Welcome Future Teachers!
Teacher Certification Degrees is a valuable resource to those looking to explore or expand a career in education. We provide a wealth of information on becoming a teacher, including teacher certification, teaching degrees, teaching careers, and a guide about how to become a teacher.
Becoming a teacher is one of the most rewarding careers that provides the opportunity to change the lives of young people who step into the classroom by helping them reach their full academic potential.
Steps to Becoming A Teacher
There are several paths that one can follow to reach the goal of starting a career in teaching. If you do not have a degree, the common path is to complete an approved teacher education program, pass all required knowledge and background tests, and fulfill other requirements to earn a state certification or license to become eligible to be hired by a school district. If you already have a degree, there are several alternative paths available depending on which state you plan to teach at. These alternative teacher certification paths typically involve enrolling in a teacher education program and fulfilling other requirements.
How to Become a Teacher by State
Each state has different requirements for becoming a teacher and obtaining a certification. Below is a comprehensive list of all 50 states, containing the information needed to teach in a desired state.
Teacher Career Interviews
We interviewed more than 50 current teachers from different grade levels to provide helpful advice and insights for future teachers. Check out our teacher career interviews to learn more.
Recent Teacher Interviews
“Collaborate with other, veteran teachers and modify or borrow lessons you find to fit your classes and share your own successful lessons if you have the chance to share them. There is no need to reinvent the wheel or insist upon using your own wheel, so to speak. There are a vast number of great math teachers out there who are sharing and working with one another already.” -Scott Keltner, Kansas Teacher of the Year Nominee
“I wish I had known that it was okay to not know some things. I worried and stressed myself out thinking everything had to be perfect and run like clockwork. I didn’t know that it takes years to learn how to run a smooth classroom. I wish I had known to reach out to others and ask for advice and suggestions, instead of thinking I had to figure it out on my own.” -Dana Lester, Tennessee First Grade Teacher
“Spend some time observing in a kindergarten classroom. Try to get exposure to what a classroom environment is like and see what age of students would be best suited for your personality type. If you feel overwhelmed, know that that is perfectly natural. While in college, it seems as though it will take forever to get your credential and your own classroom, but once you do, it will be worth all of your hard work!” -Michelle Griffo, California Kindergarten Teacher
“Making math engaging is all a matter of bringing as much clarity to the concepts and procedures as possible. Lots of that has to do with understanding what will bring students to the idea that, yes, they can get it wrong, but if they persist and keep trying, we can arrive at the correct solutions, no matter how many solutions there are.” -Jose Vilson, New York Math Teacher and TED Speaker
Teacher Certification by State
Requirements for teacher certification vary by state and typically require passing a knowledge and skills tests such as the PRAXIS, completing a approved teacher education program, passing background tests, and earning at least a bachelor’s degree. Learn more about requirements for your state at our teacher certification by state page.
Alternative Teacher Certification Paths
If you have a degree in an area outside of education, there are paths available for an alternative teacher certification with each state having their own programs and requirements. Many of these alternative routes to teacher certification are geared toward attracting people who have decided to become a teacher later in life. According to TeachersCount, a non-profit organization which supports the teaching profession, “It is never too early or too late to begin pursuing your teaching career.” Learn more about alternative teacher certification requirements for your state at our teacher certification by state page.
The Praxis Series tests are a common requirement for state certification, although some states use a different test to evaluate skills and knowledge. The Praxis I is a test that measures skills in math, reading, and writing and is a common prerequisite of a many teacher education programs. The Praxis II measures content knowledge in specific subjects or general knowledge.
Teaching Career Specialization
Within the teaching profession, there are numerous areas that one can focus their career on including subject areas like math, ESL, or history or grade levels like early childhood education or high school. Learn more about teacher specializations at our teacher career center.
National Board Certification
National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential provided by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that complements a state teacher certification and is available to those with at least 3 years of teaching experience.
Top Teaching Blogs
Successful teachers share insights, advice, and ideas for what is working in their classrooms in these top teacher blogs organized by category.
Additional Resources for Becoming A Teacher
Teach.gov – A Department of Education site that provides information on federal grants and scholarships for becoming a teacher.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Outlook for Teachers – Information on a teaching career and projections for teacher job growth.
TeachersCount – This non-profit organization has the mission to raise the status of the teaching profession and provides helpful resources for future teachers including scholarship information and helpful links.
Why Consider a Career in Education? – The Wisconsin Education Association Council provides a self assessment to determine if teaching is a good fit and lists some reasons why teaching is a good career choice.
What are the steps to becoming a teacher?
Teaching degree requirements vary from state to state. Regardless of an educator’s geographic location, he or she must be licensed, which usually requires a bachelor’s degree as well as the completion of an approved teacher education program. Once employed, many states require teachers to earn a master’s degree in order to retain their full-time status. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 52% of teachers had a master’s degree or higher as of 2007-2008. For private schools, teachers are expected to have a bachelor’s degree, but do not have to be licensed. Our Teacher Certification Center offers a comprehensive list of all 50 states and what it takes to become a teacher in each respective state. The Teaching Degrees Center provides insight into what it takes to earn a specific degree, and what kind of jobs a graduate can qualify for with each degree. Our Teaching Career Center is another great resource because it offers an extensive listing of the wide variety of jobs available in the field of education, including job descriptions and requirements, career outlook details and salary information.
Teaching Jobs & Career Outlook by State
The education field is expanding. Employment of kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school teachers is expected to grow 13 percent through the year 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The National Center for Education Statistics projected 3.6 million full time teachers to be employed in Fall 2010 with about three quarters of those teachers being female and nearly half of teacher being under 40. Job prospects are best for science and math teachers, or those who specialize in bilingual education. It’s expected that Southern and Western states will see the biggest enrollment increases, due to general population growth. Educators who choose to seek work in urban or rural school districts may have a distinct advantage in landing teaching jobs, as those employment opportunities are generally considered less desirable. The most lucrative opportunities will go to teachers who are mobile and licensed in multiple subjects. According to the NCES the average teacher salary in the US was $55,350 in 2009-2010.
A variety of teaching degrees are available to those who are interested in beginning teaching careers, or educators who wish to further their professional development. Whether you’re looking for teacher certification or a teaching degree, many online teacher certification programs are available, which are a convenient option for working professionals. When you pursue an online teaching degree, you can complete your training at your own pace, on your own time.
Featured Teaching Resources
Teacher Tools – Lessons, Activities and Information for Teaching Black History
Black History Month began in 1915, when historian Carter G. Woodson began the “Negro History Week” to honor the contributions of African Americans. He chose the second week of February to pay respect to two Americans who changed the lives of African Americans forever. Former President and abolitionist Abraham Lincoln tribute falls on February 12th, while former slave and social reformer Frederick Douglass remembrance lands on February 14th. The resources below will provide more information, lessons, and activities that will help educators bring Black History into the classroom, not just in February, but year round! Read More
Teacher Tools – Chemistry Information & Resources
Chemistry can be a difficult subject for many students. With such complex lessons and many different factors that can affect the chemical make up and properties of any living thing, students may need extra help or resources to help them understand chemistry class and lesson material. There are various fun lessons, activities, videos, games, and WebQuests on chemistry that can help students to learn and grow. The following resources are available to help students better understand chemistry through many different teaching methods. Read More
Teacher Resources: Educational Games and Puzzles to Make Learning Fun
Incorporating educational games and puzzles into today’s school curriculum is a great way to build a foundation of language and math skills. This collection of teacher resources for kids is fun, free, and teaches children the fundamentals of learning for elementary and middle school students. Educational games and puzzles can build skills in language arts, math, social studies, science, and more. Use the following resources to find educational tools for your lesson plans and make learning fun. Read More
Online Study Resource for Teacher Certification
Teacher certification is the process in which qualified teachers become licensed to teach in a specified area. To become licensed, teachers must undergo a series of coursework, exams, degrees, and other criteria, according to the state in which you plan to teach. To prepare for your teacher certification, potential educators will need to study the criteria that will be covered on the certification exams. The following resources will provide study and review pages, practice exams, and ways to reduce your stress before the big exam. Read More
Teacher Tips: Classroom Management Strategies
Classroom management is the way in which an educator delivers the classroom curriculum, lessons and the environment they provide for their students. There are many strategies that are used to provide students of all ages with an effective learning experience. Classroom management strategies create consistency in the classroom, keep students on task, and set consequences to correct students’ wrong behaviors. The following guide presents educators with important management strategies to use in the classroom to make lessons more effective. Read More
Accredited and Online Teaching Schools
- M.A. in Education/Early Childhood Ed.
- M.A. in Education/Secondary Teacher Education
- M.A. in Education/Elementary Teacher Education
- B.S. in Education / Elementary Education
- And more...
- M.S. in Education - Mathematics and Science (Grades K-8)
- M.S. in Education
- B.S. in Educational Studies
- M.S. in Early Childhood Studies - Teaching Adults in the Early Childhood Field
- And more...
- Graduate Certificate-Management of Education Corporation/Corporate Training Divisions
- Graduate Certificate-Education Leadership
- Graduate Certificate-Curriculum Leadership
- MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
- MA in Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers Grades 5-12)
- M.A. Teaching (K-8)
- B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8)
- M.A. Teaching - Mathematics (5-9 or 5-12)
- M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9, or 5-12)
- And more...
Page edited by Charles Sipe.