Home Teaching Programs in Maine

Teaching Programs in Maine

Maine has a history of innovation in education. In 2002, the state was the first in the nation to give 7th and 8th-grade students and teachers portable devices to support technology-enhanced education. Today, Maine continues to prioritize technology in the classroom through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). This allows the state to upgrade and refine technology in participating schools through partnerships with Apple and HP. Maine needs talented and qualified teachers in both city and rural settings to lead the way.

How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in Maine?

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) issues two primary teaching certificates: the shorter conditional certificate and the standard initial certificate. To be eligible for either, you’ll first need to earn a bachelor’s degree, preferably from a state-approved teaching program. Whether you’re just starting your teaching career, are an established teacher coming from out of state, or are switching careers, Maine has an option for you.

Traditional Pathway to Becoming a Teacher in Maine

To earn a teaching certificate in Maine, you’ll need to meet several requirements. The state offers certification in over 150 endorsement areas. The conditions vary according to the grade and subject you want to teach, so research the requirements in your preferred area. At a minimum, the requirements typically include the completion of the following steps:

  • Education: A bachelor’s degree from a state-approved teacher education program that contains at least 60 liberal arts credit hours
  • Credit hours: Demonstrated credit hours in your area of certification
  • Exams: Passing scores in all required academic and subject-area PRAXIS exams
  • Experience: Experience teaching students
  • Background: Criminal background check and fingerprints
  • Application: Application for certification accompanied by official transcripts, a $100 fee, and test scores

Once these steps are complete, you’ll be issued a renewable certification that’s initially valid for five years. To renew your certificate, you’ll need to complete continuing education credits and resubmit your application with a $100 fee.

Becoming a Teacher Through Alternative Certification or as a Career Switcher

If you’re thinking of switching careers or returning to school to become a teacher, there are a few alternative pathways. You can qualify for a conditional certificate by completing a background check and fingerprint test, gaining a bachelor’s degree, and satisfying specific coursework requirements in your endorsement area. Conditional certificates are active for three years and are non-renewable.

To earn a standard, five-year professional certificate in Maine, you’ll need to complete a teacher preparation program and pass the required PRAXIS exams for your subject area. Some programs—like the University of Southern Maine’s Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP)—offer accelerated nine-month or two-year teacher preparation programs for those switching to teaching from another career.

Career and Technical Education Teacher Certification in Maine

To become a CTE teacher in Maine, you’ll need to demonstrate eligibility through job experience, test scores, coursework, and assessments, and will also need a valid certificate or license in your field. In total, there are five pathways for career and technical certification and endorsement in Maine, each combining work or teaching experience with education and training. Unlike other teachers, not all CTE teachers need to complete a bachelor’s degree; in many cases, a GED plus direct experience in your field is enough for initial certification.

A school will also need to hire you before you can be considered for certification.

Teachers Moving to Maine from a Different State

Out-of-state teachers who move to Maine have several options for initial certification. While Maine doesn’t have a reciprocity agreement with other states, they have an Interstate Agreement that helps experienced teachers become certified more quickly:

  • Professional Certificate: If you’ve taught in your endorsement area for five of the last seven years, are a graduate of an approved teacher preparation program, and have an active certificate in the area you want to teach.
  • Conditional Certificate: If you’re a graduate of a teacher preparation program and hold an active certification in the area you want to teach.

Teachers who have a certification but weren’t required to complete a teacher preparation program must apply and be reviewed through Maine’s transcript analysis pathway.

Average Salaries and Projected New Job Availability for Maine Teachers

At first glance, demand for teachers in Maine appears flat for the next decade, and below the national average of 3% estimated growth. However, schools in rural Maine often have difficulty filling open positions, and there was a shortage of teachers in certain subjects during the 2018-2019 academic year. While there may be fewer overall jobs available statewide due to a lower population (about 43 people/1,000 square miles), teachers in Maine enjoy a comfortable median salary when compared to the state’s cost of living.

Career2018 Mean SalaryProjected Job Change 2018–28
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education$53,570-1%
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education$53,770-1%
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education$54,240-1%
Postsecondary Teaching$56,490*0%

Salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth data from CareerOneStop.
*Averaged from all postsecondary salaries

Teacher Training Programs in Maine

Several Maine DOE-approved undergraduate and graduate teaching degree programs are offered. Here are a few options.

University of Maine (Orono)

The College of Education and Human Development at the University of Maine offers several bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs, and graduate certificates for aspiring teachers. Bachelor’s-level students can choose from several grade and endorsement-specific options, including the unique Kinesiology and Physical Education program. This prepares students to teach or coach students with physical disabilities, or in physical education. Graduate students can choose from six graduate certificates or 10 degree programs, many of which are offered online through the school’s distance-learning portal.

Tuition 2019-2020:

  • Undergraduate Resident: $300 per credit hour
  • Undergraduate Non-resident: $977 per credit hour
  • Undergraduate New England Regional or Canadian Resident: $495 per credit hour
  • Graduate Resident: $450 per credit hour
  • Graduate Non-resident: $1,466 per credit hour
  • Graduate New England Regional or Canadian Resident: $743 per credit hour
  • Online Undergraduate: $375 per credit hour
  • Online Graduate: $563 per credit hour

University of New England (Biddeford/Portland)

At the Department of Education at UNE, students can choose from several degree options at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. UNE students study at either the Biddeford or Portland campus, both of which have tranquil, small-town vibes and provide opportunities for hands-on classroom training as part of their coursework. All of the college’s graduate programs can be taken online.

Tuition 2019-2020:

  • Undergraduate: $37,390 per school year, or $1,320 per credit hour (for less than 12 credits)
  • Online Graduate: $580 per credit hour for master’s; $920 per credit hour for doctorate

Colby College (Waterville)

The Education Program at Colby College encourages a multidisciplinary approach to education. The curriculum is informed by a commitment to social justice in schools and access to education for everybody. Students can undertake a bachelor’s in education studies, or pursue a Professional Certification as a minor. To qualify for the minor, students either need to complete a major in the subject they plan to teach or education studies. The college partners with local schools and organizations to provide students with opportunities to work in classrooms and on service-learning projects, and many also have the chance to collaborate with faculty on research projects.

Tuition 2019-2020:

Bates College (Lewiston)

The Bates College Department of Education offers two undergraduate degrees. With the Teacher Education minor, students can complement their primary major (and thus their teaching subject area) with a secondary-grade (7-12) teaching certificate. Similarly, with the educational studies minor, students can earn an elementary-grade teaching certificate. Students are encouraged to explore social structures and cultural processes to better understand the democratic purpose of schools, both locally and abroad. Unlike most colleges, Bates charges students a single attendance fee and helps them create a highly individualized curriculum.

Tuition 2019-2020:

  • Fees: $71,388 for the academic year (includes tuition, room, board, and fees)

Husson University (Bangor)

Husson’s School of Education has a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs to prepare students for careers in teaching, education, and counseling. The undergraduate Teacher Education Program teaches elementary or secondary-grade education and educational studies. The graduate programs mainly focus on counseling, with three master’s programs: School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling (LPLC), and Human Relations. While Husson offers several online degree programs, the School of Education does not.

Tuition 2020-2021:

  • Undergraduate: $612 per credit hour, or $18,972 for a full-load (31 credits)
  • Graduate: $642 per credit hour

Maine Teacher Resources

  • Maine Department of Education (DOE): The Maine DOE oversees certification and education policy, and supports schools and leaders throughout the state.
  • Maine Education Association (MEA): The MEA is a member-driven association of teachers in the state. They provide training, networking, advocacy, legal services, and more for its members.
  • Maine State Teachers of the Year Association (MSTOYA): The MSTOYA is a collection of aspiring, practicing, and retired educators that offer networking, professional development, and support. The group also runs the Maine State Teacher of the Year Program.
  • Maine Educators’ Consortium (MEC): The MEC is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with Endicott College to design over 8,000 courses for teachers. Courses are designed by teachers for teachers.
  • Foundation for Portland Public Schools (FPPS): The FPPS helps raise awareness and donations for Portland public schools through fundraisers, community outreach, and grant programs.

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