How to Become a Teacher in Massachusetts

Becoming a Massachusetts certified teacher requires a dedication to educational attainment, both for students and the prospective teacher in question. Those interested in becoming a teacher in Massachusetts must complete a bachelor’s degree program, as well as pass a Massachusetts teaching license test to ensure that they have the necessary professional and academic knowledge to teach competently in a classroom setting. Options are also available for those interested in transitioning to teaching in Massachusetts from other professions, which have different educational requirements. This article will help explain the specific educational attainment necessary for those interested in Massachusetts teacher certification, as well as ways teachers from other states can transfer to Massachusetts.

Education Requirements

Individuals wishing to obtain a license from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to teach in Massachusetts public schools must hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

Massachusetts Teaching Certification

Individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree, passed the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), and completed a Department-approved educator preparation program can apply for an Initial License which is valid for five years and may be extended once for an additional five years of employment. Preliminary Licenses are available to individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree, have passed the MTEL, but have not completed a Department-approved educator preparation program.

Required Tests

Each educator license requires that candidates complete and pass an appropriate MTEL subject matter test. Some licenses may require completing and passing additional tests.

State Certification Reciprocity

Out-of-state candidates applying for Massachusetts educator licensure reciprocally must have completed a state-approved educator preparation program at an accredited institution or hold the equivalent of an initial license or certificate and three years of employment under that license or certificate during the previous seven years. Out-of-state candidates must complete any additional degree work or testing required for the requested Massachusetts educator license.

Helpful Resources