How to Get My Teaching Certificate in Texas

How to Get My Teaching Certificate in Texas

If you have a passion for education and want to pursue a career as a teacher in Texas, obtaining a teaching certificate is a crucial step in your journey. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is responsible for overseeing the certification process, which involves meeting specific requirements and completing necessary education and training. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get your teaching certificate in Texas.

Step 1: Determine Your Certification Level
The first step is to determine the level of certification you wish to pursue. Texas offers various types of teaching certificates, including early childhood, elementary, middle school, high school, and special education. You should choose the level that aligns with your desired teaching specialization and the grade level you want to teach.

Step 2: Complete a Bachelor’s Degree
To become a certified teacher in Texas, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. Your degree should be related to the subject or grade level you intend to teach. If you do not have a degree in education, you may need to complete additional coursework to meet the subject-specific requirements.

Step 3: Enroll in an Approved Educator Preparation Program (EPP)
To gain the necessary teaching skills and knowledge, you must enroll in an approved Educator Preparation Program (EPP). These programs provide the required coursework and field experience to prepare you for the classroom. EPPs can be offered by universities, colleges, school districts, or alternative certification programs.

Step 4: Fulfill Testing Requirements
Texas requires aspiring teachers to pass the appropriate certification exams. The most common exams include the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) and the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam. These tests assess your subject knowledge and teaching techniques. You must achieve the minimum passing scores to earn your teaching certificate.

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Step 5: Complete a Criminal Background Check
To ensure the safety of students, all applicants for a teaching certificate in Texas must undergo a criminal background check. This process involves submitting fingerprints for a national background check by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Step 6: Apply for Certification
Once you have fulfilled all the requirements, it’s time to apply for your teaching certificate. You can submit your application through the TEA’s online certification system. Ensure that you have all the necessary documents, including official transcripts, test scores, and proof of completion of an approved EPP.


Q: What is the cost of obtaining a teaching certificate in Texas?
A: The cost varies depending on several factors, such as the EPP you choose, the certification exams you take, and the fingerprinting process. On average, you can expect to spend several hundred dollars.

Q: Can I become a certified teacher in Texas without a bachelor’s degree?
A: No, a bachelor’s degree is a mandatory requirement to obtain a teaching certificate in Texas. However, alternative certification programs may provide a pathway for individuals with non-education degrees to become certified.

Q: How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in Texas?
A: The duration depends on various factors, including the type of certification program you choose, your pace of completing coursework, and the availability of testing dates. Typically, it can take anywhere from one to three years.

Q: Can I teach while completing the certification process?
A: Yes, under certain circumstances, you may be eligible for a one-year Probationary Certificate, which allows you to teach while completing the certification requirements. This is available for individuals enrolled in an EPP or alternative certification program.

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Q: Do I need a teaching certificate to become a substitute teacher in Texas?
A: Yes, Texas requires substitute teachers to hold a valid teaching certificate. However, there are alternative pathways for individuals with a bachelor’s degree to obtain a substitute teaching certificate.

Remember to consult the TEA’s website or contact their certification division for the most up-to-date information and specific requirements for obtaining a teaching certificate in Texas.