What Are the Educational Requirements to Become a School Teacher?

All school teachers must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, and public school teachers must have a state license or certificate. Some states require teachers to have a master's degree or a major in a certain subject matter, such as history or mathematics.

Teachers who work in private schools do not need to meet the requirements of the state. However, many private schools still require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in order to teach. Most states have a few certifications. These include a secondary or high school certification, an early childhood certification and elementary certification. The secondary certification covers ninth through twelfth grade; early childhood covers kindergarten through third grade and elementary covers first through eighth grade.

In many cases, even after working as a teacher, individuals are required to complete continuing education requirements in order to retain a license. Teachers may also be required to submit to a background check, and most must go through a student-teaching program in order to get classroom experience.

Most people who become teachers need four to six years post-secondary education prior to starting work. Teachers should have excellent communication skills and be patient and resourceful. With more education, many teachers go on to become principals or take on other roles in school administration.