How to Become a Teacher in Texas

Texas is home to 4.7 million students who come from diverse backgrounds and have a wide range of needs. To meet the needs of Texas’ diverse student population, 50% of which is Hispanic, the Lone Star State employs more than 320,000 teachers and an additional 70,000 professional staff members, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Before you can join the ranks of Texas’ teachers, you will need to meet the state’s educational and certification requirements. Read on to see what you need to do to become a Texas certified teacher.

Education Requirements

The Texas Education Agency licenses teachers in the state. To become a certified teacher in Texas, applicants must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, complete an approved educator preparation program, and pass the appropriate teacher certification exams.

Texas Teaching Certification

There are five basic requirements for becoming certified to teach in Texas: hold a bachelor’s degree, complete an educator preparation program, pass the appropriate certification exams, complete the application process, and be fingerprinted as part of a criminal background check. Standard certificates must be renewed every five years.

Required Tests

No basic skills tests are required in Texas, though some education preparation programs may require the Texas Higher Education Assessment exam for admission. Certain TExES Tests are required based on the area in which a candidate is seeking certification. Consult the TEA website for information.

State Certification Reciprocity

Out-of-state teachers wishing to become certified in Texas are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If their certification is accepted, they will receive a one-year certificate and must complete the appropriate Texas tests during the year after issuance. Applicants from Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, and Oklahoma who have completed tests in those states may be exempt from taking Texas exams.

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