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The Minnesota Teaching and Certification Resource

Those who wish to teach in K-12 public schools in Minnesota must first earn teacher certification. The Educator Licensing Division within Minnesota’s Department of Education oversees the Minnesota teacher certification process. The requirements are outlined below to help you learn how to become a teacher in Minnesota.

How to Become a Teacher in Minnesota

Prospective Minnesota teachers must complete a bachelor’s degree and an educator preparation program from a college or university approved by the state. Prospective teachers must also complete the National Evaluation Series (NES) Essential Academic Skills Test and the state’s series of content and pedagogy assessments for educators, the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE).

Professionals who have a bachelor’s degree but did not complete traditional teacher preparation may be eligible for alternative teacher certification in Minnesota.

Quick Guide

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Minnesota

Projected Job Growth

2%

Growth in Teaching Jobs in MN through 202215

Perhaps the most important step towards earning teacher certification in Minnesota is completing a quality teacher preparation program at an approved school. A list of approved programs that qualify graduates for licensure in Minnesota is available through the Minnesota Department of Education.

When evaluating bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program options, prospective teachers should confirm that the programs considered also hold accreditation from one of the six regional accreditation agencies recognized by the US Department of Education.

Additionally, schools may also hold accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP is the result of the merger of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). Although accreditation from CAEP is not mandatory for state approval, this accreditation is seen as a marker of high standards for teacher preparation.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Minnesota.

Minnesota Teacher Outlook
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development projects 52 average annual job openings due to growth and 579 average annual job openings due to replacements for elementary school teachers, 17 average annual openings due to growth and 195 average annual openings due to replacements for middle school teachers, and 29 average annual openings due to growth and 410 average annual openings due to replacements for secondary school teachers in Minnesota from 2012 through 2022.2 The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 55,830 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Minnesota, excluding teachers in special education.3 Elementary school teachers in the state make an average annual salary of $60,140, middle school teachers make an average annual salary of $59,230, and secondary school teachers make an average annual salary of $60,680.3 For updates on budget allocation and education policy, visit Education Minnesota.

Minnesota Teacher Education Requirements

To earn Minnesota teacher certification, prospective teachers must complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and as well as an approved teacher preparation program. Additionally, the Minnesota Department of Education requires teacher candidates to take an approved course in human relations from a Minnesota college or university. Most candidates will complete this coursework as part of the teacher preparation program curriculum.

Minnesota Teacher Testing Requirements

Minnesota State SealThe Minnesota Department of Education has adopted the National Evaluation Series (NES) Essential Academic Skills Test to measure candidates’ basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics and also administers the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE) to assess candidates’ teaching skills and content area knowledge. All prospective educators seeking initial certification must take the Essential Academic Skills Test and a general pedagogy test, which measures skills in the principles of teaching and learning. In addition, candidates must take a content area test aligned to the subject area(s) and grade level(s) they wish to teach.

Additional Minnesota Teacher Certification Requirements

Like most US states, Minnesota requires all candidates applying for Minnesota teacher licensing to complete a federal and state background check based on fingerprinting. Instructions on completing the fingerprinting requirement are provided through the state’s online licensing system.

Minnesota Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once all of the requirements for Minnesota teacher certification are met, candidates must submit an application for a teaching license. The required documents are as follows:

  • Completed fingerprint cards for background check
  • Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree
  • Proof of program completion at an approved teacher preparation school
  • Completed application for teaching certification in Minnesota
  • Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee
  • Passing scores on the required examinations

Applications should be submitted online through the Minnesoda Department of Education online licensing system. Contact the Minnesota Department of Education for further information on teaching certification in Minnesota.

Minnesota Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 5,400 $34,720
Preschool Teachers, Special Education 700 $58,520
Kindergarten Teachers 3,040 $56,300
Elementary School Teachers 27,040 $60,140
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 5,020 $54,460
Middle School Teachers 9,600 $59,230
Middle School Teachers, Special Education 1,200 $63,510
Secondary School Teachers 19,190 $60,680
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education 3,830 $64,880
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education 400 $54,110

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2014.

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References:
1. Minnesota Department of Education: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/Licen/
2. Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development: http://mn.gov/deed/data/data-tools/employment-outlook/
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Minnesota: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Elementary School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252021.htm
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Middle School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252022.htm
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Secondary School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252031.htm
7. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Preschool Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252011.htm
8. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Preschool: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252051.htm
9. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Kindergarten Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252012.htm
10. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252052.htm
11. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Middle School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252053.htm
12. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252023.htm
13. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Secondary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252054.htm
14. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Career/Technical Education Teachers, Secondary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252032.htm
15. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm