Both campus-based and online teacher certification programs are excellent ways to qualify for a teaching career. Some people like to study with others in a classroom setting, whilst others find online learning more convenient for their lifestyle. Many programs are available, ranging from those that prepare you to teach at pre-school to those that specialize in tertiary teaching, and they’re available from bachelor’s to doctor’s levels. This page gives details of the programs and where they can be found. In particular, it has useful details of how and where to find online teacher training programs.
Programs for the certification of teachers
In order to teach in public schools in the US, you need to have passed a suitable program of study and obtained teacher certification (licensure). There are various specifically designed teacher certification programs, such as those on this page. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, you can take a one-year teacher training program to satisfy licensing requirements. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can take a degree program that includes the required teacher training.
The teaching certification programs and other programs described in the list below include ones for different stages in the education system (e.g., early childhood certification or elementary certification) as well different specializations (e.g., online ESL certification or special ed certification).
What is studied in teacher certification programs?
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can take a one-year certification program. Teacher training certification programs provide an introduction to classroom teaching methods, including supervised practice in a classroom setting. These programs are available online, but you are required to have access to a school class in order to undertake supervised teaching practice.
If you don’t have a degree, you can take a degree program that includes the required teacher training. These teacher’s certificate programs typically include: educational psychology, child development and learning, instructional methods, curriculum design and development, classroom management techniques, assessment and evaluation, and educational technology. You also need to have supervised practice in a classroom. This ensures that teaching is the appropriate career for you.
Advanced teacher education courses – such as found in the M.Ed. Elementary Ed – focus on topics such as pedagogy, curriculum design, school administration, and leadership. A masters degree will usually include a substantial research project.
How do you obtain teacher certification?
State teacher certification requirements are often slightly different in each state in the US, so you should check the specific requirements where you want to teach. However, in general terms, most states require the following to gain certification:
- Completion of a teacher training program which includes supervised practice teaching;
- An undergraduate degree:
- To teach at an elementary school level, an undergraduate major or minor in education or a Masters degree in education;
- To teach secondary subjects, an undergraduate degree in the desired subjects, as well as the completion of an educational program which usually includes a student teaching and/or practicum component;
- The passing of a state-administered exam.
Some states require a Master’s degree, although it is sometimes acceptable to be close to finishing one.
Even if you are not actually teaching, but are working in an educational setting, it is useful to have teacher licensure.
What are the career prospects for teachers
Career prospects for graduates of teacher certification programs are good – according to the United States Department of Labor the job growth for teachers is expected to be around 12% over the next several years. Salaries vary according to state, qualifications and experience. Teachers in K-12 education earn an average income of $43,000 a year, but the figure is higher in some states and lower in others. Salaries also increase with experience and a teacher certification masters degree. See the table in the right hand column for recent salary details.
List of schools and programs