- Texas Alternative Teacher Certification
Teaching Schools in TX
Teaching Reciprocity Guide
To become a certified teacher in Texas candidates must fulfill certain requirements set by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification. The Texas teacher certification process is fairly similar to other states, and requirements for teacher certification may vary depending on education and teaching experience. On this page, you will find information about the traditional pathway to becoming a certified teacher in Texas. You may also wish to check out our guide to alternative teacher certification in Texas.
How to Become a Teacher in Texas
Like all states, Texas has its own specific requirements for earning certification. Typically, Texas teacher certification requires candidates to have completed a teacher certification program and hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Overall the process for earning teaching certification in Texas includes completing educational requirements, passing the required teacher certification exams, being fingerprinted for a background check, and submitting the state teaching application. Several alternative routes to certification are also available to those who wish to teach in Texas.
Reciprocity in Texas is available for experienced teachers with out-of-state certification. To qualify for reciprocity, educators must provide official transcripts from all colleges attended; copies of any out-of-state teaching certificates issued; and documentation of two years of school experience in the area(s) currently certified. After a credential review, the Texas Education Agency may issue a One-Year teaching certificate, which is non-renewable. During the year the certificate is valid, teachers must complete the Texas teacher certification exams. For additional information on reciprocity refer to the Texas Education Agency website.
- I want to be a teacher in Texas, but don’t have a degree: Earn an Education Degree
- I want to be a teacher and have a degree, but not in education: Learn about Texas’ Alternative Certification Process and Programs
- I have a teaching degree and am interested in more education: Learn about Master’s Degree Education Programs or Doctorate Education Programs and Information
- I want to explore substitute teaching: Learn about Substitute Teacher Opportunities
- I am already certified and want to teach in another state: Learn about Teacher Certification Reciprocity
Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Texas
Projected Job Growth
Growth in Teaching Jobs in TX through 20262
One of the most important steps to obtaining Texas teacher licensing is completing an educator preparation program approved by the Texas Education Agency. The Texas Education Agency will accept bachelor’s degree programs that have accreditation from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s list of recognized accreditors. In order to obtain teacher certification in Texas, candidates must have completed an approved educator program. Candidates who have previously received a bachelor’s degree may be eligible to complete an alternative certification program or a post-baccalaureate program to qualify for licensure. You can compare key metrics for state-approved teacher preparation programs in Texas by using the sortable table on our Texas schools page.
Candidates should confirm that their chosen school is accredited and will meet Texas Education Agency teacher certification standards before committing to a program. Online teaching certification programs offered by out-of-state schools should also be appropriately accredited.
Additionally, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is a national organization formed through the merger of two accreditation agencies, the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). CAEP accreditation, although not mandatory for Texas teacher certification, is considered an indication of quality curriculum and teacher training.
Texas Teacher Education Requirements
In order to obtain Texas teaching certification, candidates must first earn a bachelor’s degree from an approved and accredited institution. Prospective teachers typically choose a major in the content area that they would like to teach. The required approved educator preparation program may either be completed as part of the prospective teacher’s bachelor’s degree or as a post-baccalaureate alternative certification or degree program. Student teaching or an internship is required as part of the educator preparation program.
Texas Teacher Testing Requirements
After completing an approved educator preparation program, those seeking to obtain a Texas teaching license must demonstrate their pedagogical and content area knowledge on the required tests for Texas teacher certification. The Office of Educator Testing oversees the testing process for state teachers and the assessments required vary by content area and grade level to be taught. Each teacher candidate should receive guidance about which tests to take and authorization to take those tests from his or her educator preparation program.
In order to evaluate potential teachers’ knowledge of educational practices and pedagogy, Texas uses two test batteries that are unique to the state: The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) and the Texas Examinations for Master Teachers (TExMaT). Your educator preparation program must authorize you to take these exams. After completing all required assessments, prospective educators are ready to apply for certification.
Additional Texas Teacher Certification Requirements
Once all of the requirements for Texas educator certification are complete, applicants must send their application packet to the TEA office. Applicants must use the online system, TEA Login (TEAL). The required documents to apply for teacher certification in Texas are as follows:
- Submission of transcripts from all colleges attended.
- Verification of completion of an educator preparation program from an approved school.
- Submission of passing scores on the appropriate certification exam(s).
- Proof of background clearance.
- Payment of non-refundable processing fees.
- Submission of the state application.
Visit the Texas Education Agency website for additional information on Texas teacher certification.
Texas Teacher Outlook, Salary, and Jobs
There were 8,912 public K-12 schools in Texas during the 2016-2017 school year, which enrolled a student population of over 5.36 million.3 There were about 352,809 teachers in Texas during the same timeframe, giving the state a student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1.3
From 2016 to 2026, projections estimate that there will be 14,050 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 7,000 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 10,130 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Texas.2 These figures exclude opportunities for special education and career and technical education teachers. In Texas, elementary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $56,520, while middle school teachers earn an average annual salary of $56,580 and secondary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $58,190.4 The Texas State Teachers Association provides frequent updates regarding policy changes and local employment opportunities for Texas teachers.
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Preschool Teachers, Special Education||1,030||$51,010|
|Elementary School Teachers||136,780||$56,520|
|Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School||13,470||$57,770|
|Middle School Teachers||66,470||$56,580|
|Middle School Teachers, Special Education||7,620||$56,960|
|Middle School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||1,680||$58,410|
|Secondary School Teachers||110,420||$58,190|
|Secondary School Teachers, Special Education||12,970||$58,570|
|Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||10,950||$60,170|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2018.4
Teacher Shortages in Texas
According to the US Department of Education Teacher Shortage Area report for 2021-2022, Texas broadly has the following shortages5:
- Career and Technical Education, 7-12
- Career and Technical Education (Computer Science), Pre-K-12
- English as a Second Language (Bilingual Education), Pre-K-12
- Mathematics, 7-12
- Special Education, Pre-K-12
According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the state has not experienced a major loss of teachers due to the pandemic, based on its attrition and new hire numbers. In fact, the 2020-21 school year saw a higher percentage change in new hires over lost jobs since the 2014-15 school year.6 However, some districts in the state still may be experiencing shortages in areas such as the ones listed above, so you should check your local district for more information.
Texas Teacher Interviews
- Early Childhood Teacher, Matt Gomez
- Kindergarten Teacher, April Larremore
- Third Grade Teacher, Lindsay Noren
- Third Grade Teacher, Diane Hubacz
- Third Grade Language Arts Teacher, Megan Favre
- Math Teacher, Kathryn Laster
- High School Math Teacher, Shireen D.
- Former President of the Texas Music Teachers Association, Sharon Callahan
- ESL Teacher Trainer and Founder of Kid World Citizen, Becky Morales
Teacher Quote: “Be prepared to work a lot! This is a great job to have but there is always something else to be done. Working with kids is an awesome gift and will definitely be the best part of your job.” -Lindsay Noren, Texas Third Grade Teacher
Texas School District Requirements
If you are interested in exploring more about how to become a teacher in one of the major Texas cities, you can find out more on our city pages below. These pages discuss the step-by-step process for becoming a teacher in each city school district, the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher, and provide contact information for the public school district. You can also find a list of popular and well-known private and charter schools in each city.
- Fort Worth
- San Antonio
Teacher Quote: “It is important that you enjoy working with children and their parents. If you have that passion, then teaching young children is amazing. I can’t imagine a more fun and rewarding job. Every day is full of challenges, laughter, love and learning!” -Matt Gomez, Texas Kindergarten Teacher
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What do you need to become a kindergarten teacher in Houston, TX?
Answer: To become a kindergarten teacher in Houston candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved educator preparation program, pass the appropriate teacher certification exams, and submit a completed teacher application and criminal background check.
Question: How much do teachers make in Texas?
Answer: On average, teachers in Texas at the elementary, middle, and high school levels earn $57,097 per year.4 Teachers may earn more or less than this amount based on their experience and the school in which they teach.
Question: How do I become a high school teacher in Texas?
Answer: To become a high school teacher in Texas, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school and also finish a teacher preparation program that is approved by the state. You also need to pass the state’s certification exam(s) for the subject areas you will be teaching. Once these are complete, you can apply to the state for a certificate, complete the required background check, and apply for jobs in schools.
Question: What are the requirements to become an elementary school teacher in Texas?
Answer: To become an elementary teacher in Texas, you must earn a bachelor’s degree. You must also complete an approved teacher preparation program. Once those are complete, you need to pass the exam for elementary instruction and for the subject areas you will be teaching. Finally, you must complete the state application for certification and pass a national criminal background check.
Question: How do I become a kindergarten teacher in Texas?
Answer: To become a kindergarten teacher in Texas, you must be certified by the state. Certification requires a bachelor’s degree, completion of an educator preparation program, and passing scores on the required certification exams. You must also complete a background check before you can work in a school.
1. Texas Education Agency, Texas Educators Certification: https://tea.texas.gov/texas-educators/certification
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
3. National Center for Education Statistics, State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data, 2016-2017: https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/stnfis.asp
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Texas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tx.htm
5. US Department of Education, Teacher Shortage Areas: https://tsa.ed.gov/#/reports
6. Texas Education Agency, Employed Teacher Attrition and New Hires 2006‐07 through 2020‐21, https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/employed-teacher-attrition-and-new-hires-tgs210519.pdf
The TExES has a passing rate of about 92%. Candidates should keep in mind that each subtest is different and will vary in difficulty. Preparation is the best way to avoid intimidation and achieve success on the TExES Exam.How many questions can you miss on the TExES test? ›
Since there are several different versions of each TExES exam, there is not a set number of questions that students must get right in order to pass the exam.How many questions are on the Texas teacher Content exam? ›
There are 100 multiple-choice questions on the PPR EC 12 exam. Out of those 100 questions, 90 are score while 10 are used as pilot-testing and do not count towards your final score.How do I study for the TExES exam? ›
- Review the Preparation Manual (1-3 hours) ...
- Review the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) ...
- Seek Advice. ...
- Study Groups. ...
- Use a Study Manual or Program. ...
- Flash Cards.
In 2016-17, 58% of candidates passed the TExES Science 7-12 (236) exam and achieved TExES certification. Diligent study and preparation can help candidates individual success rate.What happens if you fail the TExES exam 5 times? ›
Waiver: If you do not pass an exam within FIVE (5) attempts, you may appeal for a waiver. This is processed through the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) for approval. Instructions are on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website.What happens if you fail a TExES test? ›
What happens if you fail the TExES exam? If students fail the TExES exam, they are allowed to retake the exam after 30 days. Students are allowed up to 5 total attempts to pass a certification exam.What is the passing score for the Texas teacher certification test? ›
In summary: All TExES exams are scored on a scale of 100-300 points. The minimum score that you need to pass a TExES test is 240 points.How many times can you take a certification test in Texas? ›
Candidates are limited to a total of 5 attempts to pass a certification examination under Texas Education Code §21.048.How long does it take to get Texas teacher certification test results? ›
Please allow approximately three weeks for processing. You may submit an online request or submit the request form below through the TEA Help Desk.
The Texas TExES exams are designed to test the competency of aspiring teachers in Texas. Multiple-choice and selected-response questions are the standard in the series; all TExES exams contain these questions.How long should you study for the TExES exam? ›
However, a good rule is that you should start prepping for the TExES examination about 8 weeks before you walk into the test center. With an 8 week TExES exam preparation schedule you should review approximately 2 hours each day on a Monday through Friday schedule.What is a perfect score on the TExES exam? ›
TExES Passing Score
TExES exams are reported on a scaled score from 100-300, with 100 being a 0% and 300 being a perfect score (100%). The TExES passing score for most exams is 240.
Total exam performance scores for all exams in the AAFCS, PACT, and TExES series are reported on a scale of 100 to 300, with a score of 240 established as the minimum passing score.How long before I can retake the TExES exam? ›
You must wait 30 days after taking the TExES Core Subjects (211 or 391) or TX PACT Essential Academic Skills (700) exam before you can retake the overall exam or an individual subject exam.Do you have to pay to retake a TExES exam? ›
Some certification areas require that you take both the $116 exam and a CORE Subject exam for $58. If you take a TExES exam with subtests (like the CORE Subjects exams) and fail one subtest, you can retake the failed section for $58.Can I just take the TExES exam? ›
You can take the test when: You're enrolled in your certification program. You need permission from your certification program to do this. You're a college graduate but haven't enrolled in a certification program.Is the Texas PPR test hard? ›
How Hard is the PPR? The difficulty of the TExES PPR may seem different to different people, depending on their individual background, strengths, and level of experience. In general, most test-takers pass the TExES PPR.What happens if I fail all three practice tests on 240 tutoring? ›
A TExES exam costs $116, regardless if it is your first time attempting to pass, or a retake.
While you MUST take and pass one individual subject exam to meet the texas teacher certification requirements, you can take more than one subject exam. This allows you to choose different tests that complement your skill sets. Taking more than one exam can also make you eligible for more open positions.How is the TExES 268 exam scored? ›
A passing score for the TExES 268 is 240. Your test will be graded with raw points for each question you answer correctly verses the total number of questions. The raw score with then be put on a scale from 100-300, where 100 is equal to 0% and 300 is equal to 100%.What is a passing score for TExES 163? ›
Scoring: The test scores range from 100 to 300 and the passing score is 240.How many attempts on a TExES content exam in the area identified for enrollment may an Iteach Texas candidate have? ›
How Often Can I Take the TExES? Only 5 times. The state only allows you to take the TExES 5 times. Not only that, once you enroll in a certification program, they may only limit you to 1 or 2 test attempts.How long is a Texas teaching certificate valid? ›
If you hold a standard educator certificate you must renew it every five years.How long does Texas teacher certification take? ›
To teach in the state of Texas, the certification process can take 4 to 6 months if you have a bachelor's degree. If you do not have a bachelor's degree, your work experience may still qualify you for an educator preparation program in which your timeline to certification would remain the same.How long is Texas teacher certification? ›
Through a traditional route, it takes roughly five years to get your degree and teaching certificate.What is the difference between TExES 161 and 163? ›
What Is the Difference Between the TExES 161 and 163? The main difference between the TExES exams is for initial certification and has a pedagogical requirement, while the TExES 163 exam is a stand-alone certification for those who already have a base certificate.What can I bring to my TExES exam? ›
You must bring to the exam administration two pieces of original (no photocopies or digital ID) and valid (unexpired) identification, printed in English in the name in which you registered. Your identification must contain your name, a recent recognizable photograph, and your signature.Do test out certifications matter? ›
Yes. TestOut Pro certifications measure skills and abilities for performing job-related tasks of configuring, managing, and troubleshooting computer and networking systems.
How long does it take to become certified through online teachers programs? Teachers of Tomorrow is a fully online program, which allows you to take coursework and training at your own pace. This means that you can receive your online teacher certification within 9-12 months versus the traditional 4 years.How long does it take to get Pearson test results? ›
Candidates should log into their Pearson VUE account to see if test results are available. Results can take up to 2-3 days to be posted to your Pearson VUE account.What is the difference between TExES 291 and 391? ›
Difference between TExES 291 and 391
The two exams are separate, and as such, their passing scores cannot be combined. This means that passing scores on subject exams of one exam cannot be combined with passing scores on subject exams of the other exam.
Many students think of multiple choice tests as “easy” tests, but the truth is, they can be very difficult. From “none of the above” and “all of the above” questions to the shorter amount of time many teachers allot for taking multiple choice tests, these tests can be much more challenging than students expect.What is a passing score for TExES 161? ›
– For all TExES tests, the score scale is 100–300 with a scaled score of 240 as the minimum passing score.How to pass a multiple choice test online? ›
- Read very carefully. Take the time to carefully read each question and answer choice. ...
- Come up with your own answer. ...
- Look for common types of wrong answers. ...
- Eliminate answers in two rounds. ...
- Do not obsess over your choices. ...
- Manage your time. ...
- Answer every question.
While everyone studies differently, the typical candidate studies about 100 hours for every hour of the exam. For example, exam P/1 is a three hour exam. That means you will be hitting the books for 300 hours to fully master the concepts tested on that exam.What is a passing score for TExES 160? ›
What is the passing score for the TExES (160) exam? To pass the exam, you must achieve a scaled score of at least 240.How many questions can you miss on the TExES exam? ›
Since there are several different versions of each TExES exam, there is not a set number of questions that students must get right in order to pass the exam.How many questions are on the TExES? ›
The TExES for the PPR (Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities) exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions, 90 of which are scored.
How many questions are on the PPR Exam? The Texas PPR exam consists of 90 questions, including 10 field test questions. The questions on the PPR exam are scored a cross a variety of categories and you must receive at least a score of 240 in order to pass it.How do I study for the TExES? ›
Additional resources like study guides and practice tests are one of the most effective ways to study for TExES exams. Many of these TExES study materials are available free online or through the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website.How many questions are on TExES 115? ›
The TExES Mathematics 4-8 (115) exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions and has a time limit of 4 hours and 45 minutes.How do I study for the TExES content exam? ›
- Review the Preparation Manual (1-3 hours) ...
- Review the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) ...
- Seek Advice. ...
- Study Groups. ...
- Use a Study Manual or Program. ...
- Flash Cards.
Preparing to Take a TExES Exam
Even candidates who have done well in their educator preparation program should expect to spend several weeks to several months studying, reviewing, and familiarizing themselves with the format, types of questions, and general content prioritized on their exams.
Candidates are limited to a total of 5 attempts to pass a certification examination under Texas Education Code §21.048. Beginning September 1, 2018, all attempts of the same examination, no matter when they occurred, will count toward the 5-attempt testing limit regardless of when the examination was first attempted.Is the TExES exam multiple choice? ›
The Texas TExES exams are designed to test the competency of aspiring teachers in Texas. Multiple-choice and selected-response questions are the standard in the series; all TExES exams contain these questions.What percentage do you need to pass TExES? ›
TExES exams are reported on a scaled score from 100-300, with 100 being a 0% and 300 being a perfect score (100%). The TExES passing score for most exams is 240.Can I teach in Texas without certification? ›
Since 1995, Texas law has allowed school districts to issue a school district teaching permit (SDTP) to someone who does not hold a teaching certificate (Texas Education Code §21.055). A teacher employed on a school district teaching permit is not certified by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).Does a Texas teaching certificate expire? ›
If you hold a standard educator certificate you must renew it every five years.