ADVERTISEMENT |  REMOVE ADS

Becoming a Teacher

Excellent information on licensing and certification requirements, financial aid resources, and more.
Grades:
K |
1 |
2 |
3 |
4 |
5 |
6 |
7 |
8 |
9 |
10 |
11 |
Themes:
CREATE NEW FOLDER
Cancel

Becoming a Teacher

Licensing and Certification

The helpful information below on the basics of licensure and certification is reproduced with the kind permission of Recruiting New Teachers, Inc. (RNT). Established in 1986, RNT works to raise esteem for teaching, expand the pool of qualified teachers, and promote strategies for effective teacher recruitment, development, and retention.

Licensing/Certification Requirements

Each state sets its own teacher licensure/certification requirements. Most states require that teachers pass a licensing test. To find the most up-to-date information about state licensure/certification, visit the appropriate state agency's website.

Despite differences in state licensure requirements, most agree that teacher candidates should:

  • Have at least a bachelor's degree, and, in some states, a fifth year or master's degree.
  • Complete an approved, accredited education program.
  • Have a major or minor in education (for elementary education teaching).
  • Have a major in the subject area in which they plan to teach (for middle and high school teaching).
  • Have a strong liberal arts foundation. Pass either a state test, the widely used PRAXIS exam, or another exam (for information about PRAXIS, visit the Educational Testing Service). Review these
Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification

Alternative certification is an umbrella term for a wide range of programs that offer nontraditional routes to becoming a teacher. For example, there are teacher preparation programs for mid-career adults and paraprofessionals who want to become teachers and may have had valuable work experience in another field. There also are national programs that provide nontraditional routes to teaching for recent college graduates.

According to the National Center for Education Information, candidates who become licensed/certified through alternative routes usually have a bachelor's degree, go through a screening process, are trained on the job while taking courses, and meet high standards of performance.

For information about alternative routes to teacher certification in your state, visit the appropriate state agency. For more background about alternative routes to teacher certification programs, visit the National Center for Education Information. This organization offers data and the most up-to-date information about alternative certification programs across the country. For More Information...

See also , Building a Professional Portfolio, and Resources & References. To find job listings for teachers, visit RNT's Job Bank.

Your Free Gift

The Ultimate Back-to-School Guide

Teachers are always thinking about their students, but devotion to their progress shouldn’t come at the expense of your own. That’s why we’ve created an “Ultimate Back-to-School Guide” for teachers based on our nine future-ready skill domains.

What you can expect from this guide:

  • Learn 9 ways to become a better teacher by developing a positive mindset.
  • Links to dozens of free resources curated by our experts to help you both in and outside the classroom.
  • Clear steps to improve your teaching and general well-being.

Sign up for a premium membership to get your Ultimate Back-to-School Guide absolutely free!

SIGN UP TO CLAIM YOUR FREE GIFT

ultimate back-to-school guide for teachers

Register