Teacher Education: Certification and Career Facts
Interested in teaching, but unsure of the steps to take to make it happen? As you'll see, each state sets its own regulations for teacher training. Read on for more information. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
How Do I Become a K-12 Teacher?
The first step to becoming a teacher at any level is to earn a bachelor's degree. You can major in education or in the subject you wish to teach. It's also possible to major in an unrelated field and then earn a master's degree in education, with courses in your chosen teaching subject. If you want to teach children or high school students at public schools, you'll need to become licensed in your state.
Many colleges and universities offer teacher certification programs alongside bachelor's degree programs in education. These allow you to earn both credentials at once and begin teaching immediately upon graduating. Many bachelor's degree programs in education and teacher certification programs can be completed partially online, although supervised teaching hours will be required.
Private schools aren't subject to state laws regarding teacher licensure, and you may be able to begin teaching in one with just a bachelor's degree in the field you plan to teach. Some states require public school teachers to earn master's degrees in education by a certain amount of time after beginning their teaching careers. National teacher certification is an advanced credential that you can seek after you're already licensed to teach in your state. This additional recognition may earn you a higher salary and help you compete for desirable jobs.
How Can I Teach at the Collegiate Level?
To teach at the community college level, you need a master's degree in your subject area. To teach at the university level, you need at least a master's degree, though a doctorate is more widely accepted as the standard. Postsecondary teaching doesn't require you to take education courses, but many employers will seek applicants with teaching experience. One way to earn this is to become a teaching assistant while working on your master's or doctoral degree. Teaching assistants usually receive tuition remission for up to a certain number of credits, and they either teach or assist the professor in lower-division courses.
What Is Required for Licensure?
Licensure requirements are set by state boards of education. All states require a certain number of observed teacher training hours and the passage of an exam; beyond that, the policies vary. Alternative licensure programs are currently available in all 50 states. These programs make it possible to begin teaching as a career change; this could be particularly useful if you're a professional who doesn't yet have a background in education. Qualified applicants begin teaching in high-need areas, and commonly earn their master's degrees through online or intensive summer programs.
What Job Benefits Come with Teaching?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), teachers around the country earn between $30,000-80,000 annually, with the median earnings between roughly $40,000-50,000. In addition, public school teachers have full health benefits and sick leave. Teachers typically work 10 months out of the year, with two months off in the summer. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2008, the median full-time university-level teacher salary was just under $59,000. Many postsecondary teaching jobs are part-time, and they don't come with benefits.
If you work as a public school teacher, you may increase your wages by earning continuing education credits. The higher your final degree level, the more you get paid, according to government standards.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: