The Missouri Teaching and Certification Resource
Becoming a certified teacher in Missouri requires a number of steps, but the process is fairly straightforward. The Office of Educator Quality within the state’s Department of Education oversees the certification process, which is outlined in detail below.
How to Become a Teacher in Missouri
Anyone considering becoming a certified teacher in Missouri must have a Missouri teacher certificate. In order to obtain this certification, there are several requirements that an individual must complete. The most common certificate for new teachers is the Initial Missouri teacher certification. Although requirements may differ depending on certification pursued, all teachers in Missouri must hold a bachelor’s degree, complete a Missouri teachers certification program and pass the required state examinations.
An Initial Certificate is valid for four years, and two years of mentoring, yearly evaluation, one year of beginning teacher assistance, a professional development plan, and 30 contact hours of professional development during those four years are necessary to apply for a career continuous certification.
Another route to Missouri teacher certification is for applicants who have a bachelor’s degree, but not in the educational sphere. In this case, teachers may work under a two-year, provisional certificate while they complete their studies, which and usually requires about 30 semester hours.
Additionally, for teachers with out-of-state certification, it is possible to obtain a Missouri educator certification provided certain additional requirements are met. Experienced teachers looking for information on teacher reciprocity or the Missouri teacher certification renewal process should contact the Department of Education.
Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Missouri
Becoming a certified teacher in Missouri requires quite a few steps. However, perhaps the most important is finding a quality teacher education program. For applicants evaluating programs, it’s imperative to confirm that the program is offered by an accredited institution.
There are six regional accreditation organizations, which are overseen by the US Department of Education. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) accredits all Missouri learning institutions. Therefore, aspiring teachers should look for this accreditation when evaluating Missouri teacher educator certificate programs.
Additionally, there is a national accreditation body that is highly regarded and recognized by the US Department of Education: The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness or CAEP. This organization is the result of a recent merger between NCATE and TEAC, two respected accreditation organizations. Although this accreditation may not be mandatory for all Missouri schools, many apply for it because it is seen as a high marker of quality curriculum and organization within the teacher education sector.
In summary, when evaluating teacher preparatory schools, applicants should confirm that the school is confirmed by the NCA as well as hold a CAEP accreditation. Online teaching certification programs should also be offered by institutions accredited by its corresponding regional accreditation organization.
See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Missouri.
- I want to be a teacher in Missouri, 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 Missouri’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.
Missouri Teacher Education Requirements
Candidates for becoming a teacher in Missouri complete a four-year education program at a higher education institution. Teacher education programs must be approved by the Missouri State Board of Education. Some institutions also offer graduate programs for advanced certification or programs for non-traditional candidates to receive alternative certification.
The Occupational Supply & Demand System projects 750 average annual new job opportunities for elementary school teachers, 450 average annual new job opportunities for middle school teachers, and 610 average annual new job opportunities for secondary school teachers in Missouri through 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are about 59,720 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Missouri, excluding teachers in special education (2013). The average annual salary for Missouri elementary school teachers is $48,460, for middle school teachers $53,380, and for secondary school teachers $47,510 (BLS 2013). For more information on teaching and education career news in Missouri visit the Missouri & National Education Association.
Missouri Teacher Testing Requirements
Missouri’s 1985 Excellence in Education Act established teacher testing requirements in the state, and the Missouri State Board of Education has chosen two assessments as requirements for a Missouri teaching license. Before being admitted into a professional education program, individuals must take the College Basic Academic Subjects Examination (CBASE). Prior to certification, candidates must also complete the Praxis II assessment in their content or specialty areas.
Additional Missouri Teacher Certification Requirements
Like most states, anyone pursuing a teacher certification in Missouri must submit to a federal and state background check. All applicants must register through the State Highway Patrol’s Missouri Automated Criminal History Site (MACHS) before submitting their teacher application documents.
Missouri Teachers Licensing Application Process
Once all the requirements for Missouri teachers licensing are fulfilled, applicants must send in all of the information. The Missourit Teacher Certification Office is incredibly busy during the summer months, so it’s recommended to send in all information three to four months in advance of the estimated date of employment. The required steps to become a teacher in Missouri are as follows:
- Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree
- Proof of teacher program completion at an accredited teacher preparation school
- Passing score on the required examinations
- Submission of fingerprints for criminal history background check
- Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee
- Completed application for teaching certification in Missouri
PO Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102
205 Jefferson St.
Visit the state’s Department of Education for further details on Missouri teacher certification.
Missouri Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Elementary School Teachers||23,380||$47,290|
|Middle School Teachers||13,870||$50,450|
|Secondary School Teachers||20,480||$45,810|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.
Missouri Teacher Interview
Interview with Sarah Moellering, Missouri Second Grade Teacher
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Missouri
Question: How can I become a substitute teacher in Missouri?
Answer: To become a substitute teacher in Missouri, you must obtain a 180-day certificate through the state. This certificate is renewable. To get the certificate, you need to have taken at least 60 college credits and have passed a criminal background check.
Teaching and Education Programs
1. Missouri State Department of Education: http://dese.mo.gov/eq/cert/
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.