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Career and Education Opportunities for Vocational Instructors in Portland, Oregon

Vocational instructor career and educational opportunities abound in Portland, Oregon. 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.

The income of a vocational instructor is about $24 per hour or $50,340 annually on average in Oregon. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $22 hourly or $47,330 yearly on average. Incomes for vocational instructors are not quite as good as in the overall category of Postsecondary Education in Oregon, and not quite as good as the overall Postsecondary Education category nationally. Jobs in this field include: nutrition aides teacher, mental health aides teacher, and sales teacher.

The Portland area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as a vocational instructor. Given that the most common education level for vocational instructors is a post-secondary certificate, 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 Portland 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.
  • Law Professor. Teach courses in law.
  • 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

Concordia University - Portland, OR

Concordia University, 2811 NE Holman Street, Portland, OR 97211-6099. Concordia University is a small university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,709 students and an admission rate of 65%. Concordia University has a master's degree program in Technical Teacher Education which graduated one 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.


Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon photo by Fcb981

Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.