Become a Teacher in Maine

Maine Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary:$50,870
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary:$51,480
Vacation Weeks per Year:15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio:1:15
Expenditure per Pupil:$12,707

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

23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
(207) 624-6600

Maine Teacher Shortage Areas

A teacher shortage occurs when there are not enough teachers in key subject areas, which has been partly caused by years of teacher layoffs during the Great Recession, a growing student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs, according to the Learning Policy Institute.

The following is a list of teacher shortage areas in Maine for the 2016-17 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education (see page 66).

  • Gifted/Talented
  • Mathematics
  • Special Education
  • Technology Education/Industrial Arts
  • World Languages (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish)
  • Librarians
  • Science
  • Speech/Hearing Clinicians

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Maine

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: 11/1/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Maine, teaching candidates must meet the following 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 Maine teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Maine Teaching Credential

To earn your Maine teaching credential you will have to complete required the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. Learn more about getting your teaching credential at the Maine Department of Education.

Learn more about getting your teaching credential on

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Maine

All states require at least a bachelor’s degree to teach In order to teach at the elementary school level (K-8), Maine requires you to have completed an approved teacher preparation program and/or one that has included the following coursework.

  • Six semester hours in each of the following: liberal arts English, liberal arts mathematics, liberal arts science, and liberal arts social studies
  • Three semester hours in each of the following: elementary reading methods, elementary mathematics methods, elementary science methods and elementary social studies methods
  • Three semester hours in one of the following: children’s literature, elementary language arts methods, or the writing process
  • Completed an approved course for “Teaching Exceptional Students in the Regular Classroom”;

To teach at the secondary school level (7-12), Maine requires you to have completed an approved teacher preparation program or one that has included the following coursework:

  • A minimum of 24 semester hours in the subject area you plan to teach: English, Life Science, Mathematics, Physical Science or Social Studies
  • Completed an approved course for “Teaching Exceptional Students in the Regular Classroom”;

Maine also requires a period of student teaching.

Step Two: Maine Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher Certification Programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area. A list of accredited teacher preparation programs in Maine can be found on the Maine Department of Education’s Educator Preparation Programs page.

Step Three: Required Tests for Maine

Most states require tests to show competency in basic skills as well as in the desired subject area. Maine requires the PPST (Pre Professional Skills Test) for Basic Skills, the Praxis II: Subject Tests for Subject Area competency and the PLT: Principles of Learning and Teaching.

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 on

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Featured Online Programs

Explore your career options in education:

Boost your credentials: in this 8-week online course, you'll engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective and engaging teaching methods in the higher education context. Refine your own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy and set yourself apart as effective educator.

BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons is the highly respected Master of Science in Behavior Analysis program delivered online from Simmons College. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.

Counseling@NYU offers an online master of arts in Counseling and Guidance program, with concentrations in school and bilingual school counseling to prepare students to become collaborative leaders elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Part-time and full-time options are available to fit student schedules.

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.

The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.

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Alternative Teacher Certification in Maine

Maine does not currently offer any alternative certification programs. For more information on becoming certified in Maine, visit their Teacher Certification page.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Maine

It is no longer enough to only have years of experience teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, teachers are almost solely evaluated by their success in the classroom. A master’s degree in the field of education can give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor.

After a master’s program, you may be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay. A master’s degree in the Portland Public Schools can lead to more than a $3,000 increase in initial salary over holding just a bachelor’s degree, according to salary schedules.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

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Certification Reciprocity in Maine

Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in Maine, visit the reciprocity page. For more specific questions about your situation, contact the Maine Department of Education.

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Financial Aid in Maine

Maine residents are 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 on

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Maine Teacher Salary and Incentives

In Maine, teachers earned an average of $48,119 in 2012-13, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Salary schedules in Maine are left up to the district.  Maine does not provide incentives for teachers in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas.

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Maine Teacher Benefits and Retirement

The state of Maine offers benefits that include health care plans such as full dental plans, long-term disability, and long-care health insurance. Retirement benefits are provided via Maine’s Public Employees Retirement System. Public School teachers become vested in the state retirement system after 5 years of service. Teachers in Maine can retire at 60, 62 or 65, depending on which plan they’re enrolled in, as long as they have taught for at least five years and have one year of service immediately before retirement, or at any age with 25 years of service.

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Professional Development for Teachers in Maine

Maine has recently implemented a data and results-oriented model of professional development geared toward improving schools in the most efficient way possible. This model was originally implemented with great success in Iowa. The model attempts to unify Maine’s curriculum and instruction, staff development and the continuing changes in education. To learn more about Maine’s professional development, visit the online Summary of Maine’s Professional Development.

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Maine Teaching Jobs

Most teaching jobs in Maine are placed through Serving Schools, a site where schools can post job openings and job seekers can easily filter them. Additionally, there are a number of postings at Maine Info. With many shortages, Maine is looking for highly educated teachers to enhance their educational system.

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