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Teacher certification varies state by state in the United States. Each state continually revises their teacher certification/licensure rules and requirements, so be sure to always check for the most up-to-date requirements for your particular state. There are many resources online that list the requirements for each of the fifty states. We suggest you use your favorite search engine and simply type in “teacher certification” or “mystate” (whichever state you’re interested in ) teaching certification. For more information about a state's educational offerings, you can go to the Council of Chief State School Officers for information on educational policy and legislation in the U.S. You can also check the National Association of State Directors Teacher Education and Certification for information on certification reciprocity. Every state requires a Bachelor’s degree from a four-year educational institution, and some states require a Master’s degree in order to teach. Although it usually depends on which environment you’re interested in, such as elementary school vs. college.

There is also a National Board of Certified Teachers. Like board-certified doctors, teachers who achieve National Board Certification must meet rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluations, self-assessment and peer review. The National Board of Certified Teachers offers 25 certificates that cover a variety of subjects and student development levels. In a congressionally-mandated study, National Board Certification was recently recognized as having a positive impact on student achievement, teacher retention and professional development. Since 1987, more than 82,000 teachers have received National Board Certification.


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