Become a Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher in Montana

Montana offers several different certification options for educators. Certificates can be upgraded with teaching experience and a master's degree. Read more about certification requirements and job outlook below. Schools offering Elementary Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Teaching in Montana

In the state of Montana, there are eight different license classes, three of which can be used for teaching kindergarten and elementary school grades. These are the Class 2 standard teaching license, the Class 1 professional license, and the Class 5 provisional license. Read more below to find out how to obtain and renew any one of these licenses.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Exams Required Montana PRAXIS exam
License Validity Period 3 years (provisional); 5 years (standard and renewals)**
Advancement Requirements Educational program and teaching experience**
Mean Salary (2018) $52,730 (kindergarten); $52,360 (elementary)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide) 8% (kindergarten); 7% (elementary)*

Sources: *Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Montana Office of Public Instruction

License Types

  • Class 1: Educators who hold a master's degree in a teaching area and have three years of applicable experience as a licensed teacher should apply for this license. Additionally, educators with a valid out-of-state license and applicable experience can apply for this certificate.
  • Class 2: Educators who are newly graduated and do not hold a master's degree or three years of teaching experience will apply for this license.
  • Class 5: Educators who have not yet completed a teacher's preparation program (one that includes student teaching) should apply for this license.

License Requirements

All license types require at minimum a bachelor's degree. Additional requirements for each license are as follows.

Class 1 Educator License

To qualify for the Class 1 license, an educator must meet any one of the following:

  • Completion of a teacher's preparation program accredited by NCATE, CAEP, MACTE, or is state-approved, as well as completion of a student teaching or supervised teaching experience through a teacher's preparation program
  • Completion of a National Board Certification Program
  • Completion of a non-traditional teacher's program with five successful years of teaching experience along with a current standard out-of-state educator license

In addition, each of the following requirements must be met:

  • Completion of a master's degree in education or related field or certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • Verification of the Montana PRAXIS exam
  • Completion of the course An Introduction to Indian Education for All in Montana
  • Verified teaching experience while licensed: 3 years for a traditional educator preparation program or 5 years for a non-traditional educator preparation program

Class 2 Educator License

There are three different routes to obtaining a Class 2 educator license in Montana. To qualify, an educator must first meet one of the following:

  • Compete a teacher's preparation program accredited by NCATE, CAEP, MACTE, or is state-approved, and complete student teaching or supervised teaching experience through a teacher's preparation program
  • Completion of a National Board Certification Program
  • Completion of a non-traditional teacher's program with five successful years of teaching experience along with a current standard out-of-state educator license

In addition, the following two requirements must also be met:

  • A verified qualifying score on the Montana PRAXIS
  • Completion of An Introduction to Indian Education for All in Montana

Class 5 Educator License

Unlike with the Class 1 and Class 2 licenses, there is only one route to obtain the Class 5. An educator must meet all of the following requirements:

  • A plan from an approved educator preparation program that:
    • Shows the applicant will meet all requirements within three years
    • Meets the professional educator's preparation program admission requirements
  • Completion of An Introduction to Indian Education for All in Montana

Application Process

The specific items required for applying differ with each certification class. However, most will have you submit an application, attach scores from your relevant Praxis exams, show a recommendation from your university, and demonstrate completion of the An Introduction to Indian Education for All in Montana course. In addition, you'll send in your fingerprints, background check info, verification of any teaching experience, and whatever fees are necessary.

Renewing a Montana Teaching License

The requirements for renewal are as follows:

  • Class 1 or Class 2 License: 60 Office of Public Instruction (OPI) renewal units, or any combination of OPI renewals units with semester college credits. Each semester credit is worth 15 OPI renewal units. Quarter college credits are worth 10 renewal units.
  • Class 5 License: Non-renewable; Class 5 licenses will expire or convert to a full license when requirements have been met.

How to Advance a Montana Teaching License

A Class 5 license can be upgraded to a Class 2 license by submitting an upgrade application along with transcripts, and a university recommendation. If the Class 5 requirements have not been met within the three-year license period, the license will lapse and cannot be renewed.

A Class 2 license can be upgraded to a Class 1 license by completing an upgrade application, submitting transcripts of an earned master's degree, and submitting proof of three years of teaching experience.

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
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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

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

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

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    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

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    Campus Locations:

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