Art Teacher Certification Requirements in Massachusetts

Find out how to become an art teacher in Massachusetts. Discover the type of education needed, the test and license requirements, and the prospective salary of an art teacher in the state. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Info for Massachusetts Art Teacher

To become an art teacher in Massachusetts, candidates must first earn a bachelor's degree in fine arts through a state-approved educator program. They are also required to pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Visual Art and the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills. The table below summarizes the education, test and license renewal requirements of an art teacher in Massachusetts.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's or higher degree in fine arts through state-approved educator program
Exams Required MTEL Visual Art, MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills
License Validity Period Initial license for five years, can be extended for another five
Renewal Requirements Three years of teaching, a one-year induction program and 50 hours of mentored experience beyond the program, all within the initial license period
Mean Salary (May 2018)* $75,510 (kindergarten school teachers), $82,600 (elementary school teachers), $79,030 (middle school teachers), $80,020 (high school teachers)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide)* 7% (kindergarten and elementary school teachers), 8% (middle school teachers), 8% (high school teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Education and Training Requirements

For initial certification, prospective art teachers in Massachusetts must first achieve a bachelor's or higher degree in fine arts from a state-accredited educator program. These programs, which typically have coursework in education, studio and liberal arts, currently offer certifications at PreK-8 and Grades 5-12 levels. Though they may vary, all programs are designed to develop the candidates' artistic abilities and also give them the appropriate experience and knowledge required to teach in schools. The programs often include field work such as teaching in real classroom environments. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website provides a list of colleges where prospective artist-educators can earn their degree.

Exam Requirements

Individuals seeking to become an art teacher in Massachusetts must achieve passing scores in the Visual Art MTEL and the Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL. The Visual Art MTEL is a computer-based test that is four hours and fifteen minutes long and comprises 100 multiple choice questions and two open-response assignments. The passing grade for the test is 240. The Communication and Literacy Skills test has the same time limit and passing score as the Visual Art MTEL. However, this test comprises two subtests - reading and writing. The reading subtest features 72 multiple choice questions and the writing subtest comprises 35 multiple-choice questions, seven short-answer questions, and two open-response assignments.

Applying for a License

The easiest way to apply for an art teacher's license in Massachusetts is through the state's Educator Licensure And Renewal (ELAR) portal. This requires applicants to first create a profile. In the portal, they must fill in all the requisite details and also pay the fee, which is $100. Further, candidates are required to upload official copies of their documents, including college transcripts and their MTEL scores. Once the department is satisfied with the application, candidates will receive their initial license.

Renewal Requirements

The initial license is valid for five years. Teachers can advance to a professional license after the five-year period if they have completed the following: three years of teaching with the initial license, a one-year induction program and 50 hours of mentored experience beyond the program. There is an option to extend this license by another five years if the requirements are not met, after which the certification has to advance to a professional license. Like the initial license, the professional license is also valid for five years and renewable every five years after.

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