Communication educators are hired at all educational levels--elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, colleges and universities. Most communication faculty members are found at the collegiate level.

To teach communication in an elementary or secondary school you need to obtain certification. Each state has its own regulations, but almost all require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in the field you will be teaching.

Becoming an instructor at the college level usually requires a doctoral degree, though some community colleges will hire a candidate with a master's degree. Community colleges tend to prefer graduates who have a general communication degree so they can teach a variety of courses. Four-year institutions, especially research and graduate level universities, prefer candidates trained in a specific area, such as organizational communication, rhetoric and public address, or interpersonal communication.

One question often asked by students is, "What are the job opportunities at the college level for teaching communication?" According to a study, "more than 80 percent of those institutions currently advertising for new faculty to fill communication positions prefer or demand the Ph.D. However, only half the number needed to fill those vacancies will be available in the years ahead. . . . These trends will be more severely felt in the communication studies discipline than in many other academic fields, because Ph.D. production in communication per undergraduate to be served has been declining steadily for a number of years."

Careers in communication education

  • language arts coordinator
  • high school speech teacher
  • forensics/debate coach
  • drama director
  • college or university professor
  • speech communication department chairperson

Communication courses that can enhance a career in communication education

  • interpersonal communication
  • communication theory
  • research methods
  • intercultural communication
  • small group communication
  • forensics
  • conflict
  • argumentation
  • rhetorical theory and criticism
  • advanced rhetorical studies
  • contemporary public address
  • communication and diversity
  • technology, organization and globalization
  • persuasion