How to Become a High School Math Teacher in California

Read about the academic qualifications you will need to become a high school math teacher in California and learn about the two-tier credentialing process to certify that your math teaching skills at high school level are at the right standard. Schools offering Teaching - Math degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Info on Teaching Math in California's High Schools

To teach math to high school students in California, you will need at least a bachelor's degree. You will also have to graduate from a teacher preparation program, which can be done as part of your degree program or as a separate program after you've completed your degree. The state has two sequential levels of credentialing: a non-renewable Preliminary Credential that's valid for five years and a Clear Credential that can be renewed every five years.

Education/Experience RequiredAt least a bachelor's degree, preferably majoring in math
An accredited math teacher preparation program
Exam RequirementsBasic Skills Requirement exam in English and math
Mathematics subject knowledge exam(s)
Certification Renewal Period5 years
CEU Credits Required for RenewalNo credits necessary
Average Salary (May 2018)*$80,510 for secondary teachers in California
Estimated Job Growth from 2016 to 2026*8% for all high school teachers, nationwide

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Degree Do I Need to Teach Math at High School Level in California?

You will need at least a bachelor's degree. The state doesn't require you to major in math, but as of May 2019, there were 36 state-approved bachelor's degree programs with math as a major. In addition to your bachelor's degree, you will need to graduate from a teacher preparation program. This can be done as an integral part of your four-year bachelor's program, or you can do it as a standalone program after you've completed your bachelor's degree.

What Are the Requirements for Getting Certified to Teach Math at High School in California?

The process for certification (in California it is called credentialing) takes place in two stages. First, you must get your Preliminary Credential. It expires after five years, during which you can get your Clear Credential, which will allow you to continue to teach indefinitely as long as it is renewed every five years. There are no longer any requirements to renew this credential.

What Are the Requirements for Getting the Preliminary Credential?

After completing your teacher education program, you'll need to receive a formal recommendation by the sponsor of your program that you should be awarded California's Preliminary Credential. Then you'll have to pass one of several options to satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement by demonstrating your proficiency in reading and writing English, as well as in math. Then there are three subtests in math ranging from algebra and geometry to calculus that you must pass. Finally, all candidates must pass an exam on the US Constitution or complete a course of two semester units or three quarter units prescribed by California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

How Do I Transition to the Clear Credential?

You can complete a two-year teacher induction program which is accredited for the Clear Credential. A program sponsor - one of 180 approved by the state - will mentor and support you during two years of teaching, after which you can apply for the credential via this sponsor. You can get certified in teaching math to adolescents and young adults by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. Together with the certification, you will have to submit the results of a background check and an application fee.

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