How To Become A Texas Teacher

Teaching is a rewarding career that can lead to a lifetime of satisfaction and happiness. If you want to learn how to become a Texas teacher, then keep reading! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to become a teacher in Texas.

Step 1: Earn your bachelor’s degree

Before becoming a teacher in Texas, you must first earn at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. There are several different types of degrees that can qualify you for the position of teacher in the state of Texas, such as an associate’s degree in education or a bachelor’s degree in any field. However, if you have already earned your bachelor’s degree and are looking for additional education and training options in order to become more qualified for teaching jobs in Texas, then consider earning your Master’s Degree in Education as well!

Step 2: Take required tests

Once you’ve finished earning your bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have passed all necessary tests (such as Praxis Core), it is time for the next step: applying for certification! In order to apply for certification through the Texas Education Agency (TEA), candidates must complete online application forms available through their website.

How To Become A Texas Teacher

Question: How do I become a high school teacher in Texas?

Answer: To become a high school teacher in Texas, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school and also finish a teacher preparation program that is approved by the state. You also need to pass the state’s certification exam(s) for the subject areas you will be teaching. Once these are complete, you can apply to the state for a certificate, complete the required background check, and apply for jobs in schools.

Question: What are the requirements to become an elementary school teacher in Texas?

Answer: To become an elementary teacher in Texas, you must earn a bachelor’s degree. You must also complete an approved teacher preparation program. Once those are complete, you need to pass the exam for elementary instruction and for the subject areas you will be teaching. Finally, you must complete the state application for certification and pass a national criminal background check.

Question: How do I become a kindergarten teacher in Texas?

Answer: To become a kindergarten teacher in Texas, you must be certified by the state. Certification requires a bachelor’s degree, completion of an educator preparation program, and passing scores on the required certification exams. You must also complete a background check before you can work in a school.

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Texas
Projected Job Growth

Growth in Teaching Jobs in TX through 20262

One of the most important steps to obtaining Texas teacher licensing is completing an educator preparation program approved by the Texas Education Agency. The Texas Education Agency will accept bachelor’s degree programs that have accreditation from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s list of recognized accreditors. In order to obtain teacher certification in Texas, candidates must have completed an approved educator program. Candidates who have previously received a bachelor’s degree may be eligible to complete an alternative certification program or a post-baccalaureate program to qualify for licensure. You can compare key metrics for state-approved teacher preparation programs in Texas by using the sortable table on our Texas schools page.

Candidates should confirm that their chosen school is accredited and will meet Texas Education Agency teacher certification standards before committing to a program. Online teaching certification programs offered by out-of-state schools should also be appropriately accredited.

Additionally, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is a national organization formed through the merger of two accreditation agencies, the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). CAEP accreditation, although not mandatory for Texas teacher certification, is considered an indication of quality curriculum and teacher training.

Texas Teacher Education Requirements
In order to obtain Texas teaching certification, candidates must first earn a bachelor’s degree from an approved and accredited institution. Prospective teachers typically choose a major in the content area that they would like to teach. The required approved educator preparation program may either be completed as part of the prospective teacher’s bachelor’s degree or as a post-baccalaureate alternative certification or degree program. Student teaching or an internship is required as part of the educator preparation program.

Texas Teacher Testing Requirements
Texas State SealAfter completing an approved educator preparation program, those seeking to obtain a Texas teaching license must demonstrate their pedagogical and content area knowledge on the required tests for Texas teacher certification. The Office of Educator Testing oversees the testing process for state teachers and the assessments required vary by content area and grade level to be taught. Each teacher candidate should receive guidance about which tests to take and authorization to take those tests from his or her educator preparation program.

In order to evaluate potential teachers’ knowledge of educational practices and pedagogy, Texas uses two test batteries that are unique to the state: The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) and the Texas Examinations for Master Teachers (TExMaT). Your educator preparation program must authorize you to take these exams. After completing all required assessments, prospective educators are ready to apply for certification.

Additional Texas Teacher Certification Requirements
Once all of the requirements for Texas educator certification are complete, applicants must send their application packet to the TEA office. Applicants must use the online system, TEA Login (TEAL). The required documents to apply for teacher certification in Texas are as follows:

Submission of transcripts from all colleges attended.
Verification of completion of an educator preparation program from an approved school.
Submission of passing scores on the appropriate certification exam(s).
Proof of background clearance.
Payment of non-refundable processing fees.
Submission of the state application.
Visit the Texas Education Agency website for additional information on Texas teacher certification.

Texas Teacher Outlook, Salary, and Jobs
There were 8,912 public K-12 schools in Texas during the 2016-2017 school year, which enrolled a student population of over 5.36 million.3 There were about 352,809 teachers in Texas during the same timeframe, giving the state a student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1.3

From 2016 to 2026, projections estimate that there will be 14,050 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 7,000 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 10,130 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Texas.2 These figures exclude opportunities for special education and career and technical education teachers. In Texas, elementary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $56,520, while middle school teachers earn an average annual salary of $56,580 and secondary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $58,190.4 The Texas State Teachers Association provides frequent updates regarding policy changes and local employment opportunities for Texas teachers.

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 34,790 $34,960
Preschool Teachers, Special Education 1,030 $51,010
Kindergarten Teachers 15,050 $54,780
Elementary School Teachers 136,780 $56,520
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 13,470 $57,770
Middle School Teachers 66,470 $56,580
Middle School Teachers, Special Education 7,620 $56,960
Middle School Teachers, Career/Technical Education 1,680 $58,410
Secondary School Teachers 110,420 $58,190
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education 12,970 $58,570
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education 10,950 $60,170
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2018.4

Teacher Shortages in Texas
According to the US Department of Education Teacher Shortage Area report for 2021-2022, Texas broadly has the following shortages5:

Career and Technical Education, 7-12
Career and Technical Education (Computer Science), Pre-K-12
English as a Second Language (Bilingual Education), Pre-K-12
Mathematics, 7-12
Special Education, Pre-K-12
According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the state has not experienced a major loss of teachers due to the pandemic, based on its attrition and new hire numbers. In fact, the 2020-21 school year saw a higher percentage change in new hires over lost jobs since the 2014-15 school year.6 However, some districts in the state still may be experiencing shortages in areas such as the ones listed above, so you should check your local district for more information.

Texas Teacher Interviews
Early Childhood Teacher, Matt Gomez
Kindergarten Teacher, April Larremore
Third Grade Teacher, Lindsay Noren
Third Grade Teacher, Diane Hubacz
Third Grade Language Arts Teacher, Megan Favre
Math Teacher, Kathryn Laster
High School Math Teacher, Shireen D.
Former President of the Texas Music Teachers Association, Sharon Callahan
ESL Teacher Trainer and Founder of Kid World Citizen, Becky Morales
Teacher Quote: “Be prepared to work a lot! This is a great job to have but there is always something else to be done. Working with kids is an awesome gift and will definitely be the best part of your job.” -Lindsay Noren, Texas Third Grade Teacher
Texas School District Requirements
If you are interested in exploring more about how to become a teacher in one of the major Texas cities, you can find out more on our city pages below. These pages discuss the step-by-step process for becoming a teacher in each city school district, the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher, and provide contact information for the public school district. You can also find a list of popular and well-known private and charter schools in each city.

Fort Worth
San Antonio
Teacher Quote: “It is important that you enjoy working with children and their parents. If you have that passion, then teaching young children is amazing. I can’t imagine a more fun and rewarding job. Every day is full of challenges, laughter, love and learning!” -Matt Gomez, Texas Kindergarten Teacher

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