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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.

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Popular Programs:

  • MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
  • MA in Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers Grades 5-12)

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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.

Quick Guide

Maryland Teacher Education Requirements

Maryland State SealThe 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.

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Maryland Teacher Outlook as of 2012
The Occupational Supply and Demand System projects 4,831 annual job openings in Maryland in education and library related fields through 2018. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 58,940 public school and 14,290 private school teachers were employed in Maryland in fall 2008 and 2007 respectively. The average starting teacher’s salary, as reported by the National Education Association, is $42,497 and the average classroom teacher’s salary is $63,960, the 8th highest average amongst US states, and well over the national average of $55,623. The NEA classifies the education job market in Maryland as ‘excellent’, especially in urban areas such as Prince George’s county, Montgomery County, and Baltimore City. The low unemployment rate and large number of projected annual job openings in education fields suggest a steady and fertile job market for education professionals. Further specialization in math, science and foreign language will even further increase employment opportunity in Maryland. Please visit the Maryland State Education Association for news and current information relevant to educational professionals in Maryland. Contact Maryland education and teacher training schools for free information regarding the current job market and certification procedures.

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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.

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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.

  1. Official transcript(s) of all course work taken (community college, baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate, if applicable).
  2. Verification of completed teacher preparation program at an accredited school.
  3. Qualifying scores for the required certification tests such as the Basic Skills, Praxis II content, etc.
  4. 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.
  5. Completed application along with payment of non-refundable processing fees.

Maryland State Department of Education
Certification Branch
200 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Visit the Maryland Department of Education for further details on Maryland teachers licensing.

Maryland School District Requirements

How to Become a Teacher in Baltimore

Maryland Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 7,170 $32,860
Kindergarten Teachers 2,850 $47,240
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.

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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

Popular Programs:

  • Education, MS - Teaching and Learning (Online)
  • Education, MS (Online)
  • Education, MS - Teaching and Learning
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Popular Programs:

  • MA in Teaching: Advanced Studies in Secondary Education- National Board Preparation
  • Early Childhood Education (Certification Only)
  • Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
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Popular Programs:

  • M.Ed. Teaching & Learning: History
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Popular Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science: Early Childhood Development
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Locations: Hagerstown

Popular Programs:

  • MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
  • MA in Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers Grades 5-12)

References:
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.

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