How To Become A Teacher In Texas (2023)

To become a teacher in Texas, aspiring educators first need a bachelor's degree. They must complete an approved educator program and pass certification exams. They can then submit an application to the state. Some teachers complete an approved education program during their bachelor's program. Others attend an alternative certificate program or post-bachelor's program.

Prospective educators do not need state certification to start a teaching career in Texas private schools. For example, teachers at private religious schools may or may not be certified by Texas.

This page explains how to become a teacher in Texas. Read on to learn about certification steps and continuing education requirements. The last section features helpful resources for teachers.

Questions About Teaching in Texas

Can I teach in Texas without certification?

Private schools can choose to hire teachers without Texas certification. Public schools can only hire state-certified teachers.

How long does it take to get a teacher certification in Texas?

Certification length depends on whether teachers hold a bachelor's degree. Exams and applications typically only take a few months to complete.

Can you teach in Texas with an out-of-state license?

Texas welcomes out-of-state teachers, but they must apply for reciprocity. Educators have a one-year grace period to get formal certification from Texas.

How much do teachers make in Texas?

Public school teachers in Texas earn a median $59,670 annually, according to Teachers' experience level and school district influence pay.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Certified Teacher in Texas?

Becoming a teacher in Texas public schools requires obtaining licensure. Teachers who plan to move from Texas may need to apply for a license in their new state. Licensure requirements vary by state. The information below pertains specifically to Texas teaching requirements.

  1. 1

    Bachelor's Degree

    Teachers need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution to become a teacher in Texas. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board must approve the accrediting agency. Accreditation proves that the school operates under a standard shared by other institutions and that enrollees gain the skills to enter their respective fields. Students do not need an education-related bachelor's degree to start a teaching career in Texas.

  2. 2

    Educator-Preparation Program

    (Video) 5 Steps to Get Certified to Teach in Texas

    Educator-preparation programs (EPPs) prepare students to take their certification exams to become a teacher in Texas. Some bachelor's programs build EPPs into their curriculum. Students who did not earn a bachelor's degree in education can complete an EPP after graduation.

  3. 3

    Certification Exam

    In Texas, teachers must pass a certification exam in the type of teaching they hope to pursue. For example, aspiring educators who want to teach third grade must take a certification exam covering core subjects from early childhood through grade six. Applicants cannot fail the exam more than four times. Prospective teachers can register for the exam through the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

  4. 4

    State Application

    After passing the exam, aspiring teachers must submit a state application to become a teacher in Texas. They can do so by using the state's Educator Certification Online System. Applicants should confirm their eligibility before submitting the application.

  5. 5

    (Video) How I Became Certified to Teach in Texas | Texas Teachers

    Background Check

    All first-time applicants must undergo a criminal background check and fingerprinting. The TEA can provide a preliminary criminal history evaluation for a non-refundable fee. This option may prove helpful for those who are unsure how their backgrounds might impact their eligibility.

Alternative Certification for Aspiring Teachers in Texas

Alternative certification programs (ACPs) typically enroll students who are changing careers or those with a bachelor's degree in a subject other than education. The section below lists the steps to complete an ACP in Texas.

  1. 1

    Choose a Subject and Grade Level to Teach

    Prospective educators should consider the subject and grade level they want to teach. The answers determine which program they complete and which certification they need. Some EPPs can help teachers pick their path.

  2. 2

    Select an Alternative Certification Program

    Students can typically complete an ACP in 12 months. They can search for alternative programs on the TEA's website. ACPs let students teach in classrooms or intern in schools, sometimes for pay.

  3. 3

    (Video) TEXAS TEACHERS OF TOMORROW REVIEW: alternative certification

    Meet With an Advisor

    An advisor from the ACP of an applicant's choice can meet with prospective educators to discuss application requirements. These typically include GPA, basic skills, and demonstration of content knowledge.

  4. 4

    Get a Teaching Assignment

    Once a prospective teacher has gained admission to an ACP, they will receive a statement of eligibility. They must then find a teaching assignment. Some ACPs help place aspiring teachers at a school. At the school, candidates work alongside a mentor.

  5. 5

    Apply for a Probationary Certificate

    In order to complete a teaching internship, ACP students must apply for a probationary certificate through the state. The certificate remains valid for one year. Prospective teachers must apply online, pay the application fee, and undergo a criminal background check.

  6. 6

    (Video) Becoming A Teacher Through Alternative Certification✰ texas teachers of tomorrow program explained

    Complete Requirements for Standard Certificate

    In order to apply for a standard certificate, prospective teachers must complete their ACP training and internship. They must also take the certification exam. Aspiring educators must complete these requirements within the year their probationary certificate is valid to become a teacher in Texas.

  7. 7

    Apply for Your Standard Certificate

    After completing the requirements, prospective teachers can apply for their standard certificate online. Their ACP program will recommend them to the state. Aspiring educators undergo the same standard certificate application process as any other applicant in order to begin their teaching career in Texas.

Texas Out-of-State Teacher Certification

Educators with a license to teach in other states can obtain certification to teach in Texas without starting from scratch. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification facilitates the interstate agreement, which allows teachers to more easily obtain licensure when they cross state lines. This teacher license reciprocity applies to 50 states and Canadian provinces.

Out-of-state teachers must apply with their TEA login (TEAL) and include copies of their state's standard certificates and official transcripts. If approved, they receive a one-year certificate that lets them teach while they finalize their Texas certifications. Some teachers opt out of Texas' certification tests based on their credentials.

Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers in Texas

Teachers must renew their standard certificates every five years. In order to renew, educators must show they have completed 150 hours of continuing professional education (CPE). Teachers with an administrative or student services certificate must complete 200 CPE hours. Teachers can renew online through the TEAL system.

CPE must relate to the teacher's certification area. Of the 150 hours, teachers must dedicate a certain amount of hours to specific CPE areas. Some examples include digital teaching and educating diverse student populations. Acceptable CPE activities include workshops, institutes, and independent study. Taking graduate-level classes also counts toward CPE hours.

Texas Teaching Shortages

As of the 2020-21 school year, TEA submitted the following shortage areas to the U.S. Department of Education:

  • Bilingual/English as a Second Language – elementary and secondary levels
  • Special education – elementary and secondary levels
  • Career and technical education – secondary levels
  • Technology applications and computer science – elementary and secondary levels
  • Mathematics – secondary levels

Schools and school districts can use these shortage areas to recruit and hire certified teachers in these subjects. The Texas Workforce Commission projects that demand for teachers in Texas will increase 11% from 2018-2028. Comparatively, demand for teachers is projected to grow 4% nationally.

Resources for Teachers

This site lists scholarships, grants, and loans available to Texans attending college. Students who wish to study education in college can use these opportunities for financial aid to finance their education.The TEA offers and advertises many programs to help pay for teacher training. These include teacher loan forgiveness, Teach for America, and programs by the Texas Workforce Commission.TEACH Grants provide students with up to $4,000 a year in grants as long as they serve four years at a school or educational service agency that serves low-income students or teach in a high-need field within eight years of graduation. Failure to do so turns the grant into a loan.This program provides $2,500 of loan payment assistance to educators teaching in designated critical shortage fields.This site provides teachers and citizens with information about school districts and schools throughout the state. Visitors can compare standardized test scores between Texas schools and districts.


How do I pass my Texas teacher certification test? ›

To ensure your time is productive, it is essential that you review materials relevant to the test.
  1. Review the Preparation Manual (1-3 hours) ...
  2. Review the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) ...
  3. Seek Advice. ...
  4. Study Groups. ...
  5. Use a Study Manual or Program. ...
  6. Flash Cards.
12 Mar 2021

What is the fastest way to become a teacher in Texas? ›

Becoming a Classroom Teacher in Texas
  1. Obtain a Bachelor's Degree - You must earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. ...
  2. Complete an Educator Preparation Program - You must complete an Approved Educator Preparation Program.

Why do you want to be a teacher best answer? ›

"I want to become a teacher so that I can make a real difference in children's lives. I take the task of developing young people into kind, thoughtful and contributing adults very seriously. I have always been so grateful to my teachers and the educational system for making me the person that I am today.

What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers for teachers? ›

Bonus teacher interview questions
  • Why are you interested in teaching at this school?
  • What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
  • How do you use technology in the classroom?
  • What would you do if a student is in danger of failing your class?
  • What adjectives would you use to describe your presence in the classroom?
3 Sept 2022

Are TExES exams hard? ›

It was pretty easy. I studied for 4 weeks before taking the EC-6 exam. I took it on a Thursday. Over the weekend I register for the TEXES ESL on the following Thursday and passed it the first time with less than a week to study.

How many questions can I miss on TExES? ›

Since there are several different versions of each TExES exam, there is not a set number of questions that students must get right in order to pass the exam.

Can I teach in Texas without certification? ›

Since 1995, Texas law has allowed school districts to issue a school district teaching permit (SDTP) to someone who does not hold a teaching certificate (Texas Education Code §21.055). A teacher employed on a school district teaching permit is not certified by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).

Is there a shortage of teachers in Texas? ›

Texas has long had a teacher shortage, but the consensus is that the pandemic has made it worse, pushing teachers to their limits and out of the job.

How much do teachers in Texas get paid? ›

How much does a Public School Teacher make in Texas? The average Public School Teacher salary in Texas is $54,445 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $45,471 and $66,384.

How do I pass a teaching interview? ›

Have your own set of questions prepared.
  1. Convey your passion for teaching and students. ...
  2. Research the institution where you're interviewing. ...
  3. Express your willingness to learn. ...
  4. Share only positive stories about past students, employees and employers. ...
  5. Politely smile and remain positive throughout the entire interview.

What inspired me to become a teacher? ›

Many teachers discover that their love of children draws them to teaching, or that their own love of learning makes them passionate about teaching. Some teachers enter the profession because they're eager to make a difference—people tend to remember their teachers for an entire lifetime, long after school is over.

How do you know if teaching is for you? ›

Do you love sharing knowledge with people and helping them to explore their own curiosities? Are you good at explaining things in a way that makes people feel encouraged to learn more? Does the idea of helping to shape minds excite you? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be a teacher in the making!

What is the hardest question for teachers? ›

We've spoken to our teachers to put together a list of some difficult questions they've had and how to answer them.
  • Tell me about yourself. ...
  • Can you tell me about a time you've failed? ...
  • If I walked into your classroom during an outstanding lesson, what would I see and hear?

Why should we hire you answer best? ›

Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. You never know what other candidates offer to the company. But you know you: emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that are fundamental to getting great things done on this position.

What happens if you fail the TExES exam 5 times? ›

A person cannot retake a TExES exam more than four times without a waiver from the state of Texas. That means that if a person fails a TExES exam five times, they cannot attempt a sixth attempt without a waiver from the state of Texas.

How long should you study for the TExES exam? ›

However, a good rule is that you should start prepping for the TExES examination about 8 weeks before you walk into the test center. With an 8 week TExES exam preparation schedule you should review approximately 2 hours each day on a Monday through Friday schedule.

How soon can you retake the TExES? ›

You must wait 30 days after taking the TExES Core Subjects (211 or 391) or TX PACT Essential Academic Skills (700) exam before you can retake the overall exam or an individual subject exam.

Is 70 passing on TExES? ›

All TExES exams are scored on a scale of 100-300 points. The minimum score that you need to pass a TExES test is 240 points. (Yes, this passing score is where our name comes from!)

How many questions do I need to get right on TExES exam? ›

Scoring. The number of questions you answer correctly on the TExES PPR exam is converted into a scaled score ranging from 100 to 300 points. You must score at least 240 in order to pass.

What percentage do you need to pass the TExES exam? ›

Total exam performance scores for all exams in the AAFCS, PACT, and TExES series are reported on a scale of 100 to 300, with a score of 240 established as the minimum passing score.

How long is the Texas Teachers program? ›

Through a traditional route, it takes roughly five years to get your degree and teaching certificate.

How much is a teacher certification in Texas? ›

Costs range from $10,000-$20,000 depending on the program requirements. The third option universities can provide is a Master's Degree in Education that includes certification. This will require a significant investment as well ranging from $20,000-$60,000.

What are the basic requirements for becoming a teacher in Texas? ›

There are five requirements to become a certified teacher in the state of Texas.
  • Obtain a Bachelor's Degree. You must earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. ...
  • Complete an Educator Preparation Program. ...
  • Pass Certification Exams. ...
  • Submit a State Application. ...
  • Complete Fingerprinting.

Why are teachers quitting in Texas? ›

Teachers point to low pay, lack of respect from both the community and elected officials, excessive workloads and pandemic school disruptions as reasons they want to leave. In the classroom, about 98% of respondents say they have to buy their own supplies, with the median cost being about $500.

How hard is it to become a teacher in Texas? ›

Answer: To become a high school teacher in Texas, you need to earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited school and also finish a teacher preparation program that is approved by the state. You also need to pass the state's certification exam(s) for the subject areas you will be teaching.

Why so many teachers are quitting? ›

The tension and responsibility that educators like Gillum faced during the pandemic — combined with long-standing issues plaguing the profession, plus the coarsening of debates about classroom control, teacher pay and respect — have caused many to make the tough choice to leave the classroom.

How many days do Texas teachers work? ›

Lunch is considered an intermission, and so will be counted toward meeting this requirement. still requires that teachers employed under a 10 month contract provide a minimum of 187 days of service. Districts should consider this when creating calendars that are shorter than the traditional 180 days.

Do teachers in Texas get paid during the summer? ›

No, technically, teachers do not get paid in the summer if they are not actively teaching. However, most teachers have the option to spread their pay for ten months of work over an entire 12 month period.

Which school district pays the best in Texas? ›

High-paying jobs for teachers in Texas
  • Mansfield ISD.
  • Crowley ISD.
  • Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD.
  • Lackland ISD.
  • Deer Park ISD.
  • Grady ISD.
  • Draw Academy.
  • Academy for Academic Excellence.

What are 10 good interview questions? ›

Top 10 Interview Questions and Best Answers
  • Tell Me About Yourself. ...
  • Why Are You the Best Person for the Job? ...
  • Why Do You Want This Job? ...
  • How Has Your Experience Prepared You for This Role? ...
  • Why Are You Leaving (or Have Left) Your Job? ...
  • What Is Your Greatest Strength? ...
  • What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
17 Feb 2022

How do I introduce myself in a teacher interview? ›

“I was recently awarded 'Teacher of the Year' in the current school where I am teaching.” “I'm very organized and I can work with minimum supervision.” You can add some positive personal qualities, too. But do not overdo it.

What personal qualities make a good teacher? ›

Some qualities of a good teacher include skills in communication, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy and patience. Other characteristics of effective teaching include an engaging classroom presence, value in real-world learning, exchange of best practices and a lifelong love of learning.

What are your strengths as a teacher? ›

The list of the following strengths may help you to identify what yours are and plan an effective interview answer:
  • Technical skills.
  • Creativity.
  • Empathy or kindness.
  • Organization.
  • Discipline.
  • Fairness.
  • Persistence.
  • Collaboration.

Why do you want to teach at this school? ›

Sample Answer: I decided to become a teacher due to several reasons. One, I have a knack for learning new things and when you teach, you often get more lessons than you give. Two, I like being around young minds since their creativity and imaginative power is incomparable which also explains the former.

Is being a teacher hard? ›

Teaching is definitely a tough, misunderstood job. Maybe it's because we all went to school (see reason No. 2) or perhaps it has to do with the way teaching has been depicted in movies, but for some reason lots of folks underestimate the difficulty of being a teacher.

What you should know before becoming a teacher? ›

10 Things Every New Teacher Should Know
  • Classroom Management Is Key. ...
  • Build a Classroom Community. ...
  • More to Math than Measurements. ...
  • Flexibility is Critical. ...
  • There's No Manual. ...
  • The Common Core Isn't Everything. ...
  • Mentors (and Summers) Are Integral. ...
  • Literacy Affects Everything.

What grade should I teach? ›

Again, the kind of teaching you want to do is an important factor. If your really love helping young learners grow and play, preschool, kindergarten, or grades 1 through 3 are great. If you're more interested in helping children develop good thinking skills as they mature, grade 4 is a good place to start.

How many times can you take teacher certification test in Texas? ›

Candidates are limited to a total of 5 attempts to pass a certification examination under Texas Education Code §21.048.

How long should you study for the TExES exam? ›

However, a good rule is that you should start prepping for the TExES examination about 8 weeks before you walk into the test center. With an 8 week TExES exam preparation schedule you should review approximately 2 hours each day on a Monday through Friday schedule.

What if I fail the TExES exam? ›

Let's talk about failing a TExES exam. If you fail a test, you can retake it after 30 days. You can't register until the scores are posted, so there's no need to panic until you see your official score.

Can you take a TExES exam without being in a program? ›

When should you take your TExES exam? You must enroll with an alternative teacher certification program BEFORE you take your TExES tests. Once you apply and have been accepted into an educator preparation program (EPP) like ECAP, you must create an account with the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

Can I teach in Texas without certification? ›

Since 1995, Texas law has allowed school districts to issue a school district teaching permit (SDTP) to someone who does not hold a teaching certificate (Texas Education Code §21.055). A teacher employed on a school district teaching permit is not certified by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).

How many hours is 240 tutoring? ›

240 Tutoring Educational Activities

Each subtest study guide can be counted as 25 hours of educational activity.

How long do you have wait after failing TExES exam? ›

You must wait 30 days after taking the TExES Core Subjects (211 or 391) or TX PACT Essential Academic Skills (700) exam before you can retake the overall exam or an individual subject exam.

What score do you need to pass the TExES test? ›

Total exam performance scores for all exams in the AAFCS, PACT, and TExES series are reported on a scale of 100 to 300, with a score of 240 established as the minimum passing score.

How do you study for a teaching exam? ›

Make every second countable and remember saving your seconds can manage your hours ! For example: On your way to work, you can revise the exam topics you have already covered. Also, you can go through your notes or make plans for your next study session. Use Technology: Technology may seem to be a ban in some cases.

What tests are required to teach in Texas? ›

All teachers in the state of Texas are required to pass the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam to receive a Standard Certificate. Texas Teachers will give you access to the online PPR review coursework, once you begin teaching on the Intern Certificate.

Are you allowed to use a calculator on the TExES exam? ›

An on-screen calculator is not provided for the CORE Subjects EC-6 exam. Most other TExES exams that contain mathematical calculation questions do offer an on-screen calculator for test use. For advanced exams like 7-12 Mathematics, you will need to bring your own graphing calculator.

How much does the TExES exam cost? ›

The standard TExES exam cost is $116 for most exams. This includes Core Subjects EC-6 (291, 391) and Core Subjects 4-8 (211). However, the subtests in Core Subjects EC-6 (test codes 801 to 805 and 901 to 905) and Core Subjects 4-8 (test codes 806-809) may also be taken individually at $58 per test.

How long does it take to get TExES scores? ›

TExES score reports are released within seven days following the test date for most exams. For example, scores for an exam on March 12 would be available online by March 19. Score reports for exams that include a constructed-response assignment are released within 28 days.

Can I become a teacher with a 2.0 GPA in Texas? ›

Admission to Texas Teachers currently only requires a 2.5 GPA or higher, in addition to 12-15 hours of college credits in a specific subject area which correlates with a content exam. Alternatively, one may opt for the PACT Path if they have a GPA between 2.30-2.49 and pass a content-specific exam (PACT).

Is 240 tutoring worth it? ›

Yes, 240 Tutoring is definitely worth it! The study guides are high-quality, the customer service is responsive, and the price is unbeatable. If you're looking for a test prep program to help you pass your teacher certification exam, we highly recommend 240 Tutoring.

Can I become a teacher with a low GPA? ›

GPA for Teachers College

Once you are admitted into the education program, it is likely that you will be required to maintain a 3.0 GPA in all of the coursework that you take in your department that is required for your degree. Of course, this varies from one college to another.


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