- Texas Alternative Teacher Certification
Teaching Schools in TX
Teaching Reciprocity Guide
To become a certified teacher in Texas candidates must fulfill certain requirements set by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification. The Texas teacher certification process is fairly similar to other states, and requirements for teacher certification may vary depending on education and teaching experience. On this page, you will find information about the traditional pathway to becoming a certified teacher in Texas. You may also wish to check out our guide to alternative teacher certification in Texas.
How to Become a Teacher in Texas
Like all states, Texas has its own specific requirements for earning certification. Typically, Texas teacher certification requires candidates to have completed a teacher certification program and hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Overall the process for earning teaching certification in Texas includes completing educational requirements, passing the required teacher certification exams, being fingerprinted for a background check, and submitting the state teaching application. Several alternative routes to certification are also available to those who wish to teach in Texas.
Reciprocity in Texas is available for experienced teachers with out-of-state certification. To qualify for reciprocity, educators must provide official transcripts from all colleges attended; copies of any out-of-state teaching certificates issued; and documentation of two years of school experience in the area(s) currently certified. After a credential review, the Texas Education Agency may issue a One-Year teaching certificate, which is non-renewable. During the year the certificate is valid, teachers must complete the Texas teacher certification exams. For additional information on reciprocity refer to the Texas Education Agency website.
- I want to be a teacher in Texas, but don’t have a degree: Earn an Education Degree
- I want to be a teacher and have a degree, but not in education: Learn about Texas’ Alternative Certification Process and Programs
- I have a teaching degree and am interested in more education: Learn about Master’s Degree Education Programs or Doctorate Education Programs and Information
- I want to explore substitute teaching: Learn about Substitute Teacher Opportunities
- I am already certified and want to teach in another state: Learn about Teacher Certification Reciprocity
Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Texas
Projected Job Growth
Growth in Teaching Jobs in TX through 20262
One of the most important steps to obtaining Texas teacher licensing is completing an educator preparation program approved by the Texas Education Agency. The Texas Education Agency will accept bachelor’s degree programs that have accreditation from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s list of recognized accreditors. In order to obtain teacher certification in Texas, candidates must have completed an approved educator program. Candidates who have previously received a bachelor’s degree may be eligible to complete an alternative certification program or a post-baccalaureate program to qualify for licensure. You can compare key metrics for state-approved teacher preparation programs in Texas by using the sortable table on our Texas schools page.
Candidates should confirm that their chosen school is accredited and will meet Texas Education Agency teacher certification standards before committing to a program. Online teaching certification programs offered by out-of-state schools should also be appropriately accredited.
Additionally, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is a national organization formed through the merger of two accreditation agencies, the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). CAEP accreditation, although not mandatory for Texas teacher certification, is considered an indication of quality curriculum and teacher training.
Texas Teacher Education Requirements
In order to obtain Texas teaching certification, candidates must first earn a bachelor’s degree from an approved and accredited institution. Prospective teachers typically choose a major in the content area that they would like to teach. The required approved educator preparation program may either be completed as part of the prospective teacher’s bachelor’s degree or as a post-baccalaureate alternative certification or degree program. Student teaching or an internship is required as part of the educator preparation program.
Texas Teacher Testing Requirements
After completing an approved educator preparation program, those seeking to obtain a Texas teaching license must demonstrate their pedagogical and content area knowledge on the required tests for Texas teacher certification. The Office of Educator Testing oversees the testing process for state teachers and the assessments required vary by content area and grade level to be taught. Each teacher candidate should receive guidance about which tests to take and authorization to take those tests from his or her educator preparation program.
In order to evaluate potential teachers’ knowledge of educational practices and pedagogy, Texas uses two test batteries that are unique to the state: The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) and the Texas Examinations for Master Teachers (TExMaT). Your educator preparation program must authorize you to take these exams. After completing all required assessments, prospective educators are ready to apply for certification.
Additional Texas Teacher Certification Requirements
Once all of the requirements for Texas educator certification are complete, applicants must send their application packet to the TEA office. Applicants must use the online system, TEA Login (TEAL). The required documents to apply for teacher certification in Texas are as follows:
- Submission of transcripts from all colleges attended.
- Verification of completion of an educator preparation program from an approved school.
- Submission of passing scores on the appropriate certification exam(s).
- Proof of background clearance.
- Payment of non-refundable processing fees.
- Submission of the state application.
Visit the Texas Education Agency website for additional information on Texas teacher certification.
Texas Teacher Outlook, Salary, and Jobs
There were 8,912 public K-12 schools in Texas during the 2016-2017 school year, which enrolled a student population of over 5.36 million.3 There were about 352,809 teachers in Texas during the same timeframe, giving the state a student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1.3
From 2016 to 2026, projections estimate that there will be 14,050 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 7,000 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 10,130 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Texas.2 These figures exclude opportunities for special education and career and technical education teachers. In Texas, elementary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $56,520, while middle school teachers earn an average annual salary of $56,580 and secondary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $58,190.4 The Texas State Teachers Association provides frequent updates regarding policy changes and local employment opportunities for Texas teachers.
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Preschool Teachers, Special Education||1,030||$51,010|
|Elementary School Teachers||136,780||$56,520|
|Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School||13,470||$57,770|
|Middle School Teachers||66,470||$56,580|
|Middle School Teachers, Special Education||7,620||$56,960|
|Middle School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||1,680||$58,410|
|Secondary School Teachers||110,420||$58,190|
|Secondary School Teachers, Special Education||12,970||$58,570|
|Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||10,950||$60,170|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2018.4
Teacher Shortages in Texas
According to the US Department of Education Teacher Shortage Area report for 2021-2022, Texas broadly has the following shortages5:
- Career and Technical Education, 7-12
- Career and Technical Education (Computer Science), Pre-K-12
- English as a Second Language (Bilingual Education), Pre-K-12
- Mathematics, 7-12
- Special Education, Pre-K-12
According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the state has not experienced a major loss of teachers due to the pandemic, based on its attrition and new hire numbers. In fact, the 2020-21 school year saw a higher percentage change in new hires over lost jobs since the 2014-15 school year.6 However, some districts in the state still may be experiencing shortages in areas such as the ones listed above, so you should check your local district for more information.
Texas Teacher Interviews
- Early Childhood Teacher, Matt Gomez
- Kindergarten Teacher, April Larremore
- Third Grade Teacher, Lindsay Noren
- Third Grade Teacher, Diane Hubacz
- Third Grade Language Arts Teacher, Megan Favre
- Math Teacher, Kathryn Laster
- High School Math Teacher, Shireen D.
- Former President of the Texas Music Teachers Association, Sharon Callahan
- ESL Teacher Trainer and Founder of Kid World Citizen, Becky Morales
Teacher Quote: “Be prepared to work a lot! This is a great job to have but there is always something else to be done. Working with kids is an awesome gift and will definitely be the best part of your job.” -Lindsay Noren, Texas Third Grade Teacher
Texas School District Requirements
If you are interested in exploring more about how to become a teacher in one of the major Texas cities, you can find out more on our city pages below. These pages discuss the step-by-step process for becoming a teacher in each city school district, the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher, and provide contact information for the public school district. You can also find a list of popular and well-known private and charter schools in each city.
- Fort Worth
- San Antonio
Teacher Quote: “It is important that you enjoy working with children and their parents. If you have that passion, then teaching young children is amazing. I can’t imagine a more fun and rewarding job. Every day is full of challenges, laughter, love and learning!” -Matt Gomez, Texas Kindergarten Teacher
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What do you need to become a kindergarten teacher in Houston, TX?
Answer: To become a kindergarten teacher in Houston candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved educator preparation program, pass the appropriate teacher certification exams, and submit a completed teacher application and criminal background check.
Question: How much do teachers make in Texas?
Answer: On average, teachers in Texas at the elementary, middle, and high school levels earn $57,097 per year.4 Teachers may earn more or less than this amount based on their experience and the school in which they teach.
Question: How do I become a high school 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. Once these are complete, you can apply to the state for a certificate, complete the required background check, and apply for jobs in schools.
Question: What are the requirements to become an elementary school teacher in Texas?
Answer: To become an elementary teacher in Texas, you must earn a bachelor’s degree. You must also complete an approved teacher preparation program. Once those are complete, you need to pass the exam for elementary instruction and for the subject areas you will be teaching. Finally, you must complete the state application for certification and pass a national criminal background check.
Question: How do I become a kindergarten teacher in Texas?
Answer: To become a kindergarten teacher in Texas, you must be certified by the state. Certification requires a bachelor’s degree, completion of an educator preparation program, and passing scores on the required certification exams. You must also complete a background check before you can work in a school.
1. Texas Education Agency, Texas Educators Certification: https://tea.texas.gov/texas-educators/certification
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
3. National Center for Education Statistics, State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data, 2016-2017: https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/stnfis.asp
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Texas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tx.htm
5. US Department of Education, Teacher Shortage Areas: https://tsa.ed.gov/#/reports
6. Texas Education Agency, Employed Teacher Attrition and New Hires 2006‐07 through 2020‐21, https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/employed-teacher-attrition-and-new-hires-tgs210519.pdf
The TExES has a passing rate of about 92%. Candidates should keep in mind that each subtest is different and will vary in difficulty. Preparation is the best way to avoid intimidation and achieve success on the TExES Exam.What is the Texas teaching certification called? ›
Certification exams in Texas are called the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES).How long is the Texas Teachers certification Program? ›
To teach in the state of Texas, the certification process can take 4 to 6 months if you have a bachelor's degree. If you do not have a bachelor's degree, your work experience may still qualify you for an educator preparation program in which your timeline to certification would remain the same.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 times can you fail a TExES exam? ›
Number of Retake Attempts for TExES Exam
Each TExES exam, including the TExES PPR exam, which is a required test for all students, allows for five total attempts. This means that after the initial exam, the student can attempt up to four retakes, for a total of five attempts.
In 2016-17, 58% of candidates passed the TExES Science 7-12 (236) exam and achieved TExES certification. Diligent study and preparation can help candidates individual success rate.How much money does a teacher make in Texas? ›
|Years of experience||Per hour|
|1 to 2 years||$32.47|
|3 to 5 years||-|
|6 to 9 years||$37.86|
|More than 10 years||$43.49|
What is the fastest way to become a teacher with no degree? Completing an alternative teaching certificate in Texas through Teachers of Tomorrow typically takes most individuals 9-12 months to complete.How much does the Texas teacher certification exam cost? ›
Each TExES exam costs $116. Depending on your certification, you may need to take more than one exam, so it's important to know that every exam costs $116. Some certification areas require that you take both the $116 exam and a CORE Subject exam for $58.How fast can you finish Texas teachers? ›
Time to complete this education training ranges from 7.5 days to 1 year depending on the qualification, with a median time to complete of 3 months. The cost to attend Texas Teachers of Tomorrow ranges from $2,500 to $6,000 depending on the qualification, with a median cost of $4,000.
Candidates are limited to a total of 5 attempts to pass a certification examination under Texas Education Code §21.048. Beginning September 1, 2018, all attempts of the same examination, no matter when they occurred, will count toward the 5-attempt testing limit regardless of when the examination was first attempted.How fast can you complete Texas Teachers of tomorrow? ›
Completing an alternative teaching certificate in Texas through Teachers of Tomorrow typically takes most individuals 9-12 months to complete. This is because the curriculum for the online certification program happens at your own pace with the support of mentors and an online community.How much do Texas elementary teachers make? ›
The average salary for a elementary school teacher in Texas is $48,500 per year. Elementary school teacher salaries in Texas can vary between $19,500 to $61,000 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.Are teachers in demand in Texas? ›
According to reporting from Dallas Weekly, the rate at which teachers are leaving their jobs is the biggest problem for the Texas teacher shortage. They report that the state has experienced 8,600 teachers retiring since fiscal year 2021.How much do subs make in Texas? ›
The average salary for a substitute teacher in Texas is $20,500 per year.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 many hours is 240 tutoring? ›
240 Tutoring Educational Activities
Each subtest study guide can be counted as 25 hours of educational activity.
The Texas TExES exams are designed to test the competency of aspiring teachers in Texas. Multiple-choice and selected-response questions are the standard in the series; all TExES exams contain these questions.How do I study for the TExES? ›
Additional resources like study guides and practice tests are one of the most effective ways to study for TExES exams. Many of these TExES study materials are available free online or through the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website.How do I study for the TExES exam? ›
- Review the Preparation Manual (1-3 hours) ...
- Review the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) ...
- Seek Advice. ...
- Study Groups. ...
- Use a Study Manual or Program. ...
- Flash Cards.
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.What city in Texas pays teachers the most? ›
- Mansfield ISD.
- Crowley ISD.
- Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD.
- Lackland ISD.
- Deer Park ISD.
- Grady ISD.
- Draw Academy.
- Academy for Academic Excellence.
|10th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary||$38,031||TX|
|25th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary||$46,367||TX|
|50th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary||$55,523||TX|
|75th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary||$67,713||TX|
Grand Prairie ISD pays the highest salaries to new teachers in North Texas for the 2022-23 school year, according to a new study.How much do first time teachers make in Texas? ›
How much does an Entry Level Teacher make in Texas? The average Entry Level Teacher salary in Texas is $41,902 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $34,992 and $51,101.What is the easiest teacher to become? ›
- Math. Math is a subject that is mainly conceptual. ...
- Physical Education. If you're like most people, you probably dreaded having to go to gym class when you were in school. ...
- Art. ...
- Music. ...
- Language Arts. ...
- Science. ...
- Health. ...
|State||Average age of teachers||Female|
How long does it take to become certified through online teachers programs? Teachers of Tomorrow is a fully online program, which allows you to take coursework and training at your own pace. This means that you can receive your online teacher certification within 9-12 months versus the traditional 4 years.What happens if you fail the TExES test? ›
What happens if you fail the TExES exam? If students fail the TExES exam, they are allowed to retake the exam after 30 days. Students are allowed up to 5 total attempts to pass a certification exam.How many questions are on the Texas teacher certification test? ›
The TExES PPR test contains 90 questions; 10 of which are field test questions. The remaining 80 questions will count towards your final score.
Teachers are required to resign a contract no later than 45 days before the first day of instruction. A district may release a teacher voluntarily after that date, but is not compelled to do so.Does a Texas teaching certificate expire? ›
If you hold a standard educator certificate you must renew it every five years.How long do you have to teach in Texas before retirement? ›
To be eligible for normal-age service retirement, you must meet one of the following conditions: you are age 65 with at least five years of service credit, or • you meet the Rule of 80 (your age and years of service credit total at least 80) and you have at least five years of service credit.What happens if I fail all three practice tests on 240 tutoring? ›
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 is a one year teaching certificate in Texas? ›
After a credential review, the Texas Education Agency may issue a One-Year teaching certificate, which is non-renewable. During the year the certificate is valid, teachers must complete the Texas teacher certification exams. For additional information on reciprocity refer to the Texas Education Agency website.What is the 15-minute teacher rule? ›
When this situation occurs, students find themselves glancing back and forth at a clock and counting down the minutes until they're “allowed” to leave. The so-called 15-Minute Rule claims that students are allowed to leave class 15 minutes after the start of the period if the teacher doesn't show up.What is the 15-minute teacher school rule? ›
The 15-minute rule is a widespread rumor stating that if a teacher is 15 minutes late to class, students are allowed to leave with no repercussions. Though it's specific origins are unknown, this so-called rule most likely stemmed from the terminology of college students.How much do Texas Teachers of Tomorrow make? ›
Teachers of Tomorrow Salary FAQs
How much does Teachers of Tomorrow pay? The average Teachers of Tomorrow salary ranges from approximately $69,240 per year for a Program Advisor to $97,734 per year for an Advisor.
- New York. $87,700.
- California. $86,470.
- Washington. $83,010.
New York leads the nation in teacher pay with an average salary of $80,286, according to WalletHub.How much do teachers make in Texas with Masters? ›
Master Teacher Salary in Texas:$26,063 - ZipRecruiter.Why are so many teachers quitting in Texas? ›
Surveys and studies conducted since 2020 concluded that low pay, lack of respect (from parents, administrators, and elected officials), unrealistic workloads (including the focus on standardized test scores and required courses), and the erratic changes brought on by the pandemic are the most common reasons.What type of teacher is in highest demand? ›
Which teaching subject is most in demand? While specific needs vary by institution, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are subjects that are always in high demand.What teachers are needed most in Texas? ›
- ESL. Subject Options. ESL Subject Options. ...
- Bilingual. Subject Options. Bilingual Subjects. ...
- STEM. Subject Options. STEM Subjects. ...
- Special Education. Subject Options. Special Education.
Do you have to have a degree to be a substitute teacher in Texas? No, although school districts in Texas require substitute teachers to possess a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree or at least several college credit hours. Some schools ask for substitute teacher training. Most trainings last for 7 or 8 hours.Can you be a teacher in Texas without a degree? ›
In Texas, you can become a teacher without a bachelor's degree. If you have at least 2-7 verifiable years of licensed work in a Trade and Industry field, there are many subject areas under Career & Technical Education (CTE) in which you can earn your online teacher certification.What state pays subs the most? ›
The highest-paid state for substitute teachers is Alaska with an average salary of $39,750 per year. What city pays substitute teachers the most?What is the passing score for the Texas teacher certification test? ›
In summary: 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.How many questions can you miss on the TExES test? ›
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.
What happens if you fail the TExES exam? If students fail the TExES exam, they are allowed to retake the exam after 30 days. Students are allowed up to 5 total attempts to pass a certification exam.Is the TExES exam multiple choice? ›
The Texas TExES exams are designed to test the competency of aspiring teachers in Texas. Multiple-choice and selected-response questions are the standard in the series; all TExES exams contain these questions.How do I study for the TExES content exam? ›
- Review the Preparation Manual (1-3 hours) ...
- Review the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) ...
- Seek Advice. ...
- Study Groups. ...
- Use a Study Manual or Program. ...
- Flash Cards.
Please allow approximately three weeks for processing. You may submit an online request or submit the request form below through the TEA Help Desk.How many times can I take the TExES? ›
How many times can someone take a Texas Educator Certification examination? Candidates are limited to five attempts to take a certification exam. For more information, review the Retake Policy page on this website.Can I just take the TExES exam? ›
You can take the test when: You're enrolled in your certification program. You need permission from your certification program to do this. You're a college graduate but haven't enrolled in a certification program.How do you know if you passed the TExES exam? ›
After taking the TExES certification exams, you can expect the results to be emailed to you on the TExES score report date (if you selected this option during registration). Scores will also be available on your Pearson account beginning at 10:00pm Central time on the report date for your exam.What score do you need to pass the TExES content 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 many times does tea allow you take the TExES principal exam? ›
Test takers are limited to 5 attempts on any certification test under Texas Education Code §21.048(a-1).