Requirements for licensure and certification vary from state to state. Completion of a bachelor's degree is a baseline requirement to teach an academic subject (e.g., math, science, English) in all states. However, a bachelor's degree may not be required for career/technical education (e.g., electronics, automotive, computer networking).
Requirements generally include:
- Obtaining a bachelor's degree
- Completing a teacher preparation program
- Student teaching
- Background check
- State testing
Praxis® tests are taken by individuals entering the teaching profession as part of the certification process required by many states and professional licensing organizations. The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, DANTES, offers funding for eligible service members taking this exam. Visit DANTES to learn more about Praxis funding for current service members.
Formal teacher preparation programs are typically hosted by appropriately accredited state approved institutions that lead to licensure in K-12 public education content areas (e.g. math, science). In most states, such programs are referred to as “traditional routes to certification”.
Alternative Routes to Certification are non-traditional teacher preparation pathways designed for those individuals who have not completed a formal teacher preparation program at an appropriately accredited institution but wish to obtain necessary training to become a state certified teacher. Education and work experience requirements may apply for specific areas of interest.
Reciprocity is a system whereby a recommendation for licensure from a state-approved education training program at an accredited college or university is recognized in another state. However, reciprocity does not guarantee that a license in one state can be “traded in” for a license in another state.