Become a Teacher in Minnesota

Minnesota Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $59,840
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $63,363
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics External link  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: 12/18/2016

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 Minnesota.

To become a certified teacher in Minnesota, 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 Minnesota 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.

Step One: Minnesota Prerequisite Coursework

All states require that certified teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Minnesota, however, does not have any undergraduate credit hour requirements.

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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: Minnesota Teacher Preparation

Teacher preparation includes the completion of an accredited teacher education program. Typically teacher education programs 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.

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 scholarship information exclusive to the state of Minnesota, visit our Minnesota Teacher Scholarships page.

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. In Minnesota, those seeking to teach by means of an alternative route to certification can pursue Licensure via Portfolio, a non-traditional option for earning a Minnesota teaching license. For more information on alternative routes to education, visit the Minnesota Department of Education.

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Step Three: Minnesota Required Tests

In order to obtain your certification in Minnesota, all teaching candidates are required to complete and pass the Minnesota (NES) Essential Academic Skills basic skills test, a pedagogy test, and a content area test through the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE).

All teaching candidates, regardless of certification area(s), are required to complete and pass the basic skills examination in order to qualify for a Minnesota teaching license. The basic skills test consists of three sections: Reading, Writing and Mathematics.

*Passing scores from the Praxis I exams, taken prior to September 2010, will also be accepted in lieu of the MTLE Basic Skills Test.

Minnesota Required Tests
Certification Required Tests

Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 3)

(EAS) Basic Skills Test
Pedagogy: Early Childhood
Early Childhood Education Content Test/p>

Elementary Education (Grades K-6)

(EAS) Basic Skills Test
Pedagogy: Elementary
Elementary Education Content Test
Any additional content tests depending on subject certification

Secondary Education (Grades 5-12)

EAS Basic Skills Test
Pedagogy: Secondary
Any additional content tests depending on subject certification


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Step Four: Minnesota Application Requirements

The Minnesota Department of Education requires the following to apply for teacher certification in the state of Minnesota:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program from an accredited institution
  • Have passing scores on all required MTLE assessments
  • Complete an approved Human Relations program
  • Complete and pass background check and fingerprint clearance

Background Check

Minnesota state law requires that all teaching candidates applying for licensure be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal background check on both a state and federal level. Fingerprinting must be completed through a the fingerprint card supplied by the MDE. Minnesota Department of Education. To request a fingerprint card, contact the Minnesota’s Educator Licensing Department.

Minnesota Teaching Jobs

Please see the Minnesota Department of Education’s page related to available teaching positions. To learn about substitute teaching opportunities in Minnesota go to Certification Map.

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Minnesota Certification Reciprocity

Requirements for teacher licensure in Minnesota include passing a series of exams to demonstrate competency in reading, writing, math, pedagogy and licensure field-specific content. Individuals who are certified in a state other than Minnesota can learn more about certification reciprocity through the Minnesota Board of Teaching or see’s interstate reciprocity disclaimer.

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Minnesota Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Minnesota provides no support for teachers teaching in high-needs schools or teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Minnesota has a detailed induction program that includes preparation, professional development and mentoring.
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $59,840
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $63,360
  • Average Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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Minnesota Certification Resources & Links

1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, Minnesota 55113


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