Teaching Training Programs by State
There’s a critical teaching shortage in America, making one of the most noble professions more important than ever. Teaching can be an extremely rewarding career, as you can share your enthusiasm for learning or a particular subject with the decision makers of the future. If you think a teaching career might be right for you, read on. We’ll guide you in finding the best teacher training programs near you and introduce you to popular teaching specialties so you can find the right program for you.
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- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Finding Teaching Degrees Near You
Teaching offers many career options, as there are many grade levels and subjects to choose from. The first step in deciding which program is right for you is to consider your career goals. For example, if you know you want to teach children under the age of 12, you should consider getting your degree in elementary education. If you want to teach special education, on the other hand, you’ll want to select a program that prepares you for teaching students that learn differently than traditional students.
To find teacher training programs near you, consider the following:
- Your preferred specialty: Figure out what grade level and/or subject you want to teach and look for the best programs to prepare you. A reputable program may cost more, but phenomenal education departments and specialty programs are distinguishing factors of a top school.
- Your degree level requirements: Your degree determines what grades or subjects you are eligible to teach. For example, an associate degrees is sufficient for early childhood education teachers, substitutes, or anyone who wants to get their foot in the door, whereas a bachelor’s degree allows you to become licensed to teach in a public school. Graduate degrees are for teachers who want to work in administration or teach at the college level. A master’s degree may allow you to teach community college courses or earn more money as a teacher, while a doctorate in education (EdD) allows you to join leadership roles in upper administration or work as a college professor or researcher.
- The location of the program: Attending a program in the state you want to teach in ensures you are adequately prepared for your state’s licensure requirements, making the start of your career much easier. If you want to go to school in a state that isn’t where you’d eventually like to teach, be sure your program’s requirements meet the licensing requirements for the state in which you’d eventually like to teach.
- Make sure your program is accredited: Make sure the teacher education program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. Otherwise, your program may not meet common industry standards for licensing, your employer may not accept your degree, you won’t be eligible to receive federal financial assistance, and you won’t be permitted to transfer your credits to another school.
- Consider the qualifications of your program’s faculty: Students can learn a lot from an esteemed professor in their field. Check out the faculty before you join a teacher education program and compare their credentials, experience, published work, and teaching experience.
- Decide if you want an online, in-person, or hybrid program: Students in teaching programs, especially those pursuing a graduate degree, may enjoy the flexibility of online courses; though keep in mind that all accredited teacher training programs will include an in-person aspect (student teaching). Some universities offer hybrid courses that allow you to take both online and on-campus courses. Online and hybrid programs are perfect for educators who want to continue their education while working.
- Program cost: The price of your education is vital because you want to earn a decent return on your investment, making more than what you put into school. Each program offers varying tuition prices, financial aid, and scholarships for students. Research the schools you want to attend and make sure you can pay for the program you select.
- Program prerequisites: Ensure you meet the school’s minimum entry requirements. Highly competitive programs quickly dismiss you otherwise. Some master’s programs, for example, may require applicants to be working currently as teachers.
- Salary: If you want to make the highest salary after graduation, you will want to select a program in a top paying state, though you should consider the cost of living as well. Your salary may go further in a state that doesn’t pay as much if living expenses are low. The top paying states for teachers vary based on the grade you teach: elementary school, middle school, or high school.
Teaching Salaries by State
Teaching salaries vary based on a wide range of factors, such as how long you’ve been teaching, location, cost of living, and the local political climate.
Nationwide, high school teachers make a median salary of $60,320 (2018). According to 2018 BLS reports, the five states with the top salaries for high school teachers include:
- New York – $85,300
- California – $80,510
- Massachusetts – $80,020
- Alaska – $77,920
- Connecticut – $76,980
Types of Education Degrees
Before you enroll in an education degree program, you need to choose a degree path based on your career goals. You can select either an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate program. Use the following chart to learn more about types of education degrees.
|Total Time to Complete Degree||2 years||4 years||1-3 years||3-5 years|
|Average Cost of Degree||$12,000-$30,000 per year||$35,000-$47,000 per year||$8,000-$30,000 per year||$21,000-$55,000 total|
|Jobs Degree Prepares You For||Early child educator; support staff positions, like substitute teaching, paraeducator, classroom aid, or childcare specialist||Teacher at any public school, no matter what grade level; many middle through high school teachers earn a specialization in a particular subject||Administrator and leadership positions; teaching at a community college||Upper administration and leadership roles; university professors; education researcher; curriculum director; educational policy maker|
Admission and Program Requirements by State
Admission, degree, and program requirements vary by program and may vary by state, but typically include the following at each degree level:
- Associate: Associate degrees are offered at community colleges or universities, where a diploma or GED are required. A background check may also be necessary.
- Bachelor’s: Bachelor’s degrees are required to become a teacher in public schools. Some bachelor’s education programs may accept freshman and sophomore students into their program. Tests like basic skills tests and Praxis assessments are required to enter programs in most states. Undergraduate students must complete student teaching hours, known as field experience, for graduation.
- Master’s: Graduate programs are competitive and may require an undergraduate GPA of over 3.0. In most states, master’s applicants are required to take the GRE, provide letters of recommendation, and may be required to provide writing samples. Some graduate programs ask candidates to have a minimum number of hours educating children while others are fine with a statement of purpose.
- EdD: Doctor of Education (Ed.D) applicants need to hold a master’s degree and provide a writing sample in academic research. Most states prefer candidates with at least five years of field experience and a 3.0 GPA.
Popular Teaching Specialties
The most in-demand teaching specialties may vary by state, but these are the most underserved subjects nationwide:
- Because of a nationwide deficit of high school educators with STEM backgrounds, STEM teachers are considered great assets. STEM subjects include science, technology, engineering, and math.
- Special education: There is a growing need for special education teachers. Also known as exceptional child education, these educators hold bachelor’s degrees and are certified to teach K-12 kids with special needs. Many special education teachers nationwide hold a B.S.Ed. degree with a specialization certificate in either Autism Spectrum Disorder or Reading (literacy) Specialist.
- English as a Second Language (ESL): A bachelor’s degree with a specialization in ESL is required. ESL teachers work in K-12 classrooms and are in high demand to help bilingual students, with Spanish being the language most in need.
- Early childhood education: Early childhood education teachers study early childhood growth and development to prepare them for work with young children ranging from infancy to the age five in daycare, preschool, or kindergarten. Those with an associate degree in early childhood education are eligible to work in the field.
- Social Studies: Depending on the grade they teach, social studies teachers may provide instruction in topics ranging from history, to politics, to economics.
State Requirements for Teaching
Although the U.S Department of Education oversees national requirements for all educators, each state maintains a board of education to control teaching licensure. Most states require at least a bachelor’s degree and certification to teach. Prospective teachers must meet the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which includes:
- Pass a basic knowledge and skills test: Applicants must pass a basic skills test for admission to an education program, which covers reading comprehension, writing, math, science, and social studies.
- Bachelor’s degree: Earning a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school that’s approved by your state’s board of education helps with state certification and licensure. Providing official transcripts may also be required for licensure.
- Content exam (if applicable): To teach in a particular subject, a content exam toward the end of a program will be required. Content or specialization exams vary by state and are frequently revised based on current practices.
- Performance assessment: A writing-intensive assessment, designed to test performance, will be required. It is referred to as the EdTPA in most states and is typically completed during your student teaching experience.
Licensing Requirements: State by State Guide
Before working as a teacher, state certification or a teaching license is required. Licensing requirements vary by state, but most states require the following for licensing:
- Background check: A background check must be performed to work with children.
- Student teaching hours: All states require a certain number of weeks of immersive student teaching experience to become licensed. Specific requirements may vary by state and the type of teaching license pursued.
- State-required exams: The Praxis is a series of three exams a student will take throughout their teacher education program. The exams are used by state boards in their licensing decision making. Some states require a fourth exam and only four states don’t require the Praxis at all.
- Fee: The Praxis may cost between $150 to $300. Exam fees vary based on state. Certification fees also vary by state and range between $40 to $200.
- Professional development: Up-to-date knowledge on teaching strategies and content are vital. After you earn your degree and certification, you are required to complete continuing education courses every year to maintain your license.
Teacher certification can be a confusing process as requirements vary from state to state. We’ve made the information hunt easier – just select the state you’d like to teach in and find out more about what the requirements for licensing in that state are and where to go to find out more.
Teacher Reciprocity Across States
Because licensure is handled by state school boards, requirements vary. If you become licensed to teach in one state and decide to move to another, you will need to obtain new licensure if the states do not hold a reciprocity agreement. You must meet each state’s requirements and earn licensure before you can teach, regardless of how long you’ve been teaching.
Most states offer reciprocity agreements that allow teachers to move between states easily. Reciprocity allows teachers to fill teacher shortages nationwide, alleviating some of the steps to obtain new state certification.
The Interstate Agreement was created in 2011 to allow a licensed teacher to earn certification in one state and teach in another. These states agree to recognize the teaching credentials issued by the other. New York, for example, has an agreement with California. Be advised that just because one state accepts another’s license, doesn’t mean the reverse is true. For example, although Georgia accepts licenses from Connecticut, Connecticut does not accept licenses from Georgia.
You may need to meet additional criteria if you do not maintain all the new state’s requirements, even if they have an agreement. Most states require out-of-state teachers to complete additional training prior to teaching. Although you won’t have to undergo a new teacher education program, you may need to take a test or complete a classroom experience to ensure you meet the new state’s standards.
Check each state’s agreements and what additional requirements may apply. Six states offer full teacher license reciprocity, where a fully licensed teacher is automatically eligible for a standard teaching license. You can search each state’s specific requirements on the Education Commission website.