Bachelor's Degrees in K-12 Education

To become a K-12 teacher you will need to acquire a bachelor's degree and pass a state licensing exam. Learn about these requirements and the opportunities available to teachers. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Will a Bachelor's Degree in K-12 Education Qualify Me to Become a Teacher?

While a bachelor's degree alone isn't enough to become a K-12 teacher, most undergraduate programs include the courses needed to obtain state licensure. You can expect to take classes like educational psychology and classroom assessment that prepare you to take state licensing exams. It's a good idea to check with your state's licensing boards before you begin the program to make sure the school you choose offers the requirements you need to become a licensed teacher.

Career Preparation Program includes courses that prepare students for state licensing exams
Online Availability Online programs are available with in-person requirements for student teaching and classroom observation
Common Courses Child development, teaching methods for science, teaching technology, classroom management, teaching methods for math
Median Wage (2014) $53,760 (for kindergarten and elementary school teachers)
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 6% growth (for kindergarten and elementary school teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

Several schools offer online education bachelor's degrees that prepare you for state licensing exams. The coursework can be completed entirely online with the exception of student teaching and classroom observation requirements. You can access your coursework through the Internet, participate in online discussions and work in groups with other online students.

The education you receive through the online program follows the same curriculum as the program for on-campus students. If you are interested in taking both online and on-campus courses, you can find schools with hybrid programs that allow you to do both.

What Will I Learn?

Most schools don't offer a general K-12 education degree, instead requiring you to specialize in elementary, secondary or early childhood education. Your coursework will directly relate to the education level you plan to teach and can include teaching methods for reading, math and science. You can also take courses in teaching technology, child development and classroom management. A student teaching experience working in an actual classroom setting is required for the bachelor's degree program.

What Career Opportunities Are Available?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), teaching opportunities for kindergarten and elementary school teachers are expected to increase by 6% during the period of 2014 to 2024 ( The BLS reports that a large number of teachers are expected to retire during this same period, creating more job opportunities for newly licensed teachers. More opportunities are available if you are interested in teaching in rural or inner-city schools, and earning a master's degree often boosts a teacher's salary potential. According to the BLS, the median salary for kindergarten and elementary school teachers in May 2014 was $53,760.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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