Become a Teacher in Missouri

Choose the statement that best describes you to jump to applicable information.

I AM...

Teaching in Missouri Snapshot

$50,980Secondary School Teacher Salary
$50,920Elementary School Teacher Salary
$10,589Public School Spending Per Student

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


205 Jefferson St
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(573) 751-4212

Explore Sponsored Degree Options in Education

Sponsored Online programs
University Name Type of Program Learn More Program Description
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.


Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Missouri

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 update: 04/29/2020)


Prerequisite Coursework in Missouri

All states require at least a bachelor’s degree to teach. Additionally, Missouri has very specific course requirements depending on desired grade level and content area.

Please visit the Missouri Certification Requirements Index or contact the Department of Education for more information, including elementary, middle and secondary education certification requirements as well as areas of specialized education. For more information on prerequisite coursework in Missouri, please visit



Missouri 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 approved teacher preparation programs can be found at the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.


Required Tests for Missouri

Most states require tests to show competency in basic skills as well as in the desired subject area. Missouri requires the College Basic Academic Subjects Examination (CBASE) for admission to a college or university teacher education program.  It also requires a series of tests called Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments, which includes several exams.

See details of each required test on the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments website.

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

Initial Teaching Certifications

To earn your Missouri teaching credential you will have to complete the required amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. Beginning teachers in Missouri receive an Initial Professional Certificate that is valid for 4 years.

Teachers who have met the requirements for full certification (which include two years of mentoring) are issued a permanent Career Continuous Professional Certificate (CCPC) and a Continuous Career Education Certificate (CCEC) which is valid for 99 years as long as performance evaluations are satisfactory and professional development requirements are met. Learn more about earning your Missouri teaching credential on the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education website.

Learn more about getting your teaching credential on

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.


Alternative Certification in Missouri

Missouri allows prospective teachers to attend an accredited teacher preparation course or an alternative certification program while simultaneously teaching under a two-year provisional certificate. Additionally, Missouri recognizes the ABCTE alternative certification program. For more alternate certification info, visit the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education for details on alternative routes to certification.

Missouri Teacher Certification Information & Links

Return to the top

Transferring Your Certification

Certification Reciprocity in Missouri

Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. Missouri is considered an “open” state and, in most circumstances, will honor a valid and active teacher license from another state. Please visit Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education for more information or visit the reciprocity page. Or, for more specific questions about your situation, contact the Missouri Department of Education.

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

Return to the top

Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in Missouri

Missouri Teaching Jobs

Teachers in the state can use an employment resource exclusively for Missouri educators called Missouri Teaching JOBS website where applicants can search and apply for teaching jobs.

Learn more about finding a teaching job on

Missouri Teacher Salary and Incentives

In Missouri, teachers earned an average of around $52,000 depending on grade level in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Missouri does not provide any additional pay for teaching high-demand districts or school subjects.

Learn more about teacher salaries on

Missouri Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Missouri public school teachers are covered by the Public School and Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri (PSRS/PEERS). Under PSRS/PEERS, teachers are eligible for full retirement at any age with at least 30 years of teaching service, when the sum of your age and years of service equals 80 or higher, or at the age of 60 with at least five 5 years of teaching service. Teachers with 25-29 years of teaching service are eligible for reduced-benefit retirement. Retirement compensation is determined by years of teaching experience and highest average salary.

Learn more about benefits for teachers on

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

  • Academically Advanced
  • Art and Music
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Early Childhood
  • English as a Second Language
  • Health and Physical Fitness
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education
  • World Languages

Financial Aid in Missouri

Missouri 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

Career Advancement

Professional Development for Missouri Teachers

Missouri uses a continuum of teacher standards toward which it gears a series of conferences and workshops. The state offers online professional development courses on its eMINTS website. To find out more about Missouri Professional Development, visit the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education’s page on educator quality.

While teaching under an Initial Professional Certificate (IPC), teachers in most core areas must complete 30 professional development contact hours. After being issued the permanent career certification, teachers must complete 15 professional development contact hours annually until becoming exempt by achieving 2 of the following: 10 years of teaching experience, advanced degree, and national certification.

Benefits of a Master's Degree in Missouri

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 in teaching provides more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor.

In Springfield Public Schools, a new teacher with a master’s degree earns almost $4,000 more than a beginning teacher with only a bachelor’s degree and the differential grows wider with each year of experience. Each year, Missouri educators with a master’s earn an average of $4,000 more than teachers without an advanced degree, according to the Missouri National Education Association. The state minimum is also $8,000 more for those with a master’s.

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

Explore Sponsored Program Options in Education

Featured 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.
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.


Last Updated May 2020