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College, Technical or Vocational Instructor

College, technical, and vocational instructors provide instruction to adults in a wide variety of subject areas. These include vocational, technical, business or services training, trades, academic upgrading, university transfer courses, and university degree courses.

Also Known As

Career and Technical Education Teacher, Educator, Instructor, Music Teacher, Teacher, Technical Instructor, Vocational College Instructor

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 4131: College and Other Vocational Instructors

2006 NOC-S

  • E121: College and Other Vocational Instructors

2011 NOC

  • 4021: College and other vocational instructors

2016 NOC

  • 4021: College and other vocational instructors

2021 NOC

  • 41210: College and other vocational instructors

2023 OaSIS

  • 41210.00: College and other vocational instructors
Updated Mar 31, 2020

College, technical, and vocational instructors teach adult students of all ages and academic backgrounds. Some students may have very little formal education. Others may be experienced individuals who want vocational upgrading or retraining.

Duties vary depending on the type and size of the post-secondary school, the subject area, and the level of instruction. In general, however, instructors:

  • Develop curriculum
  • Research and prepare lessons
  • Use instructional techniques such as lectures, demonstrations, laboratory work, and hands-on training
  • Provide instruction in the form of case studies, independent or group projects, field assignments, field placements, and multimedia technologies (including online learning)
  • Provide instruction tailored to the individual and tutorial or remedial instruction
  • Prepare, administer, and mark student exams
  • Evaluate student performance and assignments
  • Consult with students on specific academic or vocational concerns
  • Maintain and submit program or student records

Instructors also must keep abreast of developments and changes in their fields. To do this they maintain contact with industrial or business sectors. Attending workshops, seminars, and refresher courses is part of the job.

Some instructors have assistants who help prepare materials, set up laboratory and audiovisual equipment, gather research data, mark assignments and exams, and perform other non-instructional duties.

College instructors may teach a broad range of courses, from academic upgrade courses to applied degree programs. They may teach in fields such as:

  • Communications studies
  • Arts
  • Sciences
  • Community and health services
  • Business and computers
  • Technical, vocational, and trades training
  • General interest programs

Instructional responsibilities and required qualifications vary with different programs. Instructors who teach university transfer programs may have responsibilities similar to lecturers who teach undergraduate programs at universities. Career certificate programs often are taught by instructors with industry experience in specific fields.

Technical institute instructors provide technically oriented instruction to adult students. Studies may relate to:

  • Business (accounting management)
  • Commercial and service occupations
  • Engineering technologies
  • Medical and health sciences
  • Life resources
  • Media and information technologies
  • Mechanical, manufacturing, and building sciences
  • Industrial and commercial trades (including apprenticeship courses)

Technical schools provide technical in-school training for over 90% of Alberta’s apprentices. They also provide academic upgrading for students wishing to fulfil entrance requirements for further technical studies.

Vocational college instructors provide instruction in programs such as:

  • Basic literacy
  • Academic upgrading
  • Short, intensive vocational training programs relating to business, health, trades, and service fields

These programs provide unemployed or under-employed adults with academic and employment skills they need to enter or re-enter the work force. Instructors may teach students who:

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Most college, technical, and vocational instructors work in the classroom, office, or laboratory. While facilities generally are well equipped, equipment and IT support may be limited in some institutions. Enrollments are limited in size.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

College and Other Vocational Instructors

2006 NOC: 4131

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in co-ordinating information to develop curricula and prepare teaching materials, course outlines and examinations


Interest in administering and marking tests and papers to evaluate students' progress and in supervising independent or group projects, field placements, laboratory work or hands-on training; may serve on committees concerned with matters such as budgets, curriculum revision, and course and diploma requirements


Interest in instructing students, providing individualized tutoring and advising on program curriculum and career decisions

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

College, technical, and vocational instructors need:

  • Oral and written communication skills
  • A desire to share knowledge with others and meet adult student needs
  • Enthusiasm for their subject or skill area
  • Respect for people from diverse backgrounds
  • The ability to identify with students’ aspirations and offer advice

They should enjoy co-ordinating information in innovative ways to prepare teaching materials, provide supervision, and evaluate student progress. They should be keen to help others achieve their goals.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

College and other vocational instructors

2016 NOC: 4021

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Mar 04, 2023 and Apr 16, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Tasks: Prepare teaching materials and outlines for courses
Construction Specialization: Effective interpersonal skills
Construction Specialization: Reliability
Construction Specialization: Organized
Tasks: Deliver lectures and presentations
Construction Specialization: Flexibility
Construction Specialization: Client focus
Tasks: Prepare reports
Construction Specialization: Team player
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

Most college, technical, and vocational instructors have related post-secondary education. Specific educational requirements vary depending on the position. College instructors usually have graduate degrees (master’s or PhD).

Instructors who teach academic upgrading usually have at least a bachelor’s degree. In some post-secondary institutions, they need a master’s degree. An Alberta teaching certificate or a certificate, diploma, or degree in adult education are definite assets.

Instructors of technical, trade, or vocational programs should be experts in their fields. Instructors in technical schools normally hold professional or technical certification. They may need to have a licence for their field of expertise.

Most instructors have extensive work experience as well as a formal education. They should be familiar with web-based instruction and research, as these are becoming increasingly important.

Employers usually provide staff development programs for instructors who do not have formal teacher training. These programs focus on instructional methods and teacher-student relations.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Adventure Aviation
Alberta College of Aeronautics
Calgary Flying Club
Centennial Flight Centre Inc.
Edmonton Flying Club
Excel Flight Training Incorporated
Kanata Aviation Training Inc.
MaKami College
Namao Flying Club
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Prairie Aviation Training Centre
Sky Wings Aviation Academy
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Springbank Air Training College Ltd.
Super T Aviation Academy
University of British Columbia
University of Victoria

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

College, technical, and vocational instructors work for:

  • Public and private colleges
  • Private vocational schools (career colleges)
  • Institutes of technology
  • Religious colleges

In all adult learning facilities, instructors with experience may advance to become department or program heads. In these positions, they will have increased supervisory and administrative duties. However, there are many fewer administrative positions than classroom teaching positions.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 4021: College and other vocational instructors occupational group, 77.0% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 4021: College and other vocational instructors occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 231 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Salaries for instructors usually are based on a grid system. It accounts for their years of related training and experience in the field. Positions are about equally divided between contract positions and sessional or permanent positions that offer benefits.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

College and other vocational instructors

2016 NOC: 4021
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 4021 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.00 $40.14 $28.81 $28.70
Overall $23.94 $55.87 $43.55 $46.58
Top $26.19 $100.00 $54.33 $50.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Educational Services
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Agriculture and Related Technologies
  • Aviation
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Communications
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Driver Training
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Humanities and Languages
  • Personal and Food Services
  • Sciences
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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