Texas Teaching Certification
Texas Education Statistics
|Avg. Elem. Teacher Salary*||$56,280|
|Avg. Sec. Teacher Salary*||$58,000|
|Avg. Admin. Salary*||$86,270|
|Teacher Retention (?)||93%|
Learn how to become a teacher in Texas (or administrator). Choose the description of certification you are most interested in or situation that best describes you:
- Initial Teaching Certification…
- I’m a teacher from another state…
- Teacher Certification Renewal…
- Admin./Principal Certification…
- Alternative Teaching Certification…
- Substitute Teaching Permit…
- None of the above are what I’m looking for…
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Initial Texas Teaching Certification
According to the Texas Education Agency, public schools in Texas currently employ over 320,000 teachers and 70,000 additional professional staff members including administrators, office staff, and paraprofessionals. There are approximately 4.7 million students attending public schools in the state.
In 2011 students, faculty, and administration alike celebrated when $830 million in federal money from the 2010 jobs bill was dispersed to Texas public schools. The good news came after a period of uncertainty about whether the money would be available due to contentions over the state’s freedom to distribute the money among schools as it saw fit. It was ultimately determined that the Texas Education Agency, supported by Texas voters, was able to distribute the funds under the existing Texas school funding formula, assuring an equal distribution among rural and urban school districts. Find schools offering teaching certification programs in Texas.
In order to become certified as a teacher in Texas, the Office of Educator Certification of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) (512-936-8400) will expect you to graduate with a bachelor’s degree at minimum from an approved teacher preparation program.
If you completed a teacher preparation program in another state, you must apply for a review of your credentials before certification in Texas is possible. Begin this process by creating an online account with TEA.
If you completed teacher preparation in another country, you must have your foreign credentials evaluated by one of the foreign credential evaluator providers listed here. That evaluation must then be submitted to TEA for review before Texas teaching certification can be issued.
As of 1999, Texas issues only one type of teaching certificate to educators: the Standard Certificate. There are temporary certificate options available in certain circumstances, including:
- Probationary Certificate – the certificate you apply for if you are in an alternative route certification program allows you to teach while completing your teacher preparation education. Valid for one calendar year.
- Temporary Teacher Certificate – valid for two years, designed if you have a bachelor’s degree with a major other than education and allows you to teach in that subject area only.
- One-Year Certificate –issued if you meet all requirements except examination requirements. Valid for one year only.
Requirements for all assignments available to Texas-certified teachers in the various subject and content areas may be found here.
Your educator education program will typically provide you with information and the opportunity to take the appropriate educator examinations.
Basic skills testing:
Your Texas teacher preparation program may require you to take the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) basic skills exam in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.
Content area assessment testing:
Some Texas teacher preparation programs may allow you to take Pre-Admission Content Testing (PACT). This is possible only if you have never earned a bachelor’s degree and have never been admitted to a state-approved teacher preparation program. These exams allow you to demonstrate mastery of content areas and are the same as certification exams.
Certification tests for teacher content areas are administered by various testing services. Some of the testing areas are as follows:
- Agricultural Science and Technology (Grades 6-12)
- American Sign Language (ASL)
- Art (Early Childhood(EC)-12)
- Bilingual Education Supplemental
- Bilingual Generalist (EC-6)
- Bilingual Generalist (Grades 4-8)
- Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT) Spanish
- Business Education (Grades 6-12)
- Chemistry (Grades 8-12)
- Computer Science (Grades 8-12)
- Dance (Grades 8-12)
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- English as a Second Language/Generalist (EC-6)
- English as a Second Language/Generalist (Grades 4-8)
- English as a Second Language Supplemental
- English Language Arts and Reading (Grades 4-8)
- English Language Arts and Reading (Grades 8-12)
- English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies (Grades 4-8)
- Generalist (EC-6)
- Generalist (Grades 4-8)
- Gifted and Talented Supplemental
- Health (EC-12)
- History (Grades 8-12)
- Journalism (Grades 8-12)
- Languages Other Than English (LOTE) French (EC-12)
- LOTE German (EC-12)
- LOTE Latin (EC-12)
- LOTE Spanish (EC-12)
- Life Science (Grades 8-12)
- Mathematics (Grades 4-8)
- Mathematics (Grades 8-12)
- Mathematics/Physical Science/Engineering (Grades 8-12)
- Mathematics/Science (Grades 4-8)
- Music (EC-12)
- Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (EC-12)
- Physical Education (EC-12)
- Physical Science (Grades 8-12)
- Physical Science/Mathematics/Engineering (Grades 8-12)
- Science (Grades 4-8)
- Science (Grades 8-12)
- Social Studies (Grades 4-8)
- Social Studies (Grades 8-12)
- Special Education (EC-12)
- Special Education Supplemental
- Speech (Grades 7-12)
- Technology Applications (Grades 8-12)
- Technology Applications (EC-12)
- Technology Education (6-12)
- Theatre (EC-12)
- Visually Impaired
- LOTE and Bilingual Oral and Written Proficiency Tests:
- LOTE Arabic Oral Proficiency
- LOTE Arabic Written Proficiency
- LOTE Mandarin Chinese Oral Proficiency
- LOTE Mandarin Chinese Written Proficiency
- LOTE Hindi Oral Proficiency
- LOTE Hindi Written Proficiency
- LOTE Italian Oral Proficiency
- LOTE Italian Written Proficiency
- LOTE Japanese Oral Proficiency
- LOTE Japanese Written Proficiency
- LOTE Russian Oral Proficiency
- LOTE Russian Written Proficiency
- LOTE Turkish Oral Proficiency
- LOTE Turkish Written Proficiency
- LOTE Vietnamese Oral Proficiency
- LOTE Vietnamese Written Proficiency
- Bilingual Arabic Oral Proficiency
- Bilingual Arabic Written Proficiency
- Bilingual Mandarin Chinese Oral Proficiency
- Bilingual Mandarin Chinese Written Proficiency
- Bilingual Japanese Oral Proficiency
- Bilingual Japanese Written Proficiency
- Bilingual Vietnamese Oral Proficiency
- Bilingual Vietnamese Written Proficiency
- American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS):
- Family and Consumer Sciences Tests:
- Family and Consumer Sciences Composite
- Family and Consumer Sciences-Hospitality, Nutrition and Food Science
- Family and Consumer Sciences-Human Development and Family Studies
- Family and Consumer Sciences Tests:
All students in Texas’s teacher preparation programs will be involved in both a practicum and a student teaching/internship experience. The practicum is engaged in as a component of the education courses that will be part of your teacher preparation program, and will involve observation in the classroom setting as well as some opportunities to lead lessons.
The student teaching portion of your program is most valuable. Most Texas colleges and universities require students to participate in student teaching directly in the classroom setting, full-time, for a period of between 12 and 20 weeks. You will be placed into a classroom consistent with the grade level and subject area in which you wish to teach once certified. An experienced teacher will host you, observing your progress and performance. You will be evaluated during your student teaching experience by your mentor teacher as well as by a field supervisor from your teacher preparation program.
Document and Application Requirements
Once you have met all educational, examination, and experience requirements, you may apply for your Standard Teaching Certificate in Texas. This may be done through the Educator Certification Online System. In addition to providing information in the online application, you will need to forward the following information to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Office of Educator Certification William B. Travis Building, 1701 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, 78701:
- Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended, showing your receipt of a bachelor’s degree and completion of a teacher preparation program
- Institutional recommendation from your teacher preparation program
- Exam score reports
- Application fees
Criminal History Background Check
If you are applying for Texas teacher certification for the first time, you must have a national criminal history background check run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This will involve fingerprinting. You will be responsible for all costs associated with the background check and fingerprinting. You will be given more information on this process from your teacher preparation program or when you apply online for standard certification.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recommends that you use the Fingerprint Applicant Service of Texas (FAST). This program, offered by the Texas Department of Public Safety, provides electronic capture and submission of your fingerprints through live scan technology.
For more information on teacher preparation programs in Texas, contact the colleges and universities offering them.
For more information on teacher certification in Texas, contact the Office of Educator Certification at 512-936-8400.
*2019 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data – Conditions in your area may vary.
**Teacher Retention Sources – U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education, Statistics Schools and Staffing Survey, 1999–2000 (“Public School Teacher Questionnaire,” “Private School Teacher Questionnaire,” and “Public Charter School Teacher Questionnaire”),
and 2000–01 Teacher Follow-up Survey (“Questionnaire for Current Teachers” and “Questionnaire for Former Teachers,” Table 1.01). Washington, DC.
State estimations based on analysis by Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, from the National Center for Education Statistics Student and Staffing Survey, and therefore include a slight margin of error.