Thinking about becoming a teacher? Then think about the specific career path you plan to take, and carefully research the requirements you’ll need to complete in order to be qualified to teach in your state.
What Degree Will You Need?
Generally to begin teaching, a qualified, licensed teacher needs a 4 year degree. For teachers considering special education or k-5 teaching exclusively, a degree in education may be their best bet. For secondary schools, or for special subjects, potential educators may instead to choose to major in their topic of interest. If so, additional research should be undertaken to see if there are specific credit requirements teachers must fulfill in order to teach. Even if one’s major is in the topic one plans to teach, there may be requirements for recent classes in computer technology, for example, to ensure that all new teachers are up to date.
Beyond the Degree
Teaching certification isn’t completed with a 4 year degree. Many states require competency testing. This testing is similar to the testing required for college admission, for example. Basic skills will be assessed, such as mathematics and reading comprehension; there may be a writing portion as well.
Once you’ve completed your degree and passed your certification tests, you may be required to complete an on-the-job training. This may consist of an unpaid training program, like an internship, or a paid position, like a teaching assistant.
While the process to become a teacher requires commitment, and may pose challenges, many people feel fulfilled once they have completed their certifications.