Review Licensure for Teacher Certification

Teacher Certification and Licensure Requirements

Education Requirements for Teaching Certification

At a minimum teachers must hold a Bachelors degree, preferably from an accredited college. uses information from the Council for the Accreditation on Educator Preparation on this page.

CAEP Accredited Teaching ProgramsThe Council for the Accreditation on Educator Preparation works as a whole to prepare colleges to offer coursework for potential teachers that will prep them to sit for exams such as the Praxis. Some states are now requiring that all teachers hold a Master’s degree, or earn one within the first few years of teaching. Several colleges now offer Master’s degree programs online as a convenient and accessible option for a teacher’s schedule.

Bachelor’s Degrees

Those of you interested in an energetic career in the education field can begin by completing coursework on the Bachelors level. This can be done by attending traditional campuses or online schools. Students have various options of what to major in. For students who want to focus on younger children, most states offer a degree in Pre-k through 3rd grade. This degree program prepares students to understand the development level of smaller children typically ages 4-8 and how to present information to them in the classroom that they will be able to absorb.

These degree programs offer insight into how to manage behavior in the classroom for younger students. Students who plan to major in Early Elementary Education will most likely teach all subjects in their classroom. At this early age, that includes reading, writing, math, and art. Teachers who major in Early Elementary Education will be qualified to sit for exams after graduation, and once they pass these exams, they can apply for a teaching license in their state. This job offers teachers a chance to make a positive impression on children that are eager to learn at an early age.

Learn more about a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.

Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

The most common degree program for students interested in becoming an Elementary school teacher is a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. Teachers who complete the coursework and degree requirements for this major are eligible to obtain a teaching license for grades Kindergarten through Sixth grade. Information on comes from programs that are accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

All of that information will ensure you are eligible for certification and licensure through accredited programs. After graduating with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education, students will sit for the licensing exam in the state in which they intend to teach. Upon obtaining a teaching license, students have the option to pursue a Masters degree in Elementary Education or a similar field of Education to add another certification to their license.

Learn more about Elementary Education.

Consider Pursuing a Master’s in a Specialty Subject Area

For students who are interested in a challenging and vigorous job, teaching older kids and teens might be the job for you. If you are interested in teaching Middle School or Secondary School, has all of the information that you need. Secondary teachers have a few options when choosing a major in college.

The suggested route is to pursue a Bachelors degree in the subject that you prefer to teach. For example, if a teacher was interested in teaching Middle School Math or High School Math, then that student would major in Math, with a minor in Secondary Education. The major classes prepare teachers to know their subject.

The subject courses also prepares students to take their content Praxis exams. A minor in Secondary Education will help teachers understand the best way to approach behavior management, classroom strategies, and teaching methods for adolescents. The education courses would also prepare teachers to pass the Praxis exams that pertain to teaching and no subject matter. Most states require every teacher to pass 2-4 exams before being eligible for a teaching license.

State Licensure

As with other careers, teachers need a license to teach in the state in which they live. Obtaining a license ensures that teachers are knowledgeable in their subject and well trained to deliver and present information to their students in a productive method. Teaching license are regulated through the state government, usually located in the state’s capital. Each state has different requirements and regulations for applying for a teaching license.

The most common route is to complete a Bachelor’s degree in the subject or grade level in which you want to teach, then sit for the exams, then apply for licensing in your state. The college where you graduate can help you with the application process, and the local school district can assist the process as well once you’ve been hired. Some states have the applications available online.

How Certification Works

Becoming a licensed teacher can be done in just a few steps after graduation. It is important once you have graduated to send your transcripts to the state’s licensing board. They will also require a copy of your test results. Once they have both of these, you can apply for a teaching license.

If teachers want to add a certification to teach a new subject or different grade level, then an examination is required. Each state has a set of minimum scores it will accept in order to add the certification to a teaching license. offers information from each state on the certification process.

All information provided on comes from the Council for the Accreditation on Educator Preparation. Most school districts have a Human Resource professional that can answer your questions and give advice throughout the process.

Traditional Path to Teaching

Most teachers take a traditional route when obtaining a teaching license. This is the most common process after graduating with a degree in Education. Alternative Teaching License are only available under rare circumstances.

The traditional path is for teachers who have majored in what they plan to teach, and who have successfully passed the series of exams required by their specific state. The teaching license is in place to make sure all applicants who apply to teach in public schools are qualified in their content knowledge.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation works with colleges to make sure their education programs are accredited, so that when students graduate, they are better prepared to obtain a teaching license.

All of the information for state specific certification provided by comes from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

For those of you that have always wanted to become a teacher and who have majored in Education, you are eligible to apply for a teaching license upon graduation as soon as you pass the required standardized test in your practicing state.

Alternative Paths to Certification has all of the updated information you need to obtain an alternative certification. Alternative certifications are not as common as the traditional paths. Some districts in rural or inner city areas have a difficult time finding teachers that are certified. If a person has a Bachelors or Master’s degree in something other than education, and does not have an education background in college, they can still be considered for certification.

If you are hired by a school district, the school district can apply on your behalf for a temporary license while you work on your education requirements. Temporary license are usually good for 2-3 years depending on the grade level and subject you are hired to teach. During those years, you are required to complete education coursework at a college or university. This usually can be done online since you will be teaching full-time. Along with completing coursework, teachers with a temporary license will also have to take the same series of exams that conventional teachers take when receiving their license.

Why Certification

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation helps colleges keep their education programs accredited so teachers are eligible for licensing and certification. The certification process is necessary before teachers can be hired by a public school district, unless they take the alternative route.

Certification promotes high quality teachers that have displayed knowledge in their subject and on the grade level in which they plan to teach. The certification process also allows teachers to add endorsements to their certification at any time. Once a teacher holds a teaching license in a specific state, they can pass a series of exams in a new subject and add that endorsement to their certification. offers the information you need on different types of endorsements and certifications that you will have the option of adding to your teaching license.