Drama Teacher: Education and Career Facts

Drama teachers at public K-12 schools typically need a bachelor's degree and a teaching license, and those working at postsecondary schools need a graduate degree. Keep reading to learn more about training programs, career options and wage estimates for drama teachers. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

You can teach kindergarten through 12th grade at many public and private schools with a bachelor's degree and the appropriate licensing or certification. You may be able to teach at the postsecondary level with a master's degree, though 4-year colleges and universities often expect teachers to possess a doctoral degree, particularly teachers applying for full-time, tenure-track positions.

Degree Programs Bachelor's degrees in drama, theatre arts, and drama education; master's degrees in theatre, theatre studies, and theatre education; doctoral degree in theatre
Courses Theatre theory, theatre history, fundamentals of directing, voice and diction, stage lighting design; student teaching, learning and cognition, the multicultural classroom
Licensing/Certification Though requirements vary by state, all K-12 public school teachers must be licensed or certified in the grade they teach
Median Salary (2017)* $66,930 (postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers); $57,720 (middle school teachers); $59,170 (secondary school teachers)

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

In a typical theatre arts education program, you'll take a combination of theatre arts courses and education courses. The theatre arts courses you might take include:

  • Theatre theory and history
  • Fundamentals of directing
  • Stage lighting and design
  • Voice and diction
  • Fundamentals of acting
  • Dramatic literature

Your education courses might include:

  • Student teaching
  • Human growth and development
  • Learning and cognition
  • The multicultural classroom
  • Exceptional children
  • Classroom management

How Will I Gain Practical Experience?

Many drama teacher education programs at both the bachelor's and master's level will require you to participate in a student teaching internship. A lot of programs offer you the opportunity to participate in theatrical productions. There are internships in education, stage management, casting, production, and other related areas. Some master's programs may culminate in a thesis project.

What Kind of Licensing or Certification Will I Need?

All 50 states have some kind of mandatory licensing or certification requirement for public school teachers who teach kindergarten, elementary and secondary classes. The exact requirements you'll need to meet will depend on the state in which you plan to teach. Some drama teacher education programs will prepare you for the specific licensing requirements of the state in which the school is located.

You can also choose to be certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Although this certification process is voluntary, national board certification can help you demonstrate your professionalism. The NBPTS offers 25 different areas in which you can be certified. Drama is not one of the offerings, but you might choose a generalist certification.

What Is Involved In Teaching Drama?

Generally speaking, drama teachers teach courses in drama. Though it may depend on their grade level, here's what teachers typically do:

  • Develop instructional plans
  • Grade students' assignments
  • Design standardized tests
  • Prepare students for tests
  • Enforce classroom rules

They also collaborate with other educators and communicate with parents about assignments and students' progress.

What Salary Could I Earn?

The BLS reports that postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers made a median annual wage of $66,930, as of May 2017. Middle school teachers earned a median annual salary of $57,720 per year, while secondary school teachers earned a median annual salary of $59,170 per year.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

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  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • CDI College

    CDI College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at CDI College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Anywhere: Anjou, Burnaby, Edmonton, Laval, Longueuil, Montreal, Point Claire, Richmond, Surrey
  • Penn Foster High School

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    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

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  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • Towson University

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Towson