Home Teaching Programs in Massachusetts

Teaching Programs in Massachusetts

“A good education in a safe environment is the magic wand that brings opportunity,” declared Massachusetts Governor William Weld in 1993. His “magic wand” came in the form of a pen—as he signed a landmark overhaul of Massachusetts’ school funding.

Today, Massachusetts remains one of the top states in the nation for education—which is excellent news if you are considering becoming a teacher in the state.

How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in Massachusetts?

There are four paths you can take to a career as a teacher in the state of Massachusetts: the traditional route, an alternative certification, a career or technical education certification, or transferring your license from another state. All four ways allow you to teach in the state, but the steps for each differ.

Traditional Pathway to Becoming a Teacher in Massachusetts

The most straightforward path to becoming a teacher in Massachusetts is to pursue a B.A. in education, then complete the remaining steps to become licensed to teach in the state.

To qualify for an initial teaching license in the state, you must:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in education or the subject you want to teach
  2. Pass Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) tests for the subject (or subjects) you want to teach, such as secondary education or elementary school
  3. Obtain an SEI (sheltered English immersion) endorsement to serve English language learners, if you are going to be a core academic teacher
  4. Complete a department-approved educator preparation course

The initial license to teach in the state of Massachusetts is valid for five years.

Becoming a Teacher Through Alternative Certification or as a Career Switcher

Not all teachers know they want to be teachers when they first enter college. In fact, many successful teachers spend years in an entirely different profession before deciding to pursue a fulfilling career as a teacher.

If that sounds like you, then you may be eligible to pursue teaching certification through an alternative teaching certification. Applicants for a provisional teaching license must:

The provisional teaching license is valid for five years, during which time you must complete a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education-approved educator preparation program.

Career and Technical Education Teacher Certification in Massachusetts

You may be surprised to know that in certain situations, you may not need a bachelor’s degree at all to teach in Massachusetts. If you have worked in your field for several years, you may be eligible for a vocational education certification.

There are nearly 50 career and technical teacher licenses in Massachusetts, each with their own requirements. Vocational teaching licenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Animal science
  • Baking
  • Drafting
  • Hospitality management
  • Graphic communications
  • Marketing
  • Painting
  • Plumbing
  • Welding

To pursue a preliminary vocational educator license, you must:

  • Hold a high school diploma, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree in the subject matter you wish to teach (exact requirements vary by field)
  • Have the required number of years’ experience in the field (varies by license)
  • Pass the written and performance vocational subject matter test
  • Pass two MTELs: the Vocational Technical Literacy Skills Test and the Communication and Literacy Skills Test

After teaching for three years under a preliminary license, you may be eligible for a professional teaching certification license. To pursue a professional vocational teaching license, you must:

  • Complete a one-year induction program, sponsored by the school district
  • Maintain any licenses or certifications required in your field
  • Complete 39 college credits, including 18 in math, science, and English, and 21 professional credits
  • Obtain the Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) endorsement (as of July 1, 2021)

Teachers Moving to Massachusetts from a Different State

Are you a current teacher who is considering relocating to Massachusetts? The state created specific pathways for out-of-state applicants who wish to teach in the state.

If you hold a license in another state and have taught for three years, you may qualify for a temporary license, which allows you to teach while you pass the required MTEL tests.

Teachers who hold a teaching license in another state and have not taught for three of the past seven years may apply for an initial license in the state of Massachusetts under the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) interstate agreement.

To qualify for a reciprocal initial teaching license, you must have completed one of the following:

  • An approved traditional educator preparation program
  • An approved alternative or non-traditional educator preparation program
  • An educator preparation program sponsored by a university and accredited by NCATE, TEACH, or CAEP

Average Salaries and Projected Job Growth for Massachusetts Teachers

What salary can you expect as a teacher in Massachusetts? Average incomes vary based on the level of school you teach, as well as your education and experience. Overall, the teaching profession in Massachusetts is well compensated and growing faster than the U.S. average.

Career2018 Mean SalaryProjected Job Growth (2016-2026)
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education$82,60011%
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education$79,03011%
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education$80,02011%
Postsecondary Teaching*$100,39014%-22%  (varies by subject)

Salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; job growth from CareerOneStop

*Averaged from all postsecondary salaries

Teacher Training Programs in Massachusetts

Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts)

BU’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development’s programs include undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs that prepare teachers to improve the lives of kids and their families. Unique programs include ESL and deaf studies. Some courses can be completed online. Tuition is $55,522 per semester for on-campus students and $855 per credit for online courses.

Brandeis University (Waltham, Massachusetts)

Brandeis’ education programs include a minor in teacher education, a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), and a dual B.A./B.S.-M.A.T. degree. Tuition costs $51,245 per academic year for undergraduate programs.

Harvard Graduate School of Education (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

This Ivy League school offers a Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program that prepares students for leadership positions within education, including in the U.S. Department of Education. The three-year program includes a paid residency and requires a capstone project.  Tuition is $50,144 per academic year, plus a $2,507 fee for advanced doctoral students.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, Massachusetts)

UMass Amherst offers 17 unique education-based degree programs, including educational leadership and teacher education and school improvement. They also provide licensure courses. Tuition per semester is $8,194.50 for undergraduate and $8,486.50 for graduate students.

Massachusetts Teacher Resources