How to Become a Teacher in Texas - Certification, Degree & Requirements

Research the path to becoming a teacher in Texas. Familiarize yourself with the degree and certification requirements you'll need to meet as well as the average salaries for teachers across the state. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

The Texas State Board for Educator Certification sets requirements to become a certified teacher. The most traditional pathway to becoming a teacher in the state includes five steps: earning a bachelor's degree, completing an educator preparation program, passing the certification exams, submitting a state application, and completing fingerprinting. In the table below, you'll find the education and certification requirements as well as the responsibilities, average income, and job outlook for teachers in Texas.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Training Required Educator preparation program; student teaching included
Certification State certification required
Key Responsibilities Develop curriculum, implement lesson plans, track student progress, prepare students for standardized tests
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)* Elementary school teachers: 20.4%
Middle school teachers: 20.5%
Secondary school teachers: 20.6%
Average Salary (2017)** Elementary school teachers: $56,760
Middle school teachers: $56,670
Secondary school teachers: $57,830

Sources: *Texas Workforce Commission, **US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Are the Educational Requirements for Becoming a Teacher in Texas?

There are two fundamental educational requirements for becoming a certified teacher in Texas: the completion of a bachelor's degree program and the completion of an educator preparation program. Students who determine they want to become certified to teach early on have the opportunity to blend their bachelor's degree program with the educator preparation program so both are completed simultaneously. Otherwise, prospective teachers can complete post-baccalaureate educator preparation programs. These programs teach students the foundations of education through curricula founded on the current school system's best practices and content. They require that students participate in fieldwork that consists of student teaching and observation hours.

What Certification Exams Does Texas Require?

After the successful completion of an educator preparation program, you will be approved to take the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES). The first is the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam, which focuses on foundational education knowledge in both theory and practice. The 100-question test covers instruction and assessment design, classroom management, implementation of instruction and assessment, and educators' professional responsibilities. There are other additional certification exams that are required based on the subject matter and intended grade level of prospective teachers.

How Do I Apply for Certification?

After passing the necessary certification exams, you must apply for certification through the Texas Education Agency (TEA). You will need to complete an application form online and pay an application processing fee. Applicants must also undergo a criminal background check by providing fingerprints to the state. The TEA evaluates each application on a case-by-case basis.

How Long Is My Certification Valid?

After passing the exams and being approved by the TEA, the initial certification is valid for five years. Classroom teachers must complete 150 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) in order to renew their certifications. These hours can be completed in a number of ways, from attending workshops and conferences to completing additional education courses through accredited colleges or universities. This certification renewal is required on a five-year basis for all classroom teachers in the Texas.

How Much Do Certified Teachers in Texas Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2017 elementary school teachers in Texas earned an average income of $56,760, while middle school teachers earned $56,670. High school teachers earned an average annual income of $57,830. Annual salaries vary between metro and rural areas as well as between public and private schools. Projected job growth for teachers in the state was around 20%, according to Texas Workforce Commission data for 2016 to 2026.

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