When looking to obtain your teaching certification, you may be faced with many questions and unsure of where to find answers. Our teaching certification guide for 2022 will be sure to help answer any frequently asked questions you may have and will help prepare you for your certification. 

National certification for teachers can vary from state to state and may take into consideration the district, as well as, grade-level that you are hoping to teach. Because teaching licensure is a state requirement, rather than a federal requirement, each state has its own processes for approving teachers. If you are wanting to teach in a public school, you will be asked to receive your certification. This may also go by the term teaching license, teaching certificate, or teaching credential. Before applying to teaching jobs, be sure to double-check state requirements regarding certification.

What Is a Teaching Certification?

A teaching certification is a teaching license that deems an individual capable of teaching. Typically, a certified teacher has an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, has completed the required coursework set by the state, and has passed the state certification or licensure exam. Every public school in the United States, as well as many private schools, requires that individuals have their national certification for teachers or teaching license to teach before they are hired. 

teacher certification guide

How to Get a Teaching Certification?

If you are looking for how to get a teaching certification, look no further. Although every stay has different specifics as far as requirements go, the process for getting a teaching license is similar state by state. Below are the steps you can take to obtain your teaching certification: 

  1. Get your bachelor’s degree – The first step to receiving any teacher certification is to get your bachelor’s degree. Many programs require that you have a bachelor’s degree in any subject before you can complete preparation coursework. If you choose to receive your bachelor’s degree in education, you will have likely covered certain coursework. 
  2. Complete a teacher preparation program – Teacher preparation programs are required to make sure that individuals have been taught what they need to know about running a classroom. 
  3. Do some student teaching – As part of 
  4. Take your state’s required licensing exam – In order to test teacher candidate’s proficiency in teaching and certain subjects, state’s have required exams that must be passed before receiving certification. 
  5. Apply for certification – Once you have completed all requirements, it’s time to apply for certification! Candidates will likely be required to submit a fee and background check before receiving teaching certification.

If you are an individual who has an undergraduate degree but has not completed teacher preparation coursework, you may be able to participate in an alternative teacher certification program. In an alternative teaching certification program, you will be completing the coursework that you would have taken had you majored in education as an undergraduate. In many places, online master’s degree programs in education double as an alternative teaching preparation programs. This allows individuals to not only advance their careers but also, complete the required licensing requirements. 

Licensed Teacher vs Certified Teacher

A licensed teacher versus a certified teacher does not always mean something different. A certified teacher is someone who is legally authorized to teach in public schools. In order to do this, one must receive a certificate to teach, and this certificate is a teaching license. Some states may give teaching licenses, in addition to having a teaching certification process, while other states may only use certification to determine if a candidate can teach. For example, this happens in the state of New York. While getting your teacher’s license and becoming a certified teacher are generally considered the same, at times they may not be used interchangeably. Because of this, it’s important to do your research when looking into state requirements. 

certified teacher

Take the Next Step to Your Teaching Certification

In order to take the next step to receive your national certification for teachers, it’s important to decide what subject area you want to teach in and where you want to teach. Then, you will need to find a teaching program that meets your needs! When you pursue your teaching certification, you will need to take the necessary coursework to get certified in your state, and then you will apply for a state license. Discover different certification options that will help set you up for a successful teaching career!