Become a Teacher in Texas


Texas Education Agency

1701 N. Congress Avenue Austin, Texas, 78701

(512) 463-9734

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    Become a teacher in Texas

        Texas Teacher Shortage areas

            Earn Your Texas Teaching Credential

            Important Note: Education licensure requirements and salary statistics (for teachers and administrators) 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: 1/06/2015

            Texas Standard Teaching Certificates are renewable every five years, provided you have completed continuing education requirements. A Master Teacher Certificate, which is optional and available in Reading, Math, Science or Technology, requires three years of experience, additional coursework and a special exam.

            If you have a valid teaching credential from another state, you may be eligible to earn your Texas teaching credential through interstate reciprocity. To learn more about earning your Texas teaching credential, click here.

            Learn more about getting your teaching credential.

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            Prerequisite Coursework in Texas

            In order to become certified to teach in Texas, teachers must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. However, teachers who wish to teach some Career and Technology courses do not have to meet the same requirements. Additionally, many states require that a specific number of credit hours be earned in the teaching specialty area.

            Texas, however, does not have specific requirements for undergraduate credit hours and courses. Texas does have certain requirements that teacher preparation programs must meet to be accredited. A program must involve at least 300 clock hours of coursework and training, including at least 80 clock hours of coursework and at least 30 hours of field experience prior to student teaching. The coursework must cover a range of teaching skills, as dictated by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards, including the following: child development; motivation;  learning theories;  TEKS organization, structure, and skills;   TEKS in the content areas;  state assessment of students;  curriculum development and lesson planning;   classroom assessment for instruction/diagnosing learning needs; classroom management/developing a positive learning environment; special populations; parent conferences/communication skills;  instructional technology; pedagogy/instructional strategies; differentiated instruction; and certification test preparation. Each teacher preparation will also have its own set of requirements. Contact your program for more information.

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            Required Tests for Texas

            The successful completion of the Basic Skill Test and any Subject Area Competence assessments for the desired area of instruction are required to become a certified teacher in Texas.

            Basic Skills Test

            Subject Area Competence

            PPR (Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities) exam

            You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep.

            Read more about teacher certification tests.

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            Texas Teacher Certification Programs

            To teach in the state of Texas, teachers much earn a state-approved certification from an accredited teacher education program.

            A list of Texas institutions that offer standard and/or alternative certification programs can be found here.

            If you have already received your certification to teach in the state of Texas, but desire to teach in an area that you were not certified in, you simply must pass the certification exam for the subject area you wish to teach. This is applicable only for areas for which a certification exam exists, and applies only to teachers, rather than those in other education positions, such as principals and librarians. Master Teacher Certificates are also available for Texas teachers in reading, mathematics, technology and science. The Master Teacher Certificate is a supplemental certificate, and is not required for teaching the aforementioned subjects, but the extra certification can enable teachers to mentor other teachers and become more competitive in their field.

            To earn a Master Teacher Certificate, teachers much have a minimum of three years teaching experience, successfully complete an approved Master Certificate program and pass the Master Teacher Certification exam in the desired subject area. Teachers who have a Standard Certificate, issued by the Texas State Board since 1999, must apply for certificate renewal every five years, which includes paying a fee, passing a criminal background check and completing 200 hours of continuing education. In order to be eligible for certificate renewal, Texas teachers cannot be in default on any student loans or child support payments.

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            Alternative Teacher Certification in Texas

            Those who have received bachelor’s degrees from an accredited college or university in an area other than education who have not received traditional teaching certificates can still teach in Texas by earning and alternative teaching certificated and fulfilling specific requirements. To learn more about alternative teacher certification in Texas, click here. Students who successfully complete state-approved teacher education programs from an accredited college or university do not have to fulfill any additional post-graduate requirements to become certified. State-approved teacher education programs are also available through some school districts, community colleges and educational centers.

            Temporary Teaching Certificates are also available for those who hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in field that is related to a subject taught in Texas schools for children in grades 8-12. To be eligible for a Temporary Teaching Certificate, a Texas Examination for Educator Standards must be available in the desired subject area, which applicants must pass. Applicants must also already be hired to work for a Texas school district. Upon completion of the examination, it is the responsibility of the school district to ensure that the teacher has received guidance and training for proper development and preparation, under the supervision of the State Board, including 300 clock hours of continuing professional development activities. Temporary Teaching Certificates are valid for two years and can only be used within the state of Texas. After two years, if teachers desire to continue teaching, they must apply for a Standard Certificate.

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            Certification Reciprocity in Texas

            Texas accepts some certifications from the following states. However, determinations are made on a case-by-case basis. If the certification is accepted and approved by the State Board, teachers may still be required to pass a Texas certification test. To inquire about your specific situation, contact the State Board for Educator Certification. For more information, see the reciprocity page .

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            Benefits of a Master in Education in Texas

            • Higher salary— Texas teachers who have a master’s degree may earn more than teachers with a bachelor’s degree.
            • Career Advancement—A master’s degree helps position teachers for other positions within the education system, such as principal or counselor.

            Learn more about the Benefits of a Master's in Education.

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            Master’s in Education Financial Aid

            Texas residents are also eligible for the Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship as well as the TEACH Grant, a grant which gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need school.

            Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree.

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            Texas Teacher Salary and Incentives

            As of 2007, Texas was ranked 29th in the nation for teacher salary, with an average of $45,392. To determine teachers’ salaries, Texas follows a minimum salary schedule. First year teachers are provided with a minimum salary of $27,320, and teachers with 20 or more years of teaching experience are provided with a minimum salary of $44,270. The most successful teachers in Texas can also receive merit awards, such as the Texas Educator Excellence Award and District Awards for Teacher Excellence.

            Learn more about teacher salaries.

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            Texas Teacher Benefits and Retirement

            The Teachers’ Retirement System of Texas (TRS) oversees retirement and benefits for Texas teachers. The TRS provides comprehensive coverage for Texas teachers, which includes TRS-ActiveCare, state-wide health benefit program. Teachers in Texas can retire at 65 after 5 years of service, or at 60 if their age and years of service total at least 80. Teachers who joined the retirement plan on or after September 1, 2007 must be at least 60 to use the second option.

            Learn more about benefits for teachers.

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            Professional Development for Texas Teachers

             The State Board for Education Certification website provides links to various online learning opportunities at the national level. Universities around the state also periodically offer professional development courses.

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            Texas Teaching Jobs

            The Texas  Education Agency has a statewide job search engine that can be searched by school district. Texas teachers have access to the Texas Independent School District (ISD) job fairs calendar and a list of employment websites, which are both provided by Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA). Many Texas schools also use SchoolSpring, an online job bank, to advertise available positions. The SchoolSpring job list is updated daily, and enables users to browse jobs by region and specialty. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) also provides resources to help people find Texas teaching jobs.

            Learn more about finding a teaching job.

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            Texas Teacher Certification Information and Links