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 7% increase in the number of jobs for elementary teachers, not including those who teach special education, from 2016-2026. This increase is due largely to the high percentage of current teachers who will be retiring. Elementary teachers who are willing to work in rural and metropolitan areas are likely to have the best chance of finding employment, according to the BLS. The median annual salary for elementary teachers, except special education was $58,230 in 2018, 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

  • Grand Canyon University

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

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Colorado Christian University

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    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Walden University

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    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
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  • Northcentral University

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  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Master

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  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
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  • Penn Foster High School

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