How Can I Earn an Elementary Teacher Certification?

In order to earn elementary teacher certification, you must have a bachelor's degree from a teacher-training program. Additional certification requirements vary by state but can include testing and additional education. Read on to find out how you can become a certified elementary teacher. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Earning Elementary Teacher Certification

Becoming a certified elementary teacher requires a bachelor's degree from a teacher-training program or a bachelor's degree plus a degree from a separate teacher-training program. Beyond this, the certification requirements vary by state.

Most states require that elementary teachers attempting to gain certification pass basic competency tests and proficiency tests in the subject they'll teach. Other states offer qualified elementary teachers a provisional license and then grant a full license based on performance. A small number of states require teachers in this field to earn a master's degree in order to maintain certification.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Continuing Education Required to maintain elementary teaching credentials; advanced graduate degrees available
Online Availability Online coursework expanding for coursework in elementary education; accelerated elementary education programs available
Concentrations Special education, physical education, English as a new language, mathematics, fine arts
On-the-Job Training Prospective teachers must be supervised for a period of student teaching

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Many schools offer accredited bachelor's programs in elementary education. Successfully completing one of these programs fulfills all of the educational requirements for earning elementary teacher certification. In addition to traditional coursework, you'll also spend several months student teaching in real elementary schools.

There are degrees available in general elementary education or with a focus on teaching a particular subject, such as science or social studies. Regardless of the focus of the program, bachelor's degree programs in elementary education can include courses in the following:

  • Literacy and reading skills
  • Children's reasoning
  • Educational psychology

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 6% increase in the number of jobs for elementary teachers, not including those who teach special education, from 2014-2024. This increase is due largely to the high percentage of current teachers who will be retiring. Elementary teachers who can speak teach special education or English as a second language are likely to have the best chance of finding employment, according to the BLS. The median annual salary for elementary teachers was $54,120 in 2014, as reported by the BLS.

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

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • 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

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint John's University

    Saint John's University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint John's University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • American InterContinental University

    American InterContinental University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American InterContinental University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    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

  • Saint Joseph's University

    Saint Joseph's University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Joseph's University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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