How to Become a Teacher in Houston
Public schools in Houston are part of the Houston Independent School District, which is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest school district in the country.1 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 78,070 teachers in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area in 2015.2 The district is home to a culturally and linguistically diverse student body of over 215,000 students, with over 75% of students classified as economically disadvantaged.1 If you want to pursue a public school teaching career in Houston, you will need a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate issued by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification. You might also consider jobs in private and charter schools in Houston, which may set different employment requirements than the public system.
Houston School District Steps for Becoming a Teacher
The Houston Independent School District requires all teacher candidates to have a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. You can either complete a bachelor’s degree first and then pursue an approved educator preparation program or pursue a bachelor’s degree that includes an educator preparation program to fulfill these requirements. You will then need to pass certification exams and apply for a teaching certificate. You can learn more about the various paths to certification in our certification section. Once you have a Texas teaching certificate, you will be able to apply for public school teaching jobs in Houston.
Step 1: Complete the online application for the Teacher Pool.
The online application is the first step in securing a public school teaching job in Houston. You will be asked to provide information about your experience and education as well as submit an official transcript, your teaching certificate, references, cover letter, resume, and a math assessment. If your application is accepted, you will be entered into the school board Teacher Pool.
Step 2: Apply for open teaching positions.
Once you are in the Teacher Pool, you will be eligible to apply for open jobs in the job bank. Schools hire teachers directly in Houston; therefore, you will need to apply to each position you wish to be considered for. Schools will also be able to view your profile and contact you directly for an interview or offer invitations to relevant job fairs. There are three priority deadlines during the year to apply for open positions in the district. The earlier you can apply for positions, the better.
Step 3: Interview for open positions.
Through the application and job fair processes, you may be invited to attend in-person interviews for specific jobs. The interview process will vary depending on the school but typically includes assessments of your teaching profile and content knowledge, sample lesson plans, and/or writing samples.
Step 4: Complete the hiring process.
If you are offered a position, you will likely receive a confirmation letter outlining the details of your job contract and the steps to accept your offer. The school will likely conduct a background check and confirm your credentials before you begin teaching.
How to Become a Substitute Teacher with the Houston School District
Substitute teachers, referred to as Associate Teachers in Houston, must apply online to the district-wide teaching pool. If your application is accepted, you will be invited to an interview with the Houston Independent School Board human resources team. The next steps include attending a Pre-Hire session and an Associate Teacher Orientation, submitting your fingerprints, and completing administrative tasks, such as setting up your school email address.
Long-term substitute teaching positions require a bachelor’s degree and are offered as they become available during the school year. However, you do not need a bachelor’s degree to apply for the Associate Teaching pool or to work in short-term positions. You can also apply if you are completing your student teaching placement as part of a teacher preparation program.
Houston Teacher Certification Requirements
There are two ways to earn the required teaching certificate for Houston teaching jobs. First, you can obtain the teaching certificate by completing a traditional bachelor’s degree that includes an approved teacher preparation program. See our Texas certification page for more information. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can complete an approved educator preparation program to meet the statewide requirements. Refer to our Texas alternative certification page for more information.
If you want to reduce the financial burden of completing your degree, the Teach Forward Houston fellowship provides free tuition at the University of Houston for teachers who commit to four years of teaching in Houston’s public school system. Additionally, the Effective Teacher Fellowship offers paid teaching internships in Houston while you complete the requirements for teaching certification.
4400 W 18th St
Houston, TX 77092
Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in Houston
Both private and charter schools operate outside of public school requirements and many offer specialized learning opportunities and smaller classes. Unlike the public school system, they do not typically require you to have a teaching certificate to teach and many schools will accept a bachelor’s degree in a related subject. However, if you do have teaching experience and a valid teaching certificate, this may be an advantage for your application. You should contact private or charter schools directly to learn about teaching requirements and job openings. Private schools are funded independently while charter schools receive public funding but operate according to individualized school charters or mandates. Here are some well-known schools in Houston.
Private Schools in Houston
- Awty International School
- The Joy School
- The Kinkaid School
- Trafton Academy
- The Village School
- Yorkshire Academy
Charter Schools in Houston
- Amigos Por Vida Charter School
- DRAW Academy
- Harmony School of Excellence: Houston
- Ser Ninos Charter School
- University of Houston Charter School
Houston Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook
In 2015, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that teachers in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area earned an average salary between $57,070 and $57,530, though kindergarten teachers earned a slightly lower average salary ($53,120).2 These salaries were slightly above the state averages, which were reportedly between $51,160 and $53,640 and slightly below national averages between $54,510 and $60,440 in 2015.3,4
The job outlook for the Deep East Texas Workforce Development Area, which includes Houston, is positive. Houston teaching jobs are projected to increase by 12.8% through 2024, with the highest increase in overall jobs occurring in elementary teaching positions.5
Houston Teaching Jobs Boards
To look for open jobs in Houston, search online job boards or contact schools directly. Here are some job boards to get started.
- Houston Independent School Board Jobs
- Houston Teacher Job Fairs
- KIPP Houston Public School Jobs
- K12 Jobspot: Houston
You can also use our Jobs Board to search for teaching jobs in Houston now.
Additional Resources for Teaching in Houston
- Houston Federation of Teachers
- Houston Independent School Board: New Hires
- Region 4 Education Service Center
- Teach for America Houston
- Texas Computer Education Association
1. Houston Independent School District: General Information: https://www.houstonisd.org/domain/7908
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_26420.htm
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Texas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tx.htm
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, United States: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm
5. Texas Labor Market Information: Employment Projections: https://tracer2.com/?PAGEID=67&SUBID=114