The Maine Teaching and Certification Resource

Prospective educators in Maine must be certified by the state’s Department of Education. The traditional path to Maine teacher certification is outlined on this page for those seeking information on how to become a teacher in Maine.

How to Become a Teacher in Maine

All Maine educators who wish to teach in K-12 public schools are required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, complete a teacher preparation program at an approved school, and pass the required Praxis exams for educators. Note that many private schools in Maine also prefer to hire educators who have a state-issued teaching license.

Candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program may be eligible for alternative teacher certification in Maine.

Maine has adopted a tiered licensing structure for educators that recognizes those who are highly qualified. New teachers typically receive the Provisional certificate, which is valid for two years. These teachers may advance to the Professional certificate, which is valid for five years, by completing new teacher orientation and two successful years of teaching. Teachers are also encouraged to pursue National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. While there is not a licensure tier specific to NBPTS-recognized educators, the state of Maine does recognize these educators through an additional salary supplement that continues for each year that the certificate is valid.

Quick Guide

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Maine

Projected Job Growth


Change in Teaching Jobs in ME through 20262

Perhaps the most important step to obtaining Maine teacher certification is completing a teacher education program at an approved school. You can see a list of approved teacher preparation programs through the Maine Department of Education. You can also compare key metrics for these state-approved teacher preparation programs by using the sortable table on our Maine schools page.

In addition to an approved teacher preparation program, candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies overseen by the US Department of Education. For those considering an online program, the school providing the program should be appropriately approved and accredited. If an aspiring teacher attends a school that is not appropriately credentialed, he or she will not be eligible to teach in Maine.

Additionally, there is a national accreditation organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP was formed from the merger of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). CAEP accreditation is not required but is highly respected for its rigorous standards.

Maine Teacher Education Requirements

Maine State SealIn order to earn Maine teacher certification through the traditional route, candidates must hold at least a bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. For traditional-route educators, teacher preparation is typically completed as part of the bachelor’s degree curriculum. If based in the state of Maine, the education program should include all necessary steps for teacher licensing in the state, including full-time student teaching.

Maine Teacher Testing Requirements

Candidates pursuing teaching certification in Maine must demonstrate their abilities in the fundamentals of reading, writing, and mathematics by passing the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam, commonly referred to as the Core. Teachers must also demonstrate competency in the subject(s) they wish to teach by submitting a passing score on the appropriate Praxis Subject Assessments.

Additional Maine Teacher Certification Requirements

Like most states, Maine requires that teaching applicants complete a criminal history record check. Before applicants send in their teaching application, fingerprints must be taken through Maine’s approved processing company, IdentoGO. For more information, contact the Maine Department of Education.

Maine Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once applicants have completed all of the steps towards Maine teacher certification outlined above, an application with the following supporting documents must be sent to the Maine Department of Education:

  • Official transcripts for all coursework taken.
  • Verification of completion of a bachelor’s degree and Maine educator preparation program at an approved school.
  • Passing Praxis exam scores.
  • Payment of non-refundable processing fees.

Applications should be sent to:

Maine Department of Education
Certification Office
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023

Visit the Maine Department of Education for further details on teaching certification in Maine.

Maine Teacher Outlook, Salary, and Jobs

During the 2016-2017 academic year, there were 605 K-12 public schools operating in Maine, with an estimated student enrollment of 180,512.3 With an estimated 14,750 public school teachers during this school year, Maine had a student-to-teacher ratio of 12:1.3

While the overall number of teachers in Maine is expected to decline over the next few years, openings are still expected due to replacements.2 Projections call for 380 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 190 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 370 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers through 2026.2 In Maine, the average annual salary for elementary school teachers is $53,570, the average annual salary for middle school teachers is $53,770, and the average annual salary for secondary school teachers is $54,240.4 Visit the Maine Education Association for more information regarding education policy, legislation, and job opportunities in the state.

TypeNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers1,420$35,560
Preschool Teachers, Special Education50*$36,510*
Kindergarten Teachers1,120$52,710
Elementary School Teachers5,390$53,570
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School1,040$51,980
Middle School Teachers3,390$53,770
Middle School Teachers, Special Education530$57,040
Secondary School Teachers5,790$54,240
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education850$51,910
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical EducationNot availableNot available

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2018.4
*Data from 2015.4

Teacher Shortages in Maine

According to the US Department of Education Teacher Shortage Area report for 2021-2022, Maine broadly has the following shortages5:

  • Art and Music Education (Art, Theatre), Pre-K-12
  • Career and Technical Education (Agricultural Business and Production Technology; Auto body Repair/Collision Repair Technician; Auto Mechanics; Building Maintenance; Business Administration/Management; Carpentry, Child Care and Guidance; Computer Technology; Diesel Mechanic; Electrical Occupations; Emergency Medical Services/Technology; Food Production Manager; Industrial Arts; Machine Tool/Machine Shop; Marine Maintenance; Plumbing; Transportation Careers; Welding, Brazing, and Soldering), Pre-K-12
  • Career and Technical Education (Forestry Products and Processing; Health and Medical Occupations; Public Safety/Protective Services), 9-12
  • Core Subjects (Elementary Education), Pre-K-12
  • Early Childhood (General), Pre-K-12
  • English as a Second Language (English as a Second Language), Pre-K-12
  • Health and Physical Fitness (Health Science, Physical Education), Pre-K-12
  • Language Arts (English), 7-12
  • Mathematics (General), Pre-K-12
  • Science (Physical Science), Pre-K-12
  • Science (Life Sciences), 7-12
  • Social Studies (General), 7-12
  • Special Education (Adaptive Physical Education; Deaf/Hearing Impairment; Generic Special Education; Severely and Profoundly Handicapped; Visual Impairment), Pre-K-12
  • World Languages (French, Italian, Latin, Spanish), Pre-K-12

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How do I become an elementary teacher in Maine?

Answer: To become an elementary teacher in Maine, you must be certified through the state. Certification requires a bachelor’s degree and completion of a teacher preparation program. You must also complete a student teaching assignment in an elementary school and pass the Praxis Core and Praxis Subject Assessments.

Question: Is there a teacher shortage in Maine?

Answer: Many areas in Maine are experiencing teacher shortages for the 2021-22 school year, including career and technical education, art, languages, math, science, and special education.5 Teachers focusing on these areas may find more job opportunities.

Question: How do I become a substitute teacher in Maine?

Answer: The state of Maine does not have minimum requirements for subs; requirements are decided at the school district level. If you are interested in being a substitute teacher in Maine, you should check with your local school district for more information.

1. Maine Department of Education Certification: https://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
3. National Center for Education Statistics, State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data, 2016-2017: https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/stnfis.asp
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Maine: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_me.htm
5. US Department of Education, Teacher Shortage Areas: https://tsa.ed.gov/