeling
Instrumental Music Teacher
Language Instructor
Martial Arts Instructor (Judo, Karate)
Music Director
Music Educator
Music Instructor
Music Teacher
Piano Teacher
Riding Instructor
Sailing Instructor
Scuba Instructor
Snowboard Instructor
Swimming Instructor
Teacher, Adult Education
Teacher, Adventure Education
Teacher, Americanization
Teacher, Art
Teacher, Arts and Crafts
Teacher, Athletics
Teacher, Ballet
Teacher, Baton
Teacher, Bridge
Teacher, Ceramics
Teacher, Chef
Teacher, Childbirth and Infant Care
Teacher, Choral
Teacher, Citizenship
Teacher, Computer Science
Teacher, Cooking
Teacher, Culinary Art
Teacher, Dancing
Teacher, Drama
Teacher, Dramatic
Teacher, Driving
Teacher, First Aid
Teacher, Floral Design
Teacher, Flying
Teacher, Foreign Language
Teacher, Health
Teacher, Hebrew
Teacher, Home Economics
Teacher, Knitting
Teacher, Language
Teacher, Music
Teacher, Navigation
Teacher, Organ
Teacher, Piano
Teacher, Pilot
Teacher, Prenatal
Teacher, Public Speaking
Teacher, Safety
Teacher, Sewing
Teacher, Singing
Teacher, Speech
Teacher, Speed Reading
Teacher, Typing
Teacher, Violin
Teacher, Vocal
Teacher, Voice
Teacher, Water Safety
Teacher, Weaving
Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Voice Coach

  • These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include funeral directors, electricians, forest and conservation technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree. Some may require a bachelor's degree.
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.

The main qualification for self-enrichment teachers is expertise in their subject area, but requirements vary greatly with the type of class taught and the place of employment.

Education and training. In general, there are few educational or training requirements for a job as a self-enrichment teacher beyond being an expert in the subject taught. To demonstrate expertise, however, self enrichment teachers may be required to have formal training in disciplines, such as art or music, where specific teacher training programs are available. Prospective dance teachers, for example, may complete programs that prepare them to teach many types of dance—from ballroom to ballet. Other employers may require a portfolio of a teacher’s work. For example, to secure a job teaching a photography course, an applicant often needs to show examples of previous work. Some self-enrichment teachers are trained educators or other professionals who teach enrichment classes in their spare time. In many self-enrichment fields, however, instructors are simply experienced in the field, and want to share that experience with others.

Other qualifications. In addition to knowledge of their subject, self-enrichment teachers should have good speaking skills and a talent for making the subject interesting. Patience and the ability to explain and instruct students at a basic level are important as well, particularly for teachers who work with children.

Advancement. Opportunities for advancement in this profession are limited. Some part-time teachers are able to move into full-time teaching positions or program administrator positions, such as coordinator or director. Experienced teachers may mentor new instructors.

Nature of Work

Self-enrichment teachers provide instruction in a wide variety of subjects that students take for fun or self-improvement. Some teach a series of classes that provide students with useful life skills, such as cooking, personal finance, and time management. Others provide group instruction intended solely for recreation, such as photography, pottery, and painting. Many others provide one-on-one instruction in a variety of subjects, including dance, singing, or playing a musical instrument. Some teachers conduct courses on academic subjects, such as literature, foreign language, and history, in a non-academic setting. The classes self-enrichment teachers give seldom lead to a degree and attendance is voluntary, but dedicated, talented students sometimes go on to careers in the arts.

Self-enrichment teachers may have styles and methods of instruction that differ greatly. Most self-enrichment classes are relatively informal. Some classes, such as pottery or sewing, may be largely hands-on, with the instructor demonstrating methods or techniques for the class, observing students as they attempt to do it themselves, and pointing out mistakes to students and offering suggestions to improve techniques. Other classes, such as those involving financial planning or religion and spirituality, may center on lectures or might rely more heavily on group discussions. Self-enrichment teachers may also teach classes offered through religious institutions, such as marriage preparation or classes in religion for children.

Many of the classes that self-enrichment educators teach are shorter in duration than classes taken for academic credit; some finish in 1 or 2 days or several weeks. These brief classes tend to be introductory in nature and generally focus on only one topic—for example, a cooking class that teaches students how to make bread. Some self-enrichment classes introduce children and youth to activities, such as piano or drama, and may be designed to last anywhere from 1 week to several months.

Many self-enrichment teachers provide one-on-one lessons to students. The instructor may only work with the student for an hour or two a week, but tells the student what to practice in the interim until the next lesson. Many instructors work with the same students on a weekly basis for years and derive satisfaction from observing them mature and gain expertise. The most talented students may go on to paid careers as craft artists, painters, sculptors, dancers, singers, or musicians.

All self-enrichment teachers must prepare lessons beforehand and stay current in their fields. Many self-enrichment teachers are self employed and provide instruction as a business. As such, they must collect any fees or tuition and keep records of students whose accounts are prepaid or in arrears. Although not a requirement for most types of classes, teachers may use computers and other modern technologies in their instruction or to maintain business records.

Work environment. Few self-enrichment education teachers are full-time salaried workers. Most either work part time or are self-employed. Some have several part-time teaching assignments, but it is most common for teachers to have a full-time job in another occupation, often related to the subject that they teach, in addition to their part-time teaching job. Although jobs in this occupation are primarily part time and pay is low, most teachers enjoy their work because it gives them the opportunity to share a subject they enjoy with others.

Many classes for adults are held in the evenings and on weekends to accommodate students who have a job or family responsibilities. Similarly, self-enrichment classes for children are usually held after school, on weekends, or during school vacations.

Students in self-enrichment programs attend by choice so they tend to be highly motivated and eager to learn. Students also often bring their own unique experiences to class, which can make teaching them rewarding and satisfying. Self-enrichment teachers must have a great deal of patience, however, particularly when working with young children.

Related Occupations

Sources: Career Guide to Industries (CGI), Occupational Information Network (O*Net), Occupation Outlook Handbook (OOH)

Median hourly earnings of wage-and-salary self-enrichment teachers were $16.08 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.29 and $23.08. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.53, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $32.02. Self-enrichment teachers are generally paid by the hour or for each class that they teach. Earnings may also be tied to the number of students enrolled in the class.

Part-time instructors are usually paid for each class that they teach, and receive few benefits. Full-time teachers are generally paid a salary and may receive health insurance and other benefits.

For the latest wage information:

The above wage data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey program, unless otherwise noted. For the latest National, State, and local earnings data, visit the following pages:

  • Self-enrichment education teachers
  • Job Outlook

    Employment of self-enrichment education teachers is expected to grow much faster than average, and job prospects should be favorable. A large number of job openings are expected due to job growth, the retirement of existing teachers, and because of those who leave their jobs for other reasons. New opportunities arise constantly because many jobs are short term and are often held as a second job.

    Employment change. Employment of self-enrichment education teachers is expected to increase by 23 percent between 2006 and 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations. The need for self-enrichment teachers is expected to grow as more people embrace lifelong learning and as course offerings expand. Demand for self-enrichment education will also increase as a result of demographic changes. Retirees are one of the larger groups of participants in self-enrichment education because they have more time for classes. As members of the baby boom generation begin to retire, demand for self-enrichment education should grow. At the same time, the children of the baby boomers will be entering the age range of another large group of participants, young adults—who often are single and participate in self-enrichment classes for the social, as well as the educational, experience.

    Job prospects. Job prospects should be favorable as increasing demand and high turnover creates many opportunities, but opportunities may vary as some fields have more prospective teachers than others. Opportunities should be best for teachers of subjects that are not easily researched on the Internet and those that benefit from hands-on experiences, such as cooking, crafts, and the arts. Classes on self-improvement, personal finance, and computer and Internet-related subjects are also expected to be popular.


    Teachers of self-enrichment education held about 261,000 jobs in 2006. The largest numbers of teachers were employed by public and private educational institutions, religious organizations, and providers of social assistance and amusement and recreation services. More than 20 percent of workers were self employed.

    • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
    • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
    • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
    • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
    • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
    • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
    • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
    • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
    • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
    • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
    • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
    • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
    • Explosive Strength — The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
    • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
    • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
    • Supplemental — Observe and evaluate the performance of other instructors.
    • Core — Meet with other instructors to discuss individual students and their progress.
    • Core — Attend professional meetings, conferences, and workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
    • Core — Instruct students individually and in groups, using various teaching methods such as lectures, discussions, and demonstrations.
    • Supplemental — Select, order, and issue books, materials, and supplies for courses or projects.
    • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
    • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
    • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
    • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
    • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
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