Become a Teacher in Massachusetts

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Teaching in Massachusetts Snapshot

$81,070Secondary School Teacher Salary
$82,450Elementary School Teacher Salary
$116,197Public School Spending Per Student

All career and salary information pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 pupil expenditure information was provided by Governing

MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148
(781) 338-3000

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University of Southern California Master of Arts in Teaching Learn more about USC Rossier The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.
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Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Massachusetts

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.com 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 update: 04/29/2020)

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Prerequisite Coursework in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification. Massachusetts does not list specific course or credit hour requirements; however some subject fields may have such requirements. Also, every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education for more information.

 

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Massachusetts 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 desired content area. Visit the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education for a list of accredited teacher preparation programs.

 

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Required Tests for Massachusetts

Aspiring Massachusetts teachers are required to take the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) exams

You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting Teach.coms' Guide to the Praxis Exams and read more about teacher certification tests on Teach.com.

All candidates registering to take the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) are required to enter a MEPID (Massachusetts Education Personnel ID) number in order to register for a test. Before registering for the MTEL, you must know your MEPID number.

Initial Teaching Certifications

To earn your Massachusetts teaching credential you will have to complete the required amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. Massachusetts issues an Initial license for new teachers (valid for five years and renewable once), and a Professional license (renewable every five years), issued after at least three years of teaching under an Initial License and completion of a teacher induction program.

Learn more at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education about earning your teaching credential or learn more about getting your teaching credential at Teach.com.

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Discover an 8-week Online Teaching Short Course from Harvard's Bok Center

Learn more about an 8-week short course from Harvard's Bok Center

Earn recognition of your ability to develop and deliver a memorable teaching experience when you receive a premier certificate from Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX, upon successful course completion.

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Alternative Certification in Massachusetts

Aspiring teachers in Massachusetts can apply for a Preliminary license, which is valid for five years during which time an approved teacher preparation program can be completed. For more information on licensure and non-traditional certification routes visit the state’s Executive Office of Education page.

Massachusetts Teacher Certification Information & Links

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Transferring Your Certification

Certification Reciprocity in Massachusetts

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 Massachusetts, visit the Teach.com reciprocity page. Or, for more specific questions about your situation contact the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.

To find out what other state teaching licenses can be used in Massachusetts, check out our Teacher Certification Reciprocity page on Teach.com.

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Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Teaching Jobs

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education runs an Educator Career Center, where districts can post job opportunities and aspiring teachers can search through them.

Learn more about finding a teaching job on Teach.com.

Massachusetts Teacher Salary and Incentives

In Massachusetts, teachers earned an average salary of around $71,000 per year in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Massachusetts is one of the highest paying states to teach in, and additionally offers increased pay for teachers willing to work in high-needs schools or in shortage subjects. Teacher salary is determined by the school district. For the most recent data on average salaries in each district, visit the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education’s Teacher Salaries Report page or learn more about teacher salaries at Teach.com.

Learn more about teacher salaries on Teach.com.

Massachusetts Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Massachusetts public school teachers are eligible to receive full retirement benefits from the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System at age 55 with at least 10 years of teaching service, or at any age with a minimum of 20 years of teaching service. Benefits are calculated using age at the time of retirement, years of service, and the average of a teacher’s highest three consecutive years’ salaries. For more information, visit the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System.

Learn more about benefits for teachers on Teach.com.

Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts for the 2020-21 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education

  • English as a Second Language
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education
  • World Languages

Financial Aid in Massachusetts

Massachusetts 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 Teach.com.

Career Advancement

Professional Development for Massachusetts Teachers

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education established a system of Professional Development Points (PDP’s) for teacher license renewal. PDP’s are earned through the completion of school or district-run professional development activities. The Department publishes detailed guidelines and resources for PDP’s.

Benefits of a Master's Degree in Massachusetts

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 should provide you with more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as 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 potential for higher pay.

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

Explore Sponsored Program Options in Education

Sponsored Online programs
University Name Type of Program Program Description
University of Southern California Master of Arts in Teaching The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.
Fordham University Master of Science in Teaching 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.
Harvard University's Bok Center Advanced Certification in Teaching The 8-week Teaching and Learning Strategies for Higher Education online short course is delivered by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX. Students in this course will engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective teaching methods in the higher education context, while refining their own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy.

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Last Updated May 2020