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Become a Health Teacher in Maryland

Health teachers in Maryland educate students from preschool through grade 12 on various aspects of physical and emotional well-being. Learn how to become certified to teach health in the state.

Overview of Health Teacher Careers in Maryland

When you get certified to teach health in Maryland, you'll be able to teach the subject to students in preschool through 12th grade. It is considered a specialty area of certification. Health teachers in Maryland instruct students in mental and emotional health, nutrition and fitness, disease prevention, family life, alcohol and drug prevention and other topics that are part of the state's health education framework.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree with health coursework; teacher preparation program
Exams Required Basic skills test
Praxis Subject Area Assessment in Health Education
License Validity Period 5 years
License Renewal Requirements 6 hours of credit or professional development in reading
Advancement Requirements 3 years of teaching experience
6 college credit hours
Professional development plan
Mean Salary (2018, for general Maryland teachers) $38,440 (preschool)
$67,170 (kindergarten)
$71,060 (elementary)
$69,710 (middle)
$72,610 (high school)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide) 10% (preschool)
7% (kindergarten and elementary)
8% (middle and high school)*

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

Education and Experience Requirements

To become a health teacher in Maryland, you first need to complete a bachelor's degree program with a major in health or at least 30 credit hours in the area, including 12 at an upper-level and at least half from the same college or university. You'll also need at least 21 hours in professional education courses, including 3 credit hours each in teaching methodology, adolescent development, human learning, student assessment and special needs students. The state also requires 6 semester hours in reading coursework (however, this can be completed as professional development after you receive your certification). Finally, you'll need to complete a student teaching experience in health or have a year of full-time experience teaching the subject.

The Maryland State Department of Education has a list of approved health education bachelor's degree programs on its website.

Testing Requirements

Any teacher in Maryland must pass an assessment of basic skills in reading, writing and math. This can be through the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exams in these areas, or by submitting ACT, GRE or SAT scores. Check the state department of education website for passing scores, which vary depending on when you took the assessments.

Health teachers must also take the Praxis Subject Assessment 5551 in Health Education and achieve a passing score of 155. This exam covers topics including injury and disease prevention, community health and healthy relationships.

Apply for Certification

With a bachelor's degree and testing requirements under your belt, you're ready to apply for certification. Applicants must make an account in the state department of education's online portal. Then, you must mail or email an application form, transcripts and test scores to the department's certification branch. You'll only pay a fee once your certification is approved.

Certificate Advancement

To start, you'll get either a Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC) or a Standard Professional Certificate I (SPC I). You'll receive the former if you aren't employed as a teacher, and the latter if you are.

After 3 years of teaching, you can advance to a Standard Professional Certificate II (SPC II) if you also complete 6 hours of credit and have a professional development plan to achieve an Advanced Professional Certificate (APC). The APC can be achieved through a master's degree, 36 hours of coursework (with 21 at the graduate level) or a National Board Certification with 12 graduate-level hours.

Certificate Renewal

Teaching certificates are valid for 5 years. After that, they can be renewed as long as you complete 6 hours of professional development, or the required reading coursework (see the education section above) if you haven't already. You'll process the renewal through the school district you work at. If you aren't employed at a school district when you need to renew your certificate, you can send a cover letter with proof of your coursework to the state.