A bachelor's degree, an educator's license or teacher certifications are the minimum levels of education and credentials an individual must possess in order to teach in any of the 50 states. Some states require prospective teachers to possess a master's degree.
Specific degree requirements vary from state to state, but there is a general preference for applicants with degrees in education. States may also favor applicants who have fulfilled a certain number of prerequisite coursework hours within subject areas related to the grade levels that a teacher intends to teach.
Owing to teacher shortages in certain subjects, states such as Arkansas offer alternative paths to teaching careers for applicants who have degrees in areas other than education, as of 2015. Regardless of an applicant's educational background, each potential teacher must pass the state's proficiency exams and complete a teacher's preparation program. The Praxis I and II and the Pre Professional Skills Test are a few common proficiency exams.
In Connecticut, there are three levels of certification, and each is valid for a certain number of years. Some levels of certification are contingent upon successfully completing a prescribed number of teaching hours within the local school system or another school system. Professionals with a bachelor's degree in a desired subject may also explore alternative routes and programs to certification.
Basic overviews of each state's requirements for becoming a teacher are available at Teach.com.