Online Teaching License Degree Programs

All public schools and many private schools require a teaching license as part of qualifying for a teaching job. Requirements vary from state to state, but typically include a bachelor's degree, a teacher training program involving supervised practice teaching, and passing a state-administered exam. Some states also require a master's degree, either upfront or to be completed within the first few years of teaching.

Colleges and universities offer various programs specifically designed to prepare graduates for professional licensure. For aspiring teachers with bachelor's degrees in another field, a one-year teacher training program offers sufficient pedagogical career training to satisfy licensing requirements. Those who have not yet completed a bachelor's degree can fulfill both the degree and applied training requirement by completing a bachelor's degree in teaching or teacher licensure.

Teacher Training Certification

Teacher training certification programs offer a comprehensive introduction to classroom teaching methods, including supervised practice in a classroom setting. These certification courses are widely available online, but the hands-on nature of the program requires that students take a student teaching position at a local school in addition to completing the online instruction. Courses typically take a year to complete.

Bachelor of Arts in Education and Teaching or Teacher Licensure

This offers the surest path to licensure for aspiring teachers who have not yet completed a college degree. This four-year degree provides a solid foundation in general education, with a core liberal arts and sciences curriculum spanning the first half of the program. In the final half of the degree program, students turn to specialized teacher training courses and complete a supervised classroom teaching internship. Courses include:

  • Pedagogical techniques
  • Curriculum Design and Assessment
  • Child Development and Learning
  • Classroom Management
  • Trends in K-12 Education
  • Educational Technology

An additional two years of college education qualifies teachers for a Master of Education in Teaching degree. This qualification is required by some states but preferred by many. Advanced coursework explores specialized topics in pedagogy, with a focus on curriculum design, program development, and school leadership. The program culminates in an independent research project. The master's degree typically qualifies teachers for a higher pay level and is a stepping stone to administrative positions.

Career Outlook for Licensed Teachers

Teacher licensure is recommended for all teachers, whether or not they intend to work in state public schools. Some of the perks associated with teacher licensure include:

  • Attractive salaries
  • Tenure, which provides job security
  • Reimbursement for higher education
  • Career growth--teachers can become administrators or supervisors
  • Generous benefits including medical insurance and employee assistance programs
  • Extended vacations

Future employment prospects for licensed teachers are strong according to the Department of Labor. In addition to an anticipated job growth of 12 percent through 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a wave of retirements to create "favorable" opportunities for qualified teachers. K-12 teachers earned an average salary ranging from $50,040 to $52,450 in 2007.

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