The Maryland Teaching and Certification Resource
Aspiring teachers looking to work in Maryland have a number of possibilities for certification. The different pathways to Maryland teacher certification depend on education and prior experience and the process is overseen by the Maryland Department of Education. Although there are a few alternative ways to become a teacher in Maryland, the traditional certification route is outlined below.
How to Become a Teacher in Maryland
Like most US states, Maryland requires all teachers to hold a 4-year bachelor’s degree from a Maryland Approved Program (MAP), attend a teacher preparation program from an accredited institution and pass the requires SAT, ACT, GRE Tests or Praxis Series tests.
Maryland offers four types of teaching certificates:
- Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC). New teachers are eligible for the PEC once they have met all Maryland teacher certification requirements and only if they are not yet employed by a Maryland school or district.
- Standard Professional Certificate I (SPC I). Teachers are eligible for the SPC I some point after employment at a Maryland public school once additional requirements are met.
- Standard Professional Certificate II (SPC II). Teachers are issued the SPC II after three years of satisfactory professional experience and six semester hours of mandatory coursework.
- Advanced Professional Certificate (APC). Teachers are eligible for the APC once they have met all the requirements and have earned a master’s degree, or completed a minimum of 36 semester hours of post-baccalaureate course work which must include at least 21 semester hours of graduate credit.
For those teachers who have an out-of-state certification, reciprocity in Maryland may be possible. Out of state certified teachers with three years of full time experience within the past seven years in the same subject area may qualify for an Professional Eligibility Certificate. For more details, contact the Maryland Department of Education.
Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Maryland
There are a few distinct routes to obtain teaching certification in Maryland depending on education and experience. However, one step that is absolutely mandatory is attending an approved Maryland teachers certification program in an accredited institution. When evaluating potential teacher programs, it’s recommended to confirm that the school is accredited by the corresponding regional accreditation agency.
The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) is responsible for the accreditation of Maryland schools. When seeking Maryland teacher certification, all applicants must show that they have attended a MSA-accredited school. Schools that offer an online teaching certification programs should also be accredited. If the school is based out of state, it should be accredited by its corresponding accreditation agency. If applicants cannot show that they have attended an accredited institution, a Maryland educator certification will not be issued.
Additionally, there is a national accreditation organization that accredits US schools as well. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness or CAEP is a newly formed organization that is made up of two former accreditation bodies, the NCATE and TEAC. Although technically new, this organization still retains years of experience and a CAEP accreditation is considered a very high marker of quality standards in the education sector. A CAEP accreditation is not mandatory for schools to be approved in Maryland, however, it’s highly recommended to look for this national accreditation as well as the MSA.
See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Maryland.
- I want to be a teacher in Maryland, but don’t have a degree: Earn an Education Degree
- I want to be a teacher and have a degree, but not in education: Learn about Maryland’s Alternative Certification Process and Programs
- I have a teaching degree and am interested in more education: Learn about Master’s Degree Education Programs or Doctorate Education Programs and Information.
Maryland Teacher Education Requirements
The state of Maryland requires that Maryland teacher certification applicants earn a degree from an accredited college or university. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is the accreditation organization for Maryland. Teacher education programs can include courses in education theory, practical training, and options to specialize in a specific area of education.
The Occupational Supply & Demand System projects 1,430 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers in Maryland, 630 average annual job openings for middle school teachers in Maryland, and 1,370 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Maryland from 2012 through 2022. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 58,590 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Maryland, excluding special education teachers (2013). The average annual salary of elementary school teachers is $62,920, while middle school teachers make an average annual salary of $65,460 and secondary school teachers make an average annual salary of $63,360 (BLS 2013). The Maryland State Education Association provides further news and current information relevant to educational professionals in Maryland.
Maryland Teacher Testing Requirements
The state of Maryland accepts any of the SAT, ACT, and GRE tests in place of the Praxis series test, provided candidates meet the required scores for these assessments. Detailed scores and qualifying dates of tests taken are available for viewing from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website or from the Maryland State Department of Education website.
The state of Maryland’s requirement for language teachers differ from other states in that it uses the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency test which is given through the Language Testing International (LTI) organization.
Applicants pursuing a teaching certification in Maryland must submit qualifying scores from the PRAXIS test, SAT, ACT, or GRE test. The PRAXIS test is a basic skills test with three parts; the Pre-professional Skills Test (PPST), the Principles of Learning (PLT) and the PRAXIS II. The first part is required regardless of grade level or specialty. In this part, Reading, Writing, and Math are the three domains tested. The second part is the (PLT) which has sub categories arranged by grade levels. Candidates for becoming a teacher in Maryland will choose the subcategory of the PLT that corresponds to the desired grade range. The PRAXIS II tests specific subject content and subject-specific teaching skills and knowledge.
Additional Maryland Teacher Certification Requirements
Before being eligible for a Maryland teacher certification, all teaching applicants must submit to a state and federal background check through a fingerprinting process. This process is normally carried out by soliciting a fingerprint card (Form 015) from the Department of Education and getting fingerprinted at the local police station.
Maryland Teachers Licensing Application Process
Upon completion of all the requirements as stipulated by the Maryland Department of Education, all pertinent information should be sent in to the Department. Typically, the Maryland Certification Office receives an abundance of applications during the summer months, so it’s advisable to send in all information three to four months in advance of the estimated date of employment.
- Official transcript(s) of all course work taken (community college, baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate, if applicable).
- Verification of completed teacher preparation program at an accredited school.
- Qualifying scores for the required certification tests such as the Basic Skills, Praxis II content, etc.
- A cover letter with your name, complete mailing address, date of birth, social security number, personal email address, and the area of certification you are seeking.
- Completed application along with payment of non-refundable processing fees.
Maryland State Department of Education
200 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Visit the Maryland Department of Education for further details on Maryland teachers licensing.
Maryland School District Requirements
Maryland Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Elementary School Teachers||25,810||$61,710|
|Middle School Teachers||11,380||$66,300|
|Secondary School Teachers||21,010||$63,180|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Maryland
Question: How can I become a substitute teacher in Maryland?
Answer: The only statewide requirement for becoming a substitute teacher in Maryland is to have a high school diploma or a GED. To become a substitute in the state, you must apply to individual districts and meet the requirements set by each one.
Teaching and Education Programs
1. Maryland State Department of Education: http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/divisions/certification/certification_branch/index.html
2. US Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg6.html
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm#25-0000
Page edited by Charles Sipe.