What Are Common Requirements to Become a Teacher?


Quick Answer

Common educational requirements to become a preschool teacher are an associate's degree. Educational requirements to become a kindergarten, elementary or high school teacher are a bachelor's degree, at minimum. Educators who teach at the postsecondary level are required to have a doctoral degree. Teaching certifications are often an additional requirement.

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What Are Common Requirements to Become a Teacher?
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Full Answer

The credentials required for those who teach at the kindergarten level or higher are typically a bachelor's degree and state certification or licensing. Many states also require student teaching experience, or require that first-year teachers receive mentoring. A criminal background check is also mandatory.

Aspiring educators must take both a general teaching certification exam, such as the Praxis test, along with a subject-specific exam for their chosen teaching area.

National Board Certification, an advanced teaching credential, doesn't replace the state licensing or certification requirement. Teachers obtain board certification by successfully completing a voluntary assessment that recognizes accomplished educators. The minimum requirements for consideration of national board certification are a bachelor's degree, the completion of three full years of teaching, and a valid state teaching license or certificate.

Projected job growth for preschool teachers between 2012 and 2022 is 17 percent. The projected job growth percentage for K-12 teachers and postsecondary educators is 12 and 19 percent, respectively. As of 2013, the median salary for preschool teachers was $32,040, $56,030 for K-12 teachers, and $74,040 for postsecondary educators.

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