How to Become a Teacher

Welcome! EducationDegree.com contains the most comprehensive directory on the Web of Bachelors in Education, Alternative Certification and Post-Baccalaureate/Masters degree programs, for people who want to become teachers.

What Degree do You Need to Be a Teacher?

The answer is simple enough-- you need a teaching degree. When you set out to learn what you need to do to become a teacher, you'll want to start by finding out the degree and licensing requirements in your state. Rules vary, so it's important to do your research.

There's more detail down below on the various paths to becoming a teacher, but the short story is that if you don't yet have a Bachelors degree, you will want to look into Bachelors in Education programs. This would be the first step in your education to become a teacher.

You can start to figure out how to become a teacher by contacting the schools below to request information.

Featured Online Programs:

Online programs may not be available in all states

If you already have a Bachelors degree, but it's in a field other than education, you will want check out Alternative Certification programs. Instead of having to get an additional Bachelors degree, Alternative Certification will put you on the fast track to get a teaching degree

In either case, you should also spend some time finding out more about what you need to become a teacher in your state by looking on the Department of Education website of the state you want to teach in.

Tell me more about the degree options needed to be a teacher....

As a rule, you should try to contact multiple schools when you're looking for a teaching degree program. As with many other things, the way to find the best teaching degree is to spend some time shopping around. There are very meaningful differences between the programs in terms of cost, admissions requirements, and other characteristics.

Request program details from the schools below on your route to get a teaching degree.

I Want to be a Teacher, Where Should I Start?

Despite the huge variety of teaching certification programs out there, there are a few universal elements to entering the teaching field. The first is that you need some basic schooling before becoming a teacher. This can be either a traditional Bachelors Degree in Education program, or it can be an Alternative / Post-Baccalaureate or Masters program designed for people who figured out later in life that they wanted to be teachers.

After you're done with getting the specific degree needed to be a teacher in your state, you'll need to prove that you were paying attention in class. If you want to teach in public schools, you'll need to be certified by the state you intend to teach in. This usually involves a test like the PRAXIS exam. Your initial teaching certification typically qualifies you to teach for a number of years (3-5 is common), during which you will have to reach additional milestones (take more tests, get more schooling) to achieve your permanent certification.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Teaching Degree?

The minimum time that teachers need to go to school is four years - this is typically the amount of times it takes to complete a bachelor's degree. Teaching degrees in addition to bachelors vary based on the degree type you are seeking. Some masters degrees can be obtained in as little as one year and some require more time to complete. Each school varies on its requirements so you will want to make sure to inquire about the length of the degree program when speaking with schools.

The bottom line is that each state has a different answer to the question of how to become a teacher, so you should plan to spend some time looking through the state Department of Education website in your state before you enroll in a teaching degree program. In many states, you can get a teaching job with no official certification at all, provided that you go enroll in a certification program. This typically happens in "high needs" subjects and locations, and is determined by the state/local education authorities, so it's worth checking with your state Department of Education as well as the local school districts.

Before Becoming a Teacher

On a related note, if you think a teaching career is the path for you, you might want to talk to the local school districts about volunteering in a school, or taking a non-teaching job just to see what the environment's like, and what the job of a teacher really entails. This can also be a good way to get a foot in the door for future teaching job openings in that school.