Occ. Code 3931040











New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




            Incumbents of positions in this class, utilizing both professional and practical training and experience, plan lessons and instruct and evaluate the performance and progress of learners who are in the charge of a State agency, in vocational and trades specialties.  Instruction includes a verbal and written presentation of the theoretical along with demonstrations of practical applications of that theory.  Instructors at the 3 and 4 levels in vocational specialties are certified by the New York State Department of Education and a listing of some of the typical specialties is contained in this standard.


            Positions exist in the Department of Correctional Services, the Office of Children and Family Services, and the Office of Mental Health. Vocational Instructors often function in a security oriented setting.  They usually deal with learners having a broad range of physical and mental aptitudes, abilities, interests, ages, and social and academic backgrounds, in addition to some physical, mental or emotional problems.  However, most learners in a vocational program have demonstrated some interest in or ability to progress in a vocational program.


            Many learners in these settings have exhibited behavioral problems and have been judged as requiring institutionalization by the courts.




            Vocational Instructors at each of the four levels perform essentially the same tasks with the exception that some of the more experienced instructors may perform some specialized tasks in course planning, particularly as they relate to the development of new courses requiring new instructional materials and techniques.  The instructor levels are distinguished from each other by the incumbent’s level of academic and instructional preparation as evidenced by the type of professional certification achieved and the length and appropriateness of teaching and trade experience.  Positions in these classes are distinguished from other classes in the rehabilitation and education process by the following characteristics:





-          Instruct a course in a vocational specialty as recognized by the New York State Department of Education.


-          Prepare or modify course outlines.


-          Prepare daily or weekly lesson plans.


-          Conduct a schedule of instruction and demonstration for learners.


-          Supervise practical applications of formal instruction.


-          Devise methods and conduct evaluations of the performance and progress of learners.


Vocational Instructors who supervise others in the instruction of learners usually concentrate their activities in course preparation and evaluation of learners.


Instructors generally perform the tasks and activities listed in this standard within the framework of their specialty.  However, the characteristics of the educational needs of the facility’s client population frequently change requiring Vocational Instructors to plan, instruct and evaluate learners in other disciplines.


Typical of the vocational specialties found in State agencies include carpentry, welding, radio and television repair service, horticulture, electrical repair, automotive repair, appliance repair, barbering, and drafting.  There are many other specialties which have been recognized and for which instructors have been certified by the Department of Education.


Those instructors assigned to a facility where there is a heavy concentration of Spanish speaking clients and who are required to have the ability to speak and understand conversational Spanish are classified as Vocational Instructor (Spanish Language).


The four levels of Teacher have most of these same basic characteristics, except their course of instruction is in an academic or commercial subject area.  Such subject areas are in fields recognized by the New York State Department of Education.


Positions of Industrial Training Supervisor in the Department of Correctional Services supervise a number of inmate workers in the production of textiles, metal and wood products, furniture, etc.  In this capacity, they instruct workers in production techniques and in the use of various tools and pieces of equipment.  However, their instruction is limited to specific tasks and is not formalized nor does it usually involve the theory underlying the specific trade.


Positions in the building, mechanical and electrical trades also supervise inmates periodically in a particular construction or rehabilitation project.  In this capacity the artisan instructs inmates or residents in the use of certain tools and equipment in order to complete a specific project.  No attempt is made to instruct the individuals in the trade’s basic theory and characteristics of the craft.




-          Makes plans for teaching assignment consistent with and based on overall course objectives.


-          Determines learning needs, abilities and other relevant facts for the individuals scheduled for the class from available records and from program staff.  In some instances these determinations are made jointly with members of an interdisciplinary treatment or evaluation team.


-          May administer standard tests or observe the learner’s ability to use tools, machines or other equipment to assess learner’s abilities and development.


-          Administers practical and/or theory tests to determine a learner’s prior achievement in the subject field.


-          Utilizes an approved standard syllabus in a vocational subject area and/or may, under direction, modify or develop a syllabus to meet the special needs of the group and individuals in the group.


-          Prepares daily or weekly lesson plan, scheduling each phase of each lesson following the curriculum.


-          From daily lesson plan, determines need for and requests tools, machinery, texts, review books, workbooks, teaching aids, materials and equipment.


-          Determines need for and may request a Teaching Assistant for the period of a specific project or activity.


Conducts or, in some cases, supervises the class session using the daily lesson plan as a guide.  Instruction, particularly that associated with the practical applications of theory, is typically individualized as learners are frequently performing at different stages in a course.


-          By the employment of appropriate teaching and demonstration techniques and a display of enthusiasm for the subject, the teacher motivates, arouses interest and stimulates the participation of a group of learners.


-          Maintains group control in the class and, if necessary, requests assistance following prescribed facility policy.


-          Provides individual attention and assistance as required to meet the varied needs and abilities of the learners to insure that all are benefiting from the instruction.


-          May deviate from the lesson plan or use a variety of instructional and demonstration techniques to adjust to the varied interests and abilities of the group.


Evaluates the learner’s performance and progress in the class.


-          Develops tests on a module of study or utilizes approved standard tests to evaluate the learner’s comprehension of the theory and of their skill in using tools, machinery or equipment associated with the learning experience.


-          Periodically administers tests on a module of study and/or observes performance to determine learner’s achievement and needs.


-          Based on an analysis of the test results and their regular performance in class sessions against the instructor’s background knowledge of the learner, the progress and learning problems of the individual learners are identified and recorded.


-          The learner experiencing difficulty is counseled by the teacher to improve performance.


-          May participate as a member of a treatment or rehabilitation team by providing information and evaluative judgments in order that an individual’s total program can be evaluated and necessary modifications made.


May supervise others in the instruction of learners by reviewing lesson plans, demonstrating or suggesting appropriate techniques in dealing with difficult learning problems, observing conduct of classes and critiquing performance.


May speak or participate in panel discussions on the facility’s education program before community and other interested groups.


May attend training seminars, conferences and workshops to further professional growth.


In a facility where such activity is permitted, may plan and lead a field trip in support of a unit of study.


May perform some of the administrative tasks of an Education Supervisor in the latter’s absence.   This is usually done by a more experienced Vocational Instructor at the 3 or 4 level.




            Vocational Instructors have continual face-to-face verbal contact with learners in a group or on an individual basis for the purpose of communicating ideas and concepts and in demonstrating their application.  Similarly, they receive written and verbal information along with completed work projects from learners which must be assessed and discussed with the learner.  Relationships with the Education Supervisor or Director is one of providing written and verbal evaluation reports and attending and participating in periodic meetings designed to give information and discuss problems.


            Vocational Instructors participate in discussion with other members of the program or treatment staff for the purpose of assessing and modifying the learners’ program to more effectively meet their needs.


On occasion, the more experienced instructors, typically at the 3 or 4 level, will speak before community or other interested groups to discuss the facility’s vocational education program.




            Vocational Instructors work independently in planning, teaching and evaluating activities.  Supervisory controls are primarily through an approved syllabus or curriculum supplemented by occasional classroom visits by the Education Supervisor or Director or a treatment “team leader” and the latter’s review of written and verbal reports of learners’ performance and progress.  Periodic meetings and conferences are held by this supervisor with instructors to discuss vocational education programs, course content and teaching methods in response to specific problems.


Although the large majority of positions in these classes are non-supervisory, a more experienced instructor, normally at the 3 or 4 level, on occasion assists the Education Supervisor or Director in orienting new instructors to the facility and to the agency’s education philosophy. In addition, volunteers or other “instructors” drawn from the treatment or rehabilitation staff may work under the direction of an instructor on a specific project either on a full or part-time basis.






-          Working knowledge of the theory, principles and techniques of teaching.


-          Working knowledge of agencies’ policies and procedures governing the client group.


-          Working knowledge of the theory forming the basis for the vocational subject taught.


-          Working knowledge of the use of the tools, machines and equipment used in the trade.


-          Ability to develop effective relations with individual learners.


-          Ability to motivate learners.


-          Ability to apply different teaching approaches to meet specific teaching situations.


-          Ability to verbally communicate ideas effectively to learners.


-          Ability to use the tools, machines and equipment to demonstrate practical applications of the trade’s theory.


-          Ability to evaluate and record learners’ performance and progress.


-          Ability to plan and implement curriculum and lesson plans.


-          Ability to speak on vocational programs before community and other interested groups.


In addition, those Vocational Instructors who supervise others in the instruction process must have:


-          Working knowledge of the principles and practice of supervision.


-          Ability to supervise a small staff of instructors.









            Level 1 – Four years of appropriate paid trades experience or an Associate’s Degree appropriate to the teaching field and two years of such experience or a Bachelor’s Degree appropriate to the teaching field and one year of such experience.


            Level 2 – In addition to meeting the level 1 qualifications, candidates must have completed six credit hours toward obtaining a New York State certificate for teaching the appropriate trade specialty.


            Level 3 – Possession of a valid provisional New York State certificate for teaching the appropriate trade specialty.


            Level 4 – Possession of a valid permanent New York State certificate for teaching the appropriate trade specialty and two years of professional teaching experience.



Reviewed: 3/03





NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.