Become a Teacher in Texas

Texas Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $56,760
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $57,830
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 17

Figures regarding teacher salaries are sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 08/11/2018

This page is sponsored by Rossier Online, a master-level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in Texas on the USC Rossier School of Education website.

To become a certified teacher in Texas, you will need to fulfill these requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a Texas teaching credential application.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating with new information on a regular basis.


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Step One: Prerequisite Coursework

The first step to becoming certified as a teacher in Texas is choosing a specialization and/or grade level and earning your bachelor’s degree. One must possess, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning to become a certified teacher in the state of Texas. Visit the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs database to verify whether or not your institution is accredited. The one exception to bachelor’s degree requirement is for those wishing to become certified to teach certain trade and industrial education, who may substitute experience for a degree.

Some states have additional undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas; Texas, however, does not. Therefore, it is possible for Texas teachers to become certified in a subject without holding a bachelor’s degree in that field.

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Master’s Requirements

Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.

The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.

Learn more about getting your MAT online with USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: Teacher Preparation

Next, you’ll need to complete an approved teacher preparation program. Visit the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website to find a state-approved teacher preparation program in Texas.

Typically, teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. Coursework often includes instruction on foundational knowledge, skills, and pedagogy (the art and science of teaching), as well as preparation in researching, designing and implementing learning experiences in particular fields of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and internships.

Alternative 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. Learn more about alternative teacher certification in Texas on Certification Map.

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Step Three: Required Tests

Next, you’ll need to complete the tests required of Texas educators by state law. While the specific exams differ by subject area, they generally include a test in Pedagogy & Professional Responsibilities and one or more in Required Content Areas. Some educator preparation programs may also require candidates to take the Texas Higher Education Assessment, which tests basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics.

Visit the Texas Education Agency website for more information on state testing requirements and registration dates.

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Step Four: Application Requirements

Finally, you must submit a completed application for licensure. Start by creating an account on the TEA’s Educator Certification Online System (ECOS).

There is a complete checklist of supporting documents you need to submit along with your license application for first-time applicants on the TEA website. These include:


  • The applicant submits payment of $39 in order to conduct the national criminal history background check through DPS, FBI and Texas Education Agency. This fee must be paid in the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS).
  • The applicant is issued an email with fingerprint information once the online payment has been made. A fingerprinting appointment cannot be scheduled without this document in hand. A valid photo ID is also required.
  • Applicants use Texas MorphoTrust locations. Applicants are required to pay an additional $10.00 fee for scanning of fingerprints at the time of the appointment.
  • TEA receives the fingerprinting results 5-7 business days after the fingerprint appointment.

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Texas Certification Reciprocity

Texas will accept some, but not necessarily all, teaching credentials/certifications from other states. Even if the certification you hold is accepted by the Texas Education Agency, you may still need to pass the appropriate Texas certification tests mentioned above, along with other requirements. Learn if the examinations you’ve already passed are comparable to the Texas requirements on the agency’s website. Contact/visit the agency to inquire about your specific situation. Also, please review the Certification Map interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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Texas Teacher Salary

Figures regarding teacher salaries are sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

Teacher shortage areas are defined by the U.S. Department of Education as areas “of specific grade, subject matter or discipline classification, or [geography] in which … there is an inadequate supply of elementary or secondary school teachers.” The Department allows states to identify their own teacher shortage areas, but also provides a prescribed methodology based on empty teaching positions, teaching positions filled by instructors holding irregular certifications, and positions held by teachers certified in other subject areas.

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Certification Resources & Links

1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 463-9734 – Contact the Texas Education Agency

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