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How to Become a Teacher in Texas

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Ready to Become a Teacher in Texas?

So you want to become a teacher in Texas? Teaching is a unique profession because it allows you to change the lives of others. If you have a bachelor’s degree, combining a 12-18 month alternative program with required state certification tests is all you need to get certified. In six steps, you can transition into a new career.

This is not a journey to take alone. There are many teaching opportunities. Organize your steps and find partners along the way. Use the links in this guide; reach out to the suggested resources and organizations.

Becoming a Teacher in Texas

1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

Every teacher in Texas must have, at minimum, a Bachelors Degree.

That does NOT mean you have to have your degree in Education, just any degree.

If you major in education at an accredited institution recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB),  you are most likely completing the Traditional Teacher Certification Route.

But if you have your degree, and NOW want to become a teacher, then you need to complete the Alternative Certification Route.

For the Alternative Certification route, you just need a college degree with a 2.5 GPA or higher. IMPORTANT: That GPA requirement can be your entire college history, or just the most recent 60 hours of college coursework.

Once you complete this requirement (and you probably already have), you need to choose a certification program.

2. Complete Internship or Student Teaching Requirements

You will also need to complete an internship or student teaching requirement. Different programs use the terms interchangeably, but both mean observing students and teachers in the classroom and then learning to teach students yourself. If you major in education, your university program will help you complete these requirements. If you major in another area, you must use an approved alternative teaching program. Here is a list of approved Texas alternative certification programs.

3. Pass Required Certification Exams

Test registration occurs at the Texas Certification Test Prep and Teacher Training Website. All candidates for a Texas Standard Teaching Certificate must take at least two initial exams:

  •  The Pedagogy & Professional Responsibilities Test (PPR)
  • A subject-specific test of your choice

A TExES content test is a certification exam that is specific to the content you want to teach.

In other words, the state of Texas wants to verify you have mastered the very content you want to teach students.

It makes sense…

For example, if you wanted to teach elementary-age children through six grade in any subject, you would need to take the Core Subjects EC-6 and the Science of Teaching Reading, or STR.

Or if you wanted to teach special education, you would likely need to take the content area you would most like to teach, and tie it to a Special Education certification, such as the Special Education Supplemental or the EC-12 Special Education exam.

THIS IS WHY A CERTIFICATION PROGRAM IS SO IMPORTANT!

Your EPP will work with you to identify all of the content exams you may need or have the prerequisites to take.

For example, many candidates in Texas who have no interest in teaching English as a second language still take the ESL Supplemental exam because having that certification makes them a stronger job candidate and many districts require it. After all, over 20 percent of students are being served through ESLand bilingual programs in Texas. Each district has different requirements, and you should check with your preferred districts for their eligibility requirements.

Basically, determining which content test YOU need to take is a big decision and you need expert advice on what is best for you.

One last point before you are hired. In addition to passing your content test, you will most likely need to complete 150 hours of coursework through your certification program prior to being eligible for hire. This is a state requirement- so no matter which program you go to, you are very likely to complete this requirement.

But there are a few exceptions to this…

Which is why we recommend choosing 240 Certification as your certification program, because you get a personal Program Advisor that is 100%  dedicated to your success.

Popular TExES Exam Study Guides

TExES Core Subjects EC-6 (391): Complete

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TExES Core Subjects 4-8 (211)

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TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC–12

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Official TExES PPR study guide to help you pass your exam!

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TExES Science of Teaching Reading

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Official TExES STR study guide to help you pass your exam!

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TX PACT Pre-Admission Content Test

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TExES English as a Second Language Supplemental

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Official TExES ESL Supplemental study guide to help you pass your exam!

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4. Apply for Certification

Once you’ve passed your initial required certification tests and completed your internship or student teaching requirements, your university or alternative certification program will help you apply for teacher certification in Texas. Only apply for certification once you have met all the requirements outlined by your program.

5. Complete Fingerprinting

You must submit fingerprints for a national criminal history background check to finalize your teacher certification. An informative video on this can be found on the Texas Education Agency Website.

6. Apply to a Teaching Position

To have a successful job search, you must write a resume and cover letter tailored to your desired position. Also, think of at least two professors, colleagues, or internship supervisors who can serve as references for you during your job search. Online search engines such as SchoolSpring can get your search started. Individual school districts post jobs on their Websites, and in-person and virtual job fairs can help you efficiently apply and interview for jobs nationwide.

How to Become a Teacher in Texas Infographic

How to Become a Teacher at Various Grade Levels

After you pass your Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities Test (PPR), you need to choose a subject & grade level-specific test to gain initial certification. Here are the lists of subject-specific exam choices by grade level.

Elementary School: 

  • 292 Early Childhood: PK-3 TExES and 293 Science of Teaching Reading TExES (both must be taken)
  • 391 Core Subjects EC-6 TExES and 293 Science of Teaching Reading TExES (both must be taken)

Middle School:

  • 217 Core Subjects 4-8 TExES and 293 Science of Teaching Reading TExES (both must be taken)
  • 113 ELAR/Social Studies 4-8 TExES and 293 Science of Teaching Reading TExES (both must be taken)
  • 115 Mathematics 4-8 TExES
  • 116 Science 4-8 TExES
  • 114 Mathematics/Science 4-8 TExES 
  • 118 Social Studies 4-8 TExES  

High School: 

  • 231 ELAR 7-12 TExES (changing to number 331 ELAR 7-12 TExES on 9/4/23)
  • 235 Mathematics 7-12 TExES
  • 236 Science 7-12 TExES 
  • 238 Life Science 7-12 TExES
  • 237 Physical Science 6-12 TExES
  • 243 Physics/Mathematics 7-12 TExES
  • 274 Mathematics/Physical Science/Engineering 6-12 TExES
  •  240 Chemistry 7-12 TExES
  • 232 Social Studies 7-12 TExES 
  • 233 History 7-12 TExES 

Renewing Your Teaching Certification

Once you obtain your Texas Standard Teaching Certificate, you must renew it every five years. To renew, educators must pay a $22 fee and complete 150 continuing education hours. Complete these steps on the Texas Education Association Website.

Teaching Job Outlook and Salary in Texas  

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, demand for teachers in Texas will increase across grade levels by 11% between 2018 and 2028. According to the Dallas Morning News, the first-year teacher in 2023 averages $51,000 annually, working on a 10-month contract. According to the Texas Education Agency, the Texas state minimum pay is $33,660. Be sure to research district pay scales before filling out your job applications. These pay scales will be on each district’s website.

Texas Districts With the Highest Salaries

According to Indeed, these 11 school districts (two are charter school networks) offer the top pay for Texas Teachers. The average pay for teachers in these school districts ranges from $60,000 to $80,000 annually.

 

Closing: 

Are you ready to be a Texas-certified teacher? 240 can help! 240Tutoring.com offers FREE TExES exam resources to help you master your certification tests. 240certification.com is the highest-rated and most affordable alternative certification program in Texas! You can apply for free and talk to one of our friendly admission counselors today. We wish you the best on your journey to becoming a Texas-certified teacher!

 

Want to teach a specific subject in Texas? Check out these articles!

How to Become a Math Teacher in Texas

How to Become a English Teacher in Texas

 

Interested in becoming a teacher in a different state? Check out these additional articles:

How to Become a Teacher in Florida
How To Become a Teacher in North Carolina
How to Become a Teacher in Illinois
How to Become a Teacher in Ohio
How to Become a Teacher in Tennessee
How to Become a Teacher in Virginia
How to Become a Teacher in Wisconsin
How to Become a Teacher in Colorado
How to Become a Teacher in Arkansas

Popular TExES Exam Practice Test

TExES TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Practice Test

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Get a free practice test, videos, and a complete breakdown of what to expect on the Core Subject EC-6 exam.

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TExES TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Practice Test

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Get a free practice test, videos, and a complete breakdown of what to expect on the Core Subjects 4-8 exam.

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TExES TExES Science of Teaching Reading Practice Test

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Get a free practice test and a complete breakdown of what to expect on the Science of Teaching Reading exam.

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TExES TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities Practice Test

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Get a free practice test and a complete breakdown of what to expect on the PPR EC-12 exam.

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TExES TExES ESL Supplemental Practice Test

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Get a free practice test and a complete breakdown of what to expect on the English as a Second Language Supplemental exam.

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TExES TExES Prinicipal as Instructional Leader Practice Test

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Get a free practice test, videos, and a complete breakdown of what to expect on the Prinicipal as Instructional Leader exam.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Teaching in Texas 

Can You Be a Teacher Without a College Degree in Texas?

A four-year bachelor’s degree is required to be a fully-certified classroom teacher in Texas. However, there are three levels of teacher’s aides in Texas. Teacher’s aides help special education students receive necessary interventions, among other duties. Only a high school diploma is needed to obtain a job as a level one educational aide. The pathways to the additional two educational aide levels are detailed on the Texas Education Association website.

What other certifications can teachers in Texas obtain?

The short answer is…many! After you receive your initial certification, you can take additional certification tests and become certified in other teaching areas. Some certifications, such as counselor (TExES test 152) or principal (268), require additional coursework before testing. Others, such as the English as a second language supplemental (154) and the special education supplemental (163), require an additional test after your initial certification. You can find a list of all Texas TExES exams for certification here under the TExES tab.

What is the average salary for teachers in Texas?

According to salary.com, the average Texas teacher makes $55,016. However, according to Houston Public Media, Texas teachers make an average salary of $44,527. It is difficult to come up with an average number because of the size of the state. Depending on the criteria for averaging districts, the numbers will differ. Generally, teachers in rural areas make less, and teachers in urban or suburban areas make more.

How long does it take to become a teacher in Texas?

Once you complete your bachelor’s degree, which takes approximately four years, it takes 12-18 months to complete the internship/student teaching requirements. After you finish your first few internship classes, you will be eligible to work as a full-time teacher. Then, you will work and get paid as a full-time teacher while completing your initial Texas teacher certification.

How much does it cost to become a teacher in Texas?

Becoming a teacher in Texas requires a financial commitment. The main initial cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree will vary widely from person to person. If you are majoring in education or are going directly into the field upon graduation, look into grant and loan programs. Several resources are available to help teachers pay for their degrees and Texas education licensure requirements. You can find a list compiled by the Texas Education Association here.

In addition to the bachelor’s degree, other costs associated with becoming a teacher include the required student teaching/internship program (around $5,000 plus fees), state certification tests ($116 each), state application fee ($78), and fingerprinting fee ($52). Plan for the financial costs, and your teaching career will be off to a great start.

Which teaching positions are in-demand?

The Texas Education Agency publishes a list of Teacher Shortage Areas each year. Here is the list for the 2022-2023 school year. Consistent areas of need year after year are bilingual, special education, and secondary math and science teachers.

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