Elementary Education Teacher: Educational Requirements

Elementary education teaching positions usually require some formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and certification requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Elementary education teachers help students in grades 1-6 learn about subjects ranging from mathematics to language arts. A bachelor's degree is usually required to become an elementary education teacher. However some schools require teachers to earn a master's. A professional experience is also often necessary. In addition to a college degree, different states have various certification requirements for teaching.

Required Education Bachelor's
Other Requirements Certification or license, internship and training often required
Projected Job Growth (2012 - 2022)* 12%
Median Salary (2013)* $53,590 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Requirements for the Career

Elementary education teachers are generally required to complete bachelor's degrees in elementary education. These programs typically last four years and begin with introductory courses in childhood education, development and psychology. Because students will need to teach a range of classes as elementary education teachers, most programs include courses in mathematics, history, science and language arts. Students also receive training on how to prepare and teach these classes.

In addition to their studies, aspiring elementary education teachers must complete professional experience programs. Sometimes called internships, these programs allow students to teach real elementary school classes under the supervision of licensed professional teachers. Students gain experience with designing curricula and teaching classes.

Some states may require teachers to be on the path to earning master's degrees by a set date. Once licensed, most teachers must participate in state-mandated continuing education programs in order to keep their skills current.

Licensure

Although not mandatory to teach in private schools, licensure is required for all prospective candidates who wish to teach in public schools. Licensure requirements differ by state, but generally include a bachelor's degree, completion of a student-teacher internship and some teaching experience. Additionally, most states mandate prospective elementary education teachers to demonstrate proficiency in reading and writing.

Alternative Licensure

Designed to increase the number of licensed teachers, alternative licensure programs are available for college graduates who have not completed degrees in education or teacher preparation programs. For example, working professionals who are considering career changes may qualify to participate in alternative licensure programs. These programs allow participants to teach under provisional licenses while completing the appropriate education requirements. Other programs may provide 1-2 semesters of condensed learning to help students gain the necessary skills to earn their licenses.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 12% job growth for all elementary school teachers in the years 2012-2022. Elementary school teachers earned $53,590 as a median annual salary in 2013, according to the BLS.

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Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • ESL Teaching
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
        • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
        • Teaching, Elementary
        • Teaching, High School
        • Teaching, Young Children
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • ESL Teaching
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
        • Teaching, Elementary
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • International and Comparative Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
        • Teaching, Elementary
        • Teaching, High School
        • Teaching, Young Children
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
        • Teaching, Elementary
        • Teaching, Young Children
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • ESL Teaching
      • International and Comparative Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
        • Teaching, Adults
        • Teaching, Elementary
        • Teaching, Young Children
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
        • Teaching, Adults
        • Teaching, Elementary
        • Teaching, Junior High
        • Teaching, Kindergarten and Preschool
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Miami include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
        • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
        • Teaching, Elementary
        • Teaching, High School
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Louisville include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
        • Teaching, Adults
        • Teaching, Elementary
        • Teaching, High School
        • Teaching, Junior High
        • Teaching, Young Children
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics