How to Become a Teacher in Missouri

Missouri boasts a student population of more than 900,000 K-12 students who attend more than 1,200 elementary schools, 380 middle schools, and almost 570 high schools throughout the state. To meet the needs of their large student population, the state employs around 1,700 professionals to work in a variety of faculty and administrative positions, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s website. Becoming a teacher in Missouri involves a series of steps, including four years of higher education, licensing examinations, and finally, Missouri teacher certification. Read on to learn more about how to get a job as a teacher in Missouri public schools.

Education Requirements

Individuals wishing to teach in Missouri public schools must hold a bachelor’s degree from a college or university with a teacher education program approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Missouri Teaching Certification

Missouri offers education certification for Early Childhood (Birth through grade 3), Elementary (grades 1-6), Middle School Education (grades 5-9), and Secondary Education (grades 9-12). Certification to teach special education and other areas, including Gifted Education (K-12), is available as well.

Required Tests

Candidates for an initial education certification must complete and pass the Praxis II Content Knowledge exam appropriate to the subject area for which certification is being requested. If no applicable content knowledge or specialty area is available for a subject area, the candidate will instead take the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching exam appropriate to the grade range for which certification is being requested.

State Certification Reciprocity

Out-of-state candidates for must hold a valid teaching certificate from another state in order to be granted a comparable Missouri certificate. A complete check list for out-of-state candidates applying for a Missouri teacher license/certificate is available on the DESE website.

Helpful Resources