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Quick Hits

October 26, 1986|PAMELA MORELAND

The diversity of the Southern California economy shows up in diversity of occupation as well. The state Employment Development Department tracks 357 industries and some 2,000 different occupations ranging from Able Seamen to Yeast Pushers. What follows are brief looks at the employment outlook for other job areas that are key to the Southland's economy. TEACHING

By all indications, it is a good time to go into teaching.

Salaries have risen dramatically. Starting pay in the Los Angeles Unified School District is $20,298, compared to $13,000 just five years ago. Nationally, teacher salaries have risen 21% in the last decade, according to the American Federation of Teachers, the nation's second-largest teachers union.

The demand for teachers is growing. The San Diego Unified School District expects to add more than 500 teachers next year to its staff of 6,000. Administrators in the massive Los Angeles Unified School District expect to hire more than 2,000 new teachers in 1987 and Russ Nielsen, superintendent of Riverside County schools, said that districts in his fast-growing region have so many openings that administrators are hiring teachers from as far away as Canada and Spain.

But the shortage of teachers may soon be over. In 1985, the number of 9,562 candidates were recommended for California teaching credentials, a 24% increase over the previous year, according to the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Enrollment in teacher education programs in the California State University system--which produces the lion's share of the state's teachers--has increased by 40% in the last two years, according to state university officials. Currently, there are 12,000 students in the state university's education program.

While urban schools districts such as Los Angeles and San Diego are growing fast, school administrators say that many of the new teaching positions will be in suburban school districts. It is in areas such as Castaic, north of Los Angeles, and in San Bernardino and Ventura counties, where housing is less expensive and attractive to young families, where the need for teachers is most acute.

"There was never a better time to get into teaching," said George Flanigan, director of certificated personnel for the San Diego Unified School District. "People going into teaching right now can virtually write their own tickets."

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