Teaching Degrees in Massachusetts

Compared to most other states, teachers in Massachusetts are well paid. High school teachers in Massachusetts earn an annual salary of $74,040, which is substantially higher than the national average of $58,030 per year. Additionally, teachers in the Peabody-Salem-Beverly metropolitan area make $83,810 per year, one of the highest figures in any American corridor.

High school teachers in Massachusetts earn an annual salary of $74,040, which is substantially higher than the national average of $58,030

Prospective students can earn their teaching degree online in Massachusetts through either an in-state or out-of-state school. One benefit of earning your teaching degree online is the greater variety of programs and schools available. You can apply for programs that best match your academic interests and career goals rather than settling for the closest school. Other benefits include convenience, flexibility, and lower costs. Online students avoid commuting to campus and can typically watch lectures and complete coursework on their own schedules. The flexibility of online programs allows students to continue working while they take classes.

If you earn your teaching degree from a school in another state, you will go through the same process for obtaining a teaching license as applicants enrolled in an in-state teaching program. Make sure your teaching degree meets the standards required to apply for a Massachusetts teaching certificate.

Teaching requirements are different in every state, and state licenses do not automatically transfer from one state to another.

If you hold a teaching license in one state and move to another one, you will need to apply for a license in the new state and meet any local requirements. Most states make an effort to simplify the licensure process for out-of-state educators with teaching experience. Many states are members of reciprocity agreements, making it easier for out-of-state applicants to quickly begin teaching while they go through the process of completing steps needed to receive certification in the new state.

Educational Requirements

To receive an initial teaching license, Massachusetts requires applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree. Teachers with a master’s degree can apply for a professional teaching license. It may be possible to teach in some specific areas with only an associate degree, including some jobs in vocational technical education, adult basic education, or early childhood education.

It typically takes about four years of full-time study to earn your bachelor’s degree in teaching and an additional two years for a master’s.

To qualify for a teaching license, Massachusetts does not require you to major in education. However, applicants with a teaching degree typically have an easier time receiving their license. Most teaching degree programs fulfill the educational requirements for a Massachusetts teacher license. Applicants with a degree in a field other than teaching go through an alternative teacher certification process. Massachusetts offers several different alternative routes to certification.

Regardless of major, teacher candidates must complete 150 to 300 hours of a student-teaching internship. Most teaching programs include a student-teaching internship as part of their curriculum. It typically takes about four years of full-time study to earn your bachelor’s degree in teaching and an additional two years for a master’s. If you have a degree in a field other than teaching and need to complete a teacher preparation program, this usually takes an additional year.

To find out if your MA teaching license will transfer to another state, research if the two states have reciprocity under the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement. Most states are part of the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement. For more information about the educational requirements for becoming a teacher in Massachusetts, check the state's Office of Educator Licensure.

Common Courses for Teaching Degrees in Massachusetts

Associate Degree in Teaching

Preschool Curriculum Students learn to plan lessons for the early-childhood classroom. Teachers learn how to foster development and cognitive growth through lessons in mathematics, language, social science, health, and the arts.
Introduction to Early Childhood Education This course introduces students to the profession of early childhood education. Topics covered include child growth and development, working with families, diversity, professionalism, and nutrition and safety.
Guidance Strategies For Young Children Students in this class explore guidance theories, techniques, and goals as they relate to children from birth through age eight. Topics covered include classroom management and social skill development.

Bachelors Degree in Teaching

Introduction to Special Education This course provides an overview of special education, including its history, special services, and terminology. The class covers strategies in special education for children and adults.
Social Diversity in Education Students learn about the role of diversity in the classroom, including how to create a respectful, multicultural learning environment. The course takes an interdisciplinary perspective and explores power and privilege.
Teaching Reading to Elementary School Children This course introduces students to the theory and practice of teaching reading to elementary students. Students also learn about recent innovations in materials and methods.

Masters Degree in Teaching

LGBT Issues in Education This special topic course examines sexual and gender identity in K-12 schools. The class explores how schools and teachers can make educational spaces more welcoming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students and teachers.
Education and Public Policy Students receive an introduction to the role that federal, state, and local government plays in shaping educational policy. The course explores school-district regionalization in Massachusetts as a case study.
Qualitative Research Methods in Education This class provides an introduction to qualitative research methods, a useful topic for individuals pusing their MA in education. Students learn how to best use qualitative research methods in the classroom.

Certification & Licensing Needed to Become a Teacher in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Educator Licensure oversees certification and licensure for teachers in the state. Massachusetts teaching requirements vary based on what type of license you want.

The most basic teaching license in Massachusetts is the provisional license, which is valid for five years and cannot be renewed. To earn the provisional license, prospective teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree and pass all required MTEL tests. Applicants seeking a provisional license that does not include a subject matter test must also complete a competency review.

Teachers applying for the professional license must complete one of several different programs, including a master's program.

Another option is the initial license, which is also valid for five years. Unlike the provisional license, it can be extended once for an additional five years. Requirements for the initial license include holding a bachelor’s degree, passing all required MTEL tests, and completion of an approved teacher preparation program.

The highest teaching license in Massachusetts is the professional teaching license, which is valid for five years and is renewable every five years after that. To be eligible, applicants must hold an initial license in the same field as that of the professional license they are seeking, hold employment at the initial license level for at least three years, and complete a one-year induction program. Teachers applying for the professional license must also complete one of several different programs. Options include a master’s program with at least 12 credits in subject matter knowledge or an approved licensure program.

Out-of-state applicants can apply for a temporary Massachusetts teaching license, which allows them to begin work quickly. The temporary license is valid for one year and cannot be extended or renewed. To be eligible for a temporary license, individuals must hold a bachelor’s degree and work as a licensed teacher in another state for at least three years.

The process for transferring your MA teaching certification to most other states is simplified through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement. For more information about becoming a licensed teacher in Massachusetts, consult the Office of Educator Licensure at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

With so many different options available, deciding which online teaching program to enroll in can be difficult. Prospective students must consider many different factors before making a decision, including cost, location, program length, and specialization availability.

For many students, cost is the most important consideration when deciding which program to enroll in. You should ask yourself what you can realistically afford. Don’t forget to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to determine your eligibility for financial aid.

Although geographic location is less important when choosing an online program than it would be for an on-campus program, location may still matter. Consider the support resources offered for on-campus students and whether comparable help is available for online students. You should also research if your school will help you make arrangements for student teaching hours. This internship experience must happen in person, so it is important to ensure your school will allow you to find a site near your home.

For more information about online teaching degree programs in Massachusetts, see our directory below.

Can You Earn a Teaching Degree Online in Massachusetts?

Students can pursue a variety of education and teaching preparation programs online. If you want to earn your associate, bachelor’s, or master's in education, Massachusetts offers numerous online options at public and private institutions. An online degree carries the same merit as one earned through a traditional, in-person program. In many cases, there is no way to tell that you earned your degree online rather than in person; college transcripts do not differentiate between online and on-campus courses.

Whether you earn your degree online or in-person has no bearing on the licensure process. When researching online teaching programs in Massachusetts, make sure the degree qualifies students to apply for a teaching license. Approved teacher preparation programs include a student teaching internship, which is a required part of the Massachusetts teacher certification process. You will also need to make sure that your online school is regionally accredited. In Massachusetts, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges provides accreditation for colleges and universities. Additionally, check to see if your program has accreditation from either the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Directory of Teaching Schools in Massachusetts

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Figuring out how to pay for your teaching degree can be overwhelming. Although affordable online teaching programs are available, the cost of earning an academic degree is usually significant. Financial aid options include scholarships, student loans, grants, and tuition reimbursement programs. In order to qualify for most of these types of assistance, students should fill out the FAFSA. Even many non-governmental financial aid sources require students to submit the FAFSA.

Private foundations, corporations, and nonprofit groups all distribute scholarships and grants to students pursuing teaching degrees. Scholarships and grants, the most desirable forms of financial aid for students, do not need to be repaid, while loans do need to be paid back. Some types of federal student loans may be eligible for student loan forgiveness programs. Typically, to qualify for loan forgiveness, teachers must agree to work for a certain number of years in high-need schools. Additionally, some employers offer tuition reimbursement to individuals seeking to further their teaching education. Prospective students should contact their employer’s human resources department for more information on grants or discounts.

Loan Forgiveness for Massachusetts Teachers

Massachusetts teachers may qualify for a number of different loan forgiveness programs. In loan forgiveness programs, federal, state, or local governments eliminate part or all of an individual’s loans. Teachers usually receive loan forgiveness in exchange for working in an in-demand, underserved position or area.

The federal government’s Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program cancels up to $17,500 in direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans and subsidized and unsubsidized federal Stafford loans for eligible teachers. To qualify for the program, educators must teach full-time for five consecutive years in a low-income school or educational agency. Another program that teachers may qualify for is the federal government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. This program cancels an individual’s remaining student loan balance after they make 120 qualifying monthly payments while working full-time for a nonprofit organization or government agency. Most schools qualify under these categories. Teachers should carefully read the rules for any loan forgiveness program they hope to enroll in.

Scholarships for Massachusetts Teaching Students

Most college students do not realize how much financial aid is available to help them pay for their education. One of the most desirable forms of student financial aid is scholarship money. Below, we've listed a few scholarships that prospective teachers can apply for.

Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant Program Varies

Who Can Apply: The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education offers this grant to paraprofessionals working in the state’s public schools who want to become teachers. View Scholarship

Mathematics and Science Teachers Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: Applicants must agree to teach science or mathematics full-time in a public school in Massachusetts after earning their degree. Recipients who do not uphold this agreement must repay the scholarship. View Scholarship

The Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program Varies

Who Can Apply: The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education offers this scholarship to early childhood educators. Recipients must enroll in early childhood education or a related program at the associate, bachelor’s, or master’s level. View Scholarship

Incentive Program for Aspiring Teachers Tuition Waiver Varies

Who Can Apply: This program assists students willing to work in a subject with teacher shortages. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and be legal residents of Massachusetts. Recipients must commit to teaching for two years in a Massachusetts public school upon graduation. View Scholarship
Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant Program Who Can Apply: The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education offers this grant to paraprofessionals working in the state’s public schools who want to become teachers. Amount: Varies Mathematics and Science Teachers Scholarship Who Can Apply: Applicants must agree to teach science or mathematics full-time in a public school in Massachusetts after earning their degree. Recipients who do not uphold this agreement must repay the scholarship. Amount: Varies The Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program Who Can Apply: The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education offers this scholarship to early childhood educators. Recipients must enroll in early childhood education or a related program at the associate, bachelor’s, or master’s level. Amount: Varies Incentive Program for Aspiring Teachers Tuition Waiver Who Can Apply: This program assists students willing to work in a subject with teacher shortages. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and be legal residents of Massachusetts. Recipients must commit to teaching for two years in a Massachusetts public school upon graduation. Amount: Varies
Location Employment Annual Mean Wage
Massachusetts 235,890 $65,060
United States 8,636,430 $54,520

The geographic location where you choose to work can affect your job prospects, including your likely salary. Teachers in Massachusetts make a much better living than teachers in most other states.

The annual mean wage for educators in the United States is $54,520, but Massachusetts teachers earn an average salary of $65,060. Salary levels differ based on the city you choose to teach in. Teachers located in metropolitan cities nearly always make more than those in rural areas. Generally speaking, wealthier school districts pay higher salaries than poorer districts.

The average annual salary for teachers also varies considerably based on teaching level. The average high school teacher earns about double the salary of a preschool teacher. Preschool teachers make a lower salary than their peers in almost every state.

Average Annual Salary by Teaching Level in Massachusetts
Preschool Teachers $35,900
Kindergarten Teachers $69,050
Elementary School Teachers $74,470
Middle School Teachers $71,870
Secondary School Teachers $74,040
  • Massachusetts Teacher Association The MTA represents 110,000 education professionals working in Massachusetts’ public schools, colleges, and universities. The organization advocates for quality public education at all levels. MTA membership benefits include legal resources, conferences, professional development opportunities, and a job board.
  • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education The Massachusetts Department of Education hosts educational resources and licensing information on its website. Topics include licensing requirements, information about tests, school data, and district information. The website also features job postings, including for student teachers.
  • Collaborative for Educational Services The CES is a nonprofit educational agency that works with teachers to help students succeed. Prospective teachers can find information about jobs, teaching and receiving licensure in Massachusetts, and professional development opportunities.
  • Massachusetts Educators of English Language Learners This professional organization represents English language teachers in Massachusetts. Members receive a subscription to publications, access to members-only resources on the website, discounts on professional learning opportunities, and invitations to events.
  • Massachusetts Association of Science Teachers Affiliated with the National Science Teachers Association, MAST works to improve science teaching in Massachusetts. Members can network with other science teachers, learn about job opportunities, and stay abreast of new policy and educational developments in the field.
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