Understand Certification

Let’s make you a certified teacher.

Teacher Certification, Simplified

Getting certified (or “licensed”) to become a teacher might seem daunting, but we’ve got you covered. Just start with the basics.

Do I have to get certified to teach?

Short answer: Yes. Long answer: There are many different types of certifications, depending on where and what you want to teach and multiple pathways to get there. When you get certified, you become eligible to teach specific subjects and grades in your state.

How do I get certified?

You have options! In many states, you can enter a teacher preparation program as an undergrad. If you’ve already earned your degree, you can level up with a master’s degree or enter a certification-only program. 

Undergrads, grads and career changers welcome! Want to discuss your options? Talk to a coach.

What should I know before getting started?

Since certification requirements differ by subject, specialty and grade level, start by deciding what grades and subjects interest you most. You might also consider working with special populations such as English language learners or students with special needs.

If this is starting to feel a bit overwhelming, check out About Certification for an overview of the steps you’ll take.

Map Your Path to Certification

Want a step-by-step explanation of what it takes to get certified? If you’re in one of our five partner regions, head over to our customized resources that guide you through the process in your state.

Explore the different preparation pathways you can choose in:

In a different region? Let us know—and check out our national About Certification page for a more detailed explainer.
 

Expert Advice for an Expert Applicant

Not sure where to start? Sign up for 1-on-1 advice with one of our coaches. We’ll help find the path that’s right for you. 

With a coach, you can walk through what it takes to become a teacher and get all your questions answered.

You can ask:

  • How do I get certified to teach? 
  • What subjects/grades can I get certified in? 
  • Which educator preparation program is right for me?

No question is off limits!