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How to Become a Teacher

Although the requirements vary by state, you can learn the general requirements for earning a degree in education.


  • Step 1: Select your field of study Enroll in an education program at an accredited college or university. Degrees are generally available in Early Childhood Education, Middle Childhood Education, and Adolescent/Young Adult Education.
  • TIP: Education requirements vary by state and by type of school, so check with your state’s Department of Education for up-to-date information. Licensing requirements also differ for preschool, parochial, and vocational teachers.
  • Step 2: Complete your coursework Complete your college’s general studies requirements along with your education coursework. Most programs have a minimum grade point average requirement.
  • Step 3: Choose specialized content Choose a specialized field of study, such as music or Spanish. Be aware that such avenues may involve additional certification requirements, such as studying abroad.
  • TIP: Some states have instituted an alternative licensure program, which allows people with a bachelor’s degree to teach in their major without the required education units.
  • Step 4: Finalize student teaching Complete the required student teaching hours. You will be supervised in the classroom to gain practical experience.
  • Step 5: Earn your license Pass your final licensure examination in your chosen field of study. Upon passing, apply for a teaching license in your state.
  • FACT: Early formal teacher preparatory schools originated in some of the German states in the 18th century.

You Will Need

  • Academic counseling
  • College credits
  • An area of specialized content
  • A state teaching certificate

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