Teachers help students learn fundamental skills like reading, writing, and mathematics, as well as foreign languages, technology, and art. Teaching in Maryland is both a rewarding and lucrative career path. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Maryland teachers earn well above the national average for teacher salaries, and teachers with a master's degree can increase their salary potential.
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The process for becoming a teacher varies by state, as each state creates its own licensing requirements. When it comes to teaching certification, Maryland provides a simple, straightforward process for candidates with a degree in teaching, including those with an online teaching degree. As long as teachers meet the state's preparation guidelines — which includes student teaching — and pass the required exams and a background check, they can work at the K-12 levels.
Teaching applicants must submit a transcript to show they meet the state's educator preparation requirements.
The Maryland State Department of Education issues teaching certificates and uses the same process for in-state and out-of-state educators. Teaching applicants must submit a transcript to show they meet the state's educator preparation requirements. Maryland sets high reading-coursework requirements, which is 12 credits for elementary teachers. Out-of-state graduates can use passing Praxis teaching reading exam scores to test out of the coursework requirements.
Online teaching programs offer flexibility and accessibility over traditional programs, which benefits current teachers earning a master's degree and students with work or family obligations. Maryland's certification process makes it easy for online degree holders to become teachers.
How to Become a Teacher in Maryland
Each state sets its own requirements for teacher certification, and licenses do not transfer between states. In Maryland, teachers must earn a bachelor's degree, complete an educator preparation program, pass Praxis exams, and pass a fingerprint and background check. Maryland also provides alternative pathways to the classroom for non-teaching degree holders. The state's department of education provides instructions for prospective teachers depending on their education and experience.
While teachers cannot automatically transfer a teaching certificate to another state, Maryland provides a simplified licensing process for out-of-state teachers. Experienced teachers licensed in other states can easily earn a teaching certificate in Maryland by submitting transcripts, a copy of their teaching license, and a form verifying their teaching experience. Licensed Maryland teachers planning a move should research the process of transferring their certification to a new state.
In Maryland, K-12 teachers must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Teachers must also complete an educator preparation program, either as part of a bachelor's in teaching or through additional coursework for graduates with a non-teaching degree. Teachers with a master's degree earn higher salaries and qualify for Maryland's advanced professional certificate.
A bachelor's degree in teaching requires approximately 120 credits of coursework, and most students graduate after four years of full-time enrollment. Teachers interested in a master's degree complete an additional two years of coursework. Maryland's certification requirements include student teaching experience, which nearly all teaching programs incorporate into their graduation requirements.
Graduates from out-of-state teacher programs must complete a transcript review to receive a Maryland teaching license, in addition to the other requirements.
Maryland certifies teaching programs that meet the state guidelines, and the state department of education provides a list of Maryland-approved programs online. Certified teachers in Maryland must meet reading requirements. Elementary education teachers must complete 12 credits in reading, including methods of teaching reading and reading assessment. Secondary teachers must earn six credits in reading. Elementary teachers can test out of the requirements by passing the Praxis II teaching reading exam.
Graduates from out-of-state teacher programs must complete a transcript review to receive a Maryland teaching license, in addition to the other requirements. Prospective teachers who are non-teaching degree holders must complete an educator preparation program at a Maryland-approved program or complete an alternative preparation program. They may also submit transcripts for review in order to determine any additional preparation requirements.
Maryland requires a bachelor's degree to become an elementary or secondary teacher, but graduates with an associate degree can become Maryland early childhood education teachers. Associate degree holders can work as preschool teachers, daycare or child care center workers, or paraprofessionals at the K-12 level, also known as teacher's aides. An associate degree also prepares graduates for a bachelor's program, and many associate teaching programs design their degrees to meet bachelor's degree general education requirements.
Common Courses for Teaching Degrees in Maryland
Associate Degree in Teaching
|Methods of Teaching||Methods courses introduce students to teaching strategies, instructional methods, curriculum design, and the assessment process, which are key skills for teachers at all levels.|
|Childhood Development||Many associate degree holders work in early childhood education. Coursework on childhood development focuses on birth through the elementary years and covers language, social, and emotional development.|
|Teaching Reading||Reading classes present research-based instructional techniques and strategies for teaching reading, including specialized methods for different age levels. Reading classes meet the Maryland teaching certificate reading requirements.|
Bachelor's Degree in Teaching
|Curriculum and Instruction||Students examine theoretical and practical aspects of curriculum design, including instructional methods and assessment techniques. The course may incorporate a curriculum design project.|
|Introduction to Special Education||This course prepares students to teach children with disabilities. Prospective teachers develop an understanding of the teacher's educational impact on students with diverse abilities and the special education learning experience.|
|Educational Assessment||Assessment courses prepare students to evaluate student performance related to instruction and curriculum goals. Coursework may cover theoretical and practical models for assessment.|
Master's Degree in Teaching
|Teaching Writing||Educators at all levels teach writing skills, and this course covers the theories and techniques of writing instruction, with a focus on theoretical approaches and research-based methods.|
|Instructional Strategies||Strategies courses may focus on particular skills, such as reading, mathematics, or science by exploring theoretical approaches and practical methods for teaching core skills in the classroom.|
|Teaching With Technology||Master's students analyze the effectiveness of technology in the classroom, including using software and instructional materials as teaching tools as well as technology-based assessment and feedback models.|
Certification & Licensing Needed to Become a Teacher in Maryland
Maryland's certification process verifies that educators have the qualifications and training necessary to teach students at the K-12 level. The Maryland State Department of Education provides several different types of certification. In general, Maryland teaching certification requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, passing Praxis exam scores, and a background check.
As part of the state's educational standards, teachers must meet Maryland's reading requirements. At the elementary level, teachers need 12 credits in reading, while secondary teachers need six credits. Maryland created the requirement to ensure teachers possess core skills in teaching reading. Prospective teachers may be able to test out of the requirement.
Most teaching licenses are valid for five years, and teachers can renew the license by showing six credits of professional development coursework.
Maryland requires passing scores on the Praxis basic skills exam. Applicants can meet this requirement with SAT, GRE, or ACT scores. Teachers may also need to pass Praxis subject tests in their content area. After meeting the testing and educational requirements, including student teaching experience, applicants must undergo a fingerprint and background check before receiving the state's teaching certificate.
Graduates from an educator preparation program apply for a professional eligibility certificate or a standard professional certificate. Both are valid for five years, but teachers must be currently employed in a Maryland public school to receive the standard certificate. Maryland issues teaching certificates to non-teaching degree holders while they complete the teacher preparation requirements. Most teaching licenses are valid for five years, and teachers can renew the license by showing six credits of professional development coursework.
Teachers licensed in other states can receive a Maryland teaching certificate by submitting transcripts, a copy of a valid out-of-state license, a copy of the test scores for the out-of-state license, and a verification of experience form for teachers who have one or more years of teaching experience. Maryland charges a $10 processing fee for an initial certificate and for each certificate renewal.
Choosing a Degree Program in Maryland
Elementary and secondary teachers must first complete a bachelor's degree with an educator preparation program. However, prospective students may feel overwhelmed when choosing a program, particularly when assessing online teacher programs from across the country. Considering several key factors, such as cost, location, time to degree, and specializations can help students find a program that fits their interests and career goals.
Some teaching programs are more affordable than others. In-state programs may offer lower tuition rates, and some online programs provide discounts for out-of-state students. In order to determine a program's cost, prospective students should consider the per-semester fees and the cost per credit. Students with transfer credits or an associate degree can also decrease the cost of a bachelor's in teaching.
Some learners prefer a local option, while others need the flexibility of an online program. Consider access to support resources and placement for student teaching, as well as whether the program meets Maryland's requirements for certification. Some programs may allow accelerated paths, and specializations can add time to the degree. Prospective teachers may prefer online programs for their accessibility and flexibility.
Can You Earn a Teaching Degree Online in Maryland?
According to the Maryland State Department of Education, online courses and degrees meet the state's requirements for teacher certification. An online teaching degree provides more flexibility than a traditional, on-campus program, allowing learners to work at their own pace and arrange their schedule around other obligations. Many online students work full-time or part-time, and online programs appeal to current teachers seeking a graduate degree in order to increase their salary or job opportunities.
While Maryland accepts online teaching degrees, online learners must still meet the requirements for an educator preparation program, including the reading requirements and three credits in special education. During the certification process, applicants submit official transcripts for review, which the state uses to determine whether candidates meet educational requirements. Maryland teachers must also demonstrate student teaching experience, which online students can arrange locally.
Maryland's teacher license requirements are the same for graduates from online teaching programs and traditional programs. However, Maryland requires that teachers hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited college or university, so it's important for prospective online learners to avoid unaccredited institutions.
Directory of Teaching Schools in Maryland
Paying for Your Teaching Degree in Maryland
In order to teach at the K-12 level in Maryland, teachers must complete a bachelor's degree. While the cost of a degree may seem intimidating, Maryland teaching students have many options to pay for their degree. Prospective students need to research their options, which may include scholarships and grants, and file the proper paperwork before enrolling in a teaching program.
Students often first seek out scholarships and grants, as they do not need to be repaid. The federal government and the state of Maryland offers several scholarships for teaching students, which can provide thousands of dollars toward a degree. And while teachers must repay loans, they can also benefit from loan forgiveness programs that cover the entire cost of a degree.
Teaching students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for federal grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. In addition to federal awards, students can also pursue financial aid support through their college or university. Current teachers or professionals considering a career change may qualify for tuition reimbursement programs through their school district or employer. A small amount of research before the semester starts can help students afford a teaching degree.
Loan Forgiveness for Maryland Teachers
Loan forgiveness programs discharge all or part of a graduate's student loans based on their professional contributions. Teachers qualify for several loan forgiveness programs at the state and federal level, which may cover up to 100% of their loan amount. Most loan forgiveness programs require that recipients meet teaching requirements in order to receive support.
At the federal level, teachers qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program and the Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation program. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program offers up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness on direct loans and Stafford loans for teachers who work for five consecutive years in a low-income school. The Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation program voids up to 100% of a Perkins loan for teachers who work in low-income schools or in high-need fields, including special education.
Maryland also offers a Loan Assistance Repayment Program for teachers. Certain certifications automatically qualify teachers for the program, and teachers at a low-income institution or a school targeted for improvement can also receive support. Maryland's Nancy Grasmick Teacher Award provides loan forgiveness for high-performance teachers in STEM or in low-income schools. Teachers may receive up to $10,000 per year in loan assistance.
Scholarships for Maryland Teaching Students
Maryland teaching students qualify for thousands of dollars worth of scholarship opportunities. The state provides several grants for students majoring in teaching shortage areas, and the federal TEACH Grant also supports students who agree to teach in low-income areas. With so many options, teaching students may be able to cover the full cost of a degree through scholarships.
Sharon Christa McAuliffe Scholarship Up to $4,000
TEACH Grants Up to $4,000
Hattie N. Harrison Memorial Scholarship Up to $4,000
Joseph J. Fox, Jr. Memorial Scholarship $2,000
Job Outlook and Salary for Teachers in Maryland
|Location||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
With nearly 170,000 teachers employed in the state, educators make up a significant segment of Maryland's workforce. The average teacher earns about $63,000, according to the BLS. Salaries for teachers in Maryland surpass the national average salary for all teachers throughout the country, which is $54,520; salaries vary depending on the job title, the teacher's educational level, and location.
Preschool teachers receive the lowest wages among Maryland's educators, earning just over $35,000 a year. However, Maryland does not require a teaching certificate for preschool teachers. At the K-12 level, kindergarten teachers earn just under $59,000 a year, while elementary, middle school, and high school teachers make around $65,000.
In addition to job title, teacher salaries vary based on the teacher's highest level of education. In Maryland, as in other states, teachers with a master's degree often earn more than those with a bachelor's degree. Other factors contribute to salary differences, including the school district and the location. Many school districts publish their teacher salary schedules, meaning prospective educators can check their potential salary before earning a teaching degree.
|Elementary School Teachers||$64,970|
|Middle School Teachers||$64,840|
|Secondary School Teachers||$65,930|
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching in Maryland
How do I get certified to teach in Maryland?
How much do teachers make in Maryland?
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Do you need a master's to teach in Maryland?
Resources for Teachers in Maryland
- Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) MSDE certifies teachers, adds endorsements to teacher licenses, and grants advanced professional certifications. Additionally, MSDE provides information on the public school system and Maryland teaching jobs.
- Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) MSEA promotes great public schools and quality education, including providing tools and support for Maryland's educators. MSEA lobbies for school funding, bargains for salaries, and offers legal aid for teachers, as well as professional development and training.
- Maryland Association of Science Teachers (MAST) The MAST supports science education by making it accessible and enjoyable, as well as supporting science teachers through professional development, teaching resources, and award ceremonies.
- Maryland PTA The Maryland PTA, short for Parent-Teacher Association, advocates for public education through encouraging parent and public involvement in schools. The national organization, which dates back to 1897, helps connect local teachers with parents and community members to support schools and the children who attend them.
- National Education Association (NEA) Dating back to 1857, the NEA promotes public education and supports teachers at all levels, from preschool to graduate educators. The NEA has more than 3 million members who receive education resources, organization information, and discounted legal services.