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Career and Education Opportunities for Vocational Instructors in Grand Rapids, Michigan

If you want to be a vocational instructor, the Grand Rapids, Michigan area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. In general, vocational instructors teach or instruct vocational or occupational subjects at the postsecondary level (but at less than the baccalaureate) to students who have graduated or left high school.

Income for vocational instructors is about $22 hourly or $46,100 per year on average in Michigan. Nationally, their income is about $22 per hour or $47,330 per year. Earnings for vocational instructors are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Postsecondary Education in Michigan and not quite as good as general Postsecondary Education category earnings nationally. Vocational instructors work in a variety of jobs, including: driver trainer, psychiatric aides teacher, and commercial baking teacher.

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Grand Rapids area, including two within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as a vocational instructor. Vocational instructors usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so it will take a short time to learn to be a vocational instructor if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Vocational Instructor

Vocational Instructor video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, vocational instructors teach or instruct vocational or occupational subjects at the postsecondary level (but at less than the baccalaureate) to students who have graduated or left high school. They also includes correspondence school instructors; industrial, commercial and government training instructors; and adult education teachers and instructors who prepare persons to operate industrial machinery and equipment and transportation and communications equipment.

Vocational instructors ready reports and maintain records such as student grades and training activity details. They also observe and evaluate students' work to establish progress and make suggestions for improvement. Equally important, vocational instructors have to decide on training needs of students or staff. They are often called upon to furnish individualized instruction and tutorials. They are expected to present lectures and conduct discussions to increase students' knowledge and competence using visual aids, such as graphs and slides. Finally, vocational instructors design teaching aids such as instructional software, multimedia visual aids, or study materials.

Every day, vocational instructors are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for vocational instructors to supervise independent or group projects, field placements or other training. They are often called upon to conduct on-the-job training classes or training sessions to teach and demonstrate principles, techniques or methods of designated subjects. They also advise students on course selection and other academic and vocational concerns. They are sometimes expected to integrate academic and vocational curricula so that students can obtain a variety of skills. Somewhat less frequently, vocational instructors are also expected to serve on faculty and school committees concerned with budgeting and course and diploma requirements.

Vocational instructors sometimes are asked to manage lectures by experts in designated fields. They also have to be able to inspect enrollment applications and correspond with applicants to obtain additional data and supervise and monitor students' use of tools and equipment. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on training needs of students or staff.

Like many other jobs, vocational instructors must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Grand Rapids include:

  • Adult Education Teacher. Teach or instruct out-of-school youths and adults in remedial education classes, preparatory classes for the General Educational Development test, literacy, or English as a Second Language. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.
  • Agriculture Professor. Teach courses in the agricultural sciences. Includes teachers of agronomy, dairy sciences, and agricultural soil conservation.
  • Architecture Professor. Teach courses in architecture and architectural design, such as architectural environmental design, interior architecture/design, and landscape architecture.
  • Communication Professor. Teach courses in communications, such as organizational communications, public relations, radio/television broadcasting, and journalism.
  • Computer Science Professor. Teach courses in computer science. May specialize in a field of computer science.
  • English Professor. Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature.
  • Graduate Research Assistant. Assist department chairperson, faculty members, or other professional staff members in college or university by performing teaching or teaching-related duties, such as teaching lower level courses, developing teaching materials, preparing and giving examinations, and grading examinations or papers. Graduate assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program. Graduate assistants who primarily perform non-teaching duties, such as laboratory research, should be reported in the occupational category related to the work performed.
  • High School Teacher. Instruct students in secondary public or private schools in one or more subjects at the secondary level, such as English, mathematics, or social studies. May be designated according to subject matter specialty, such as typing instructors, commercial teachers, or English teachers.
  • Instructional Systems Specialist. Develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology in specialized fields that provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses.
  • Math Professor. Teach courses pertaining to mathematical concepts, statistics, and actuarial science and to the application of original and standardized mathematical techniques in solving specific problems and situations.
  • Middle School Teacher. Teach students in public or private schools in one or more subjects at the middle, intermediate, or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable State laws and regulations.
  • Nursing Professor. Demonstrate and teach patient care in classroom and clinical units to nursing students. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of both teaching and research.
  • Physical Education Professor. Teach courses pertaining to recreation, leisure, and fitness studies, including exercise physiology and facilities management.
  • Teaching Assistant. Perform duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents. Serve in a position for which a teacher or another professional has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Vocational Instructor Training

Hope College - Holland, MI

Hope College, 141 E 12th St, Holland, MI 49423. Hope College is a small college located in Holland, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,238 students and an admission rate of 82%. Hope College has a bachelor's degree program in Teacher Education & Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Other Specialties.

Grand Rapids Community College - Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295. Grand Rapids Community College is a large college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,403 students. Grand Rapids Community College has 2 areas of study related to Vocational Instructor. They are:

  • Technology Teacher Education/Industrial Arts Teacher Education, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Teacher Education & Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Other Specialties, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.


Certified Technical Trainer: CompTIA CTT+ is an international, vendor-neutral certification that covers core instructor skills, including preparation, presentation, communication, facilitation and evaluation in both a classroom and virtual classroom environment.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

Airmen Certification: Include the following areas:

  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Flight Engineers, Flight Navigators, Aircraft Dispatchers, and Control Tower Operators
  • 8610-1 (PDF) - Mechanic's Application for Inspection Authorization
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Mechanics, Repairman, and Parachute Riggers
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Pilots, Flight Instructors and Ground Instructors
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Sport Pilot

Medical Certification:

IPC J-STD-001 Requirements for Soldered Electrical & Electronic Assemblies: The IPC/EIA J-STD-001 Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies has emerged as the preeminent authority for electronics assembly manufacturing.

For more information, see the IPC (Institute of Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits) website.

IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Circuit Boards: The IPC-A-600 Training and Certification Program helps all segments of the electronics interconnection industry improve their understanding of printed board quality issues; greatly enhances communication between PCB manufacturers, their suppliers and their customers; and provides a valuable portable credential to industry professionals as well as recognition for their companies.

For more information, see the IPC (Institute of Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits) website.

Certified Pool Operator Instructor: The NSPF Certified Pool-Spa Operator Instructor (CPOI) class is designed to assess your.

For more information, see the National Swimming Pool Foundation website.

Certified Driver Trainer: The Certified Driver Trainer (CDT) is for individuals with two years in the training field.

For more information, see the North American Transportation Management Institute website.


Cosmetology Instructor

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer & Industry Services
Address: Bureau of Commercial Services, Board of Cosmetology, 2501 Woodlake Circle, Okemos, MI 48823

Phone: (517) 241-9201
Website: Department of Consumer & Industry Services Bureau of Commercial Services Board of Cosmetology

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.