Before you look at how long it takes to become a teacher, it’s important to understand what exactly the job of a teacher is and how important teachers are to our society. Teachers have a large impact on students and help shape them, especially if they teach students at a young age. Teachers help students with their achievements and the choices they make inside and outside of the classroom. It can be a very rewarding career, as you will be preparing students for the next phase in their lives. 

The length of education for future teachers can vary depending on what an individual chooses. Career path and the state that an individual will be teaching in can play a role in the years of education they will have to participate in. In this article, you can find how long it takes to start teaching for categories like preschool, elementary, high school, and substitute teachers. 

Education Path for Teachers

All education paths for becoming a teacher start with a bachelor’s degree. From there, it depends on the type of teacher you want to become!

1. Bachelor’s Degree for Teachers

If you are considering how long it takes to become a teacher, you should consider the length of time it takes to get a bachelor’s degree. In order to be eligible for certification, all teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree, and traditional bachelor’s degree programs are usually  last four years. 

Bachelor’s degrees are necessary because of coursework, student teaching, and licensure requirements that future teachers need to meet.

2. Master’s Degree for Teachers

A master’s degree for teachers may also be required depending on the state. This will also impact how long it takes to become a teacher. 37 states require that teachers have a master’s degree to be eligible for certification. Some of these states include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, and Missouri. Pursuing a master’s degree can last two years, however, there are also accelerated programs. These accelerated programs may only take you one year to complete compared to the more traditional route. Not everyone needs to obtain a master’s degree, but, if you earned your bachelor’s degree in a different field than teaching or you want to change careers, you should consider this path. If you are hoping to receive your master’s degree, know that specific programs exist for subjects like elementary and secondary school education. 

3. Exams for Teachers

After teaching candidates complete their necessary education and training requirements, they must participate in exams for teachers in order to obtain their teaching certification. Regardless of the state they are in, all teaching candidates must complete the full certification process required by that state. As a part of the certification process, most programs contain a practical teaching experience at the end of the curriculum. Exams for Teachers can vary and differ from state to state, so not all teachers will be taking the same exams.

4. Certification Requirements for Teachers

The final step in your teacher certification journey is to apply to your state’s department of education for a teaching certificate, after you have passed all certification requirements for teachers. Certifications can cost anywhere from $40 to $200, and can vary depending on the state that you are in. The first certificate that you receive can be valid for between one and five years and needs to be renewed every few years if you remain teaching.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Preschool Teacher

When looking specifically at how long it takes to become a preschool teacher, know that some states will require a high school degree, while others will require a college degree. In Additionally,, if you are looking at becoming a preschool teacher at a public school, you will need a bachelor’s degree and a certification. It is preferred if the bachelor’s degree is in early childhood education or a related field from a state-approved program. 

How Long Does It Take To Become an Elementary Teacher

How long it takes to become an elementary teacher depends on the state. Additionally, it may be necessary to pursue a master’s degree after receiving your license in some states. Regardless of pursuing this extra degree, becoming an elementary school teacher can typically take between five and seven years. Below are the steps it takes to become an elementary school teacher and the years allotted to each step: 

  1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. (approximately 4 years)
  2. Complete state requirements for teacher licensing. (approximately 3 months)
  3. Complete a period of supervised teaching. (up to one year)

How Long Does It Take To Become a  Highschool Teacher

The amount of time it takes to become a high school teacher can vary based on where you earn your degree and certification. Typically, it takes four years for an individual to earn a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is usually required to become a high school teacher. After that, individuals can take an additional fifth year to earn a teaching credential in a single subject. Individuals can also opt to receive their certification in a subject or grade-level through an alternative teacher certification program like Teachers of Tomorrow. Through teacher education programs, teaching candidates will have the opportunity to work with more experienced teachers. They will have the support and will acquire the necessary knowledge needed for teaching. 

How Long Does It Takes To Become a Substitute Teacher

If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher, again, the requirements to teach vary depending on state and school district. How long it takes to become a substitute teacher can drastically change. It can take anywhere from 20 hours to four years to obtain a substitute teacher license. While it is not necessary or required, those that pursue becoming a substitute teacher and also receive their regular teaching certification can be in the running for a variety of things. You may be more appealing to a certain school and you could receive higher pay. Consider adding a regular teacher certification to your achievements and check our these certification options certification options.