Online Teaching Degree Programs Resource

Teaching degrees are a must for those hoping to work in the education field. They provide aspiring educators with the theoretical and practical skills needed to give quality instruction and education to their students. The type of degree needed can vary depending on location and the type of school, but generally a bachelor’s degree is required before launching a teaching career. However, a two-year associate’s degree can also pave the way for wide range of jobs and careers in education, such as teacher’s assistant (or teacher’s aide) or childcare specialist. Master’s degrees are required in some states for advanced teaching certification, but even in states where graduate degrees are not required, teachers often seek them to increase their pay or to become better qualified to teach. Doctorate degrees offer advanced courses of study for those who may wish to move into supervisory positions such as superintendent of a school system or college professor. Online teaching degree programs offer degrees at all levels, from associate to doctorate.

Teaching and Education Degrees:

Teaching Degrees by Level

The type of teaching degree you need depends on what kind of teaching job or career you intend to pursue. Some teaching jobs do not require a bachelor’s degree, though most do. Other teaching jobs have varying requirements in addition to a degree. For example, to become a substitute teacher, you may need a bachelor’s degree in addition to a special substitute teaching license. Browsing the many types of teaching degrees available is the first step in learning how to become a teacher.

O*Net Online provides a breakdown of the level of education of teachers in the United States:

  • Preschool teachers: 25% some college but no degree, 22% associate’s degree, 21% bachelor’s degree.
  • Kindergarten teachers: 10% some college but no degree, 67% bachelor’s degree, 8% post-bachelor’s certificate.
  • Elementary teachers: 75% bachelor’s degree, 19% master’s degree, 3% post-master’s certificate.
  • Middle school teachers: 73% bachelor’s degree, 17% post-bachelor’s certificate, 8% post-master’s certificate.
  • Secondary school teachers: 87% bachelor’s degree, 10% master’s degree, 2% post-master’s certificate.

Teacher Certification Degrees is a one-stop resource to gather all the details you’ll need on which type of degree to pursue. Our associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree pages provide comprehensive information on what it takes to earn each degree, in addition to what kind of jobs a graduate will qualify for with each degree type. Then just browse our Schools page to find which schools offer the degree you need to launch a fulfilling and rewarding career as a teacher.

Job Outlook for Graduates

The job outlook for new teachers varies by location, grade level, and subject area. Visit our teaching careers page to learn about the national job outlook for teachers.

Top US States to Be a Teacher

Below is a map of the top 10 states in the US to be a teacher. See TCD’s Best States to Be a Teacher Index for the entire list and more details.

Advice for New Teachers

teaching degree quote“As soon as you begin preparing for your teaching career, find support wherever you can, whether it is with co-workers or with your online personal learning network (PLN). Ask for help, accept suggestions, visit as many classrooms as possible, and work to find your teaching voice.” -Kathryn Laster, Texas math teacher

teacher degree quote“There will most likely be a student who tests you, or presses your buttons. While it can be your greatest challenge, try to connect with that student. This is crucial because if you can find a way to make that student shine, then you are doing your job well.” -Marisa Kaplan, New York instructional coach and prior elementary teacher in New York

chris mitchell teacher“I wish I had known and been taught more about standards-based grading, research-based teaching and assessing methods. As I have researched more about these, my teaching has improved and I’ve learned more effective ways to teach and assess. My students’ grades are better, they are learning more and they are having a much more enjoyable time in my class.” -Chris Mitchell, science teacher in South Korea

lisa butler Spanish teacher“Be prepared to clearly articulate your learning goals and assessments. As teachers, we like to think lessons are about learning, but to many students and parents they are more grade centric. If you have clear assessment policies and expectations, it will make your job easier.” -Lisa Butler, Pennsylvania middle school Spanish teacher

megan favre language arts teacher“Don’t expect yourself to be perfect at everything at once. Pick the two most important areas of instruction in your teaching assignment and hone in on crafting those skills. When I began teaching, I focused on small-group reading instruction and math because I felt those areas would have the strongest impact on my students’ success.” -Megan Favre, Texas third grade language arts teacher

jon bergmann teacher author“There’s a huge amount of expectation among brand-new teachers. I would encourage them to stick with it. I know that a lot of them give up and say ‘It’s just too much.’ But, I think that teaching, in many ways, is a calling, and despite the fact that American society has been undervaluing their teachers, I would encourage them to keep at it because the rewards are great when working with others.” -Jon Bergmann, co-author of Flip Your Classroom

NCQT Ratings of Teacher Preparation Programs

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its first ever report on the quality of more than 1,100 teacher preparation programs in June of 2013. Only four programs in the nation received the maximum rating of 4 stars and not all programs were rated (due to lack of data). No programs for elementary teachers earned the four star rating. The ratings are intended to be a consumer tool for comparing the quality of teaching programs. The National Council of Teacher Quality is a non-partisan organization that advocates reforms to increase the number of effective teachers.

CAEP, NCATE, and TEAC Accreditation Bodies

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation is the new sole accreditation organization for teacher education programs in the United States. The CAEP was formed in 2013 with the consolidation of two accrediting organizations: the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).

Although the official merger of TEAC and NCATE to form CAEP was completed in 2013, the differing length of the accreditation cycles from both NCATE And TEAC (NCATE: 7-year cycle; TEAC: 2-, 5-, and 7-year accreditation cycles depending on the case; CAEP: 5- or 7-year cycles depending on the educator preparation provider [EPP]’s state) means that current TEAC- and NCATE- accredited schools are still considered accredited through “Legacy NCATE Standards” or “Legacy TEAC Standards.” Accreditation visits will continue through spring 2016, so in some cases education preparation programs are still able to use NCATE/TEAC Standards for their programs through 2023. Currently, there are a handful of EPPs that are already “piloting Interim CAEP Standards,” but technically, none of these programs are using the board-adopted, official CAEP Standards yet. The organization is still working to phase these programs into the new standards review and accreditation process.

Additional Resources

Accredited and Online Teaching Schools

Searching for Schools...
Matching School Ads