Teacher Certification Made Simple!

Become a Teacher
in Texas
Texas Teacher Certification



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To become a certified teacher in Texas, you will need to fulfill all prerequisite coursework, teacher preparation, and testing requirements.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating the site with new information on a regular basis. To stay up-to-date with the latest in teacher certification, please complete the form in the right sidebar.

Certification Requirements

Applying for Certification

Requirements

The Texas Education Agency mandates that individuals looking to become a classroom teacher in the state of Texas meet the following five basic requirements:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Complete a state-approved educator preparation program.
  • Pass all required certification exams.
  • Submit a state teaching application. Contact your educator preparation program officer for more information on how to complete the application process.
  • Submit fingerprinting clearance. All applicants must be fingerprinted as part of a state and national criminal background check.

Background Check

All applicants pursuing their initial, standard, probationary and/or temporary teaching certificates must submit their fingerprints and undergo a state and national background check.

Texas Teacher Prerequisite Coursework

One must posses, at a minimum, a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning to become certified in the state of Texas. The one exception to this rule is for those wishing to become certified to teach certain Career and Technology courses. Some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas; Texas, however, does not have any undergraduate credit hour requirements. Therefore, it is possible to become certified in a subject without holding a Bachelor’s degree in that field.

Texas Teacher Preparation

The only requirement for this component of the certification process is that one completes a state approved teacher education program.

Texas teacher education programs typically consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship.

No academic institution in the state of Texas offers an undergraduate degree in education. However, many schools offer approved teaching programs for undergraduates pursuing other majors. These programs provide the foundational skills needed to become a teacher upon graduation. If an enrolled undergraduate at a Texas institution wants to become certified without having to take any post-graduate coursework or training, it is necessary that they complete an approved teaching program. However, there are other paths to certification, so don’t worry if you have already graduated or if you received your degree in a different state.

Alternative Texas Teacher Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Information about alternative teacher certification in Texas can be found here.

Another way to fulfill this requirement is to simply complete a state approved teacher education program from a university or college after graduating from school. To do this, one needs to enroll at an institution that offers a traditional education program for post-graduates. School districts, educational centers, and community colleges also offer approved teacher education programs.

The final way to meet the teacher preparation requirement is through an approved alternative certification program. Please review the box above to find out more.

Additional Texas Teacher Certification

If you already are certified to teach in Texas but would like to be certified in a different area, you can become certified by passing the correct certification examination(s) for that area. This only applies to areas for which certification exam already exists. Further, this applies only to classroom teachers, not librarians, principals, etc…

Texas also offers Master Teacher Certificates in mathematics, reading, science, and technology . This is an additional certificate, and as such is not required in order to teach any of the previously mentioned subjects. Someone who holds a Masters Certificate has received additional training, can serve as a mentor to other teachers, and is more marketable in their field. To obtain a Masters Certificate you must have a minimum of three years teaching experience, complete an approved Master Certificate program, and pass the Master Teacher certification exam for your desired subject.

It is worth mentioning that a teacher who holds a Standard Certificate (the primary teaching certificate issued by the State Board since 1999) must apply to have their certificate renewed every five years. The general renewal requirements include passing a criminal background check, paying a fee, not being in default on student loans or child support, and completing 150 to 200 Continuing Professional Education hours.

Temporary Texas Teaching Certificate

If you hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a major related to a subject which is taught in Texas in grades 8-12, you may be eligible for a Temporary Teaching Certificate. There is a general set of criteria for obtaining this particular certificate. There must be an applicable Texas Examination for Educator Standards in your subject area; you have to pass this examination. You also must be hired to work for a Texas school district(s). The school district(s) are responsible for your development and preparation, and must prove to the State Board that they are providing you with adequate training. Thus, the school district may also require you to enroll in a teacher training program while you are teaching. The State Board will review your application for this certificate based on the above criteria.

Please note that the certificate is only valid for two years and applies only to the state of Texas. After two years, if you wish to continue teaching, you must apply for a Standard Certificate.

While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For more scholarships for teachers exclusive to the State of Texas, visit our Texas Teacher Scholarships Page.

Texas Required Tests

To become a certified teacher in Texas, applicants must successfully complete a Basic Skills test requirement and meet any Content Area assessment requirements.

Basic Skills Test: Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) Exam

The purpose of the THEA Exam is to assess teaching candidates’ reading, writing and math skills. THEA is offered both on paper and electronically.

Qualifying Score

Required Test(s)

Certification

230

THEA Reading

Required for all license areas. Required for entrance into teacher education programs.

220

THEA Writing

Required for all license areas. Required for entrance into teacher education programs.

230

THEA Mathematics

Required for all license areas. Required for entrance into teacher education programs.

Texas Certification Reciprocity

Texas will accept some, but not necessarily all, teaching credentials/certifications from the following states. Even if the certification you hold is accepted by the State Board you may still need to pass the appropriate Texas certification tests listed above. This is because the State Board has not approved, in terms of their rigor and similarity, the teacher certification tests from many states. Contact/visit the State Board for Educator Certification to inquire about your specific situation. Also, please review our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Illinois

Indiana

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Texas Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Texas provides differential pay support for teachers teaching in high needs schools and teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Texas has limited to weak induction policies in place
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: The average elementary school teacher in Texas makes $51,090
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: The average secondary teacher in Texas makes $53,160
  • Teacher Salary vs. State Average Salary: The average teacher in Texas makes 121% of the salary of the average worker in Texas
  • Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: The average teacher in Texas receives 15 weeks of vacation per year

Applying for Certification

How to Apply Online

TEA School District Job Search

The Texas Education Agency job search allows applicants to search for teaching opportunities within Texas’ public school system. After searching through districts, applicants can apply directly online or apply through the district’s contact information.

Texas Substitute Teacher Requirements

Please click here to learn more about how to become a substitute teacher in Texas.

Contact Information

      Texas Education Agency

      Educator Certification and Standards

      1701 North Congress Avenue

      Austin, Texas 78701

      512-936-8400 Contact

Additional links