Become a Teacher in Minnesota

Minnesota Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary $59,840
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary $63,360
Vacation Weeks per Year 15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio 1:17
Expenditure per Pupil $11,464

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

1500 Highway 36
West Roseville, MN 55113
(651) 582-8200

Minnesota 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 partial list of teacher shortage areas in Minnesota for the 2016-17 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education (see page 83).

  • Agricultural Education
  • Business Education Chemistry
  • Communication Technology Careers
  • Computers/Keyboarding
  • Construction Careers
  • Dance and Theatre
  • English as a Second Language
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Library Media Specialist
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Careers
  • Middle-Level Science (Grades 5 -8)
  • Parent and Family Education
  • Physics
  • Reading
  • School Psychology
  • Special Education

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Minnesota

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 Minnesota, 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 Minnesota teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Minnesota Teaching Credential

To earn your Minnesota teaching credential you will have to complete required the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. The teaching credential issued to beginning teachers who have completed an accredited teacher preparation program is the First-time Full Professional Minnesota Education License, which is then renewed every five years after meeting requirements for professional development. Learn more about earning your teaching credential on the Minnesota Department of Education’s licensing page.

Visit for additional details about earning your teaching credential.

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Minnesota

All states require that prospective teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification.  Some states also have specific course and credit-hour requirements. Minnesota does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or

Contact your teacher preparation program or Minnesota Department of Education for more information.

Step Two: Minnesota 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 institutions offering education preparation programs can be found on the Minnesota Board of Teaching’s teacher preparation page.

Step Three: Required Tests for Minnesota

Most states require tests to show competency in basic skills as well as in the desired subject area. Minnesota requires the NES Essential Academic Skills Test, the MTLE content knowledge test for subject area competency and the MTLE pedagogy test.

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 Minnesota

Licensure via Portfolio is a non-traditional option for earning a Minnesota teaching license. The portfolio provides an alternative process for evaluating the knowledge, skills and competencies of individuals seeking a license who have not completed an approved teacher preparation program in the licensure field being sought.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Minnesota

It is no longer enough to just have years of experience in teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, the careers of teachers increasingly depend on their results in the classroom. A master's degree in the field of education will 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.

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

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Certification Reciprocity in Minnesota

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 Minnesota, visit the reciprocity page. Or, for more specific questions about your situation, contact the Minnesota Department of Education.

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Financial Aid in Minnesota

Minnesota 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 to finance your master’s degree on

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Minnesota Teacher Salary and Incentives

In Minnesota,  teachers earned an average of $56,268 per year in 2012-13, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Minnesota does not provide differential pay for teachers in high-needs schools or shortage subjects. Learn more about teacher salaries on

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Minnesota Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Minnesota public school employees are covered by Minnesota’s State Employee Group Insurance Plan, which includes several health coverage options. Teachers either at age 55 or older with three 3 or more years of creditable teaching service to the state, or at any age with 30 or more years of creditable teaching service are eligible for retirement benefits administered by the Minnesota Teachers Retirement Association, which publishes its handbook of benefits and services online.

Learn more about benefits for teachers on

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Professional Development for Teachers in Minnesota

Minnesota offers a standard range of professional development opportunities, such as conferences and technology training. Additionally, the Minnesota Department of Education runs an induction and mentoring program for new teachers. Minnesota requires completion of 125 hours of approved professional development activities during each five-year licensing period, including activities relating to certain areas such as behavioral intervention and reading preparation.

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Minnesota Teaching Jobs

Many public school districts in Minnesota post teaching vacancies on their websites, including Minneapolis Public Schools.

The Minnesota Department of Education runs an online Teacher Recruitment Center with up-to-date teaching positions and the ability to create a profile and post your resume online.
Learn more about finding a teaching job on

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