What Degree Do You Need to Be a Teacher?

an education graduate wearing a graduation cap

If you have decided to become a teacher, your next step is deciding what type of teaching degree you need. If teaching is going to be your first career and you do not already have a bachelor's degree, you will need to start there. If you are already in a career and looking to switch to teaching, you might have the option to choose between earning a bachelor's degree or a master's-level teaching degree.

What It Means to Go Into Teaching

Teachers have a passion for their jobs and their students. They enter this career because they want to make an impact on the lives of students and families and be important parts of their community.

If these align with your reasons for getting into teaching, then you are definitely on the right path in learning about types of teaching degrees. If you’re still wondering if teaching is for you, you might want to consider volunteering at a school. You can become a teacher's assistant or even get a substitute teaching job to get a feel for teaching as a career. Once you know that teaching is what you want to pursue, it’s time to get the right degree.

Teaching Degrees

Besides a teaching degree, teachers also need to earn state certification if they plan to teach in public schools. In order to earn the certification and get a job in the classroom, you also want to make sure that your teaching degree comes from an accredited university.

Bachelor's-Level Teaching Degrees

If you do not already have a bachelor's degree, this should be your first step. All public schools require teachers to hold a bachelor's degree. You do not necessarily have to have a teaching degree to get started in the classroom right away, but eventually you will need to take education and teaching-related classes and pass the state certification tests.

However, if you have not earned a bachelor's degree and you know you are ready to become a teacher, then earn your undergraduate education or teaching degree to get started on your path toward teaching in the classroom. If you plan to work at the middle or high school levels, you might be able to earn a teaching degree in a specific subject such as biology, English or history. If your college does not offer specializations in teaching degrees, then consider pursuing a double major or a minor in your field of interest.

Master's-Level Teaching Degrees

High schools and colleges like to hire teachers who have a master's degree. Having a master's in teaching can help you receive a higher salary by showings that you are more qualified.

Teachers who earn a master's in teaching may already be in the classroom and looking to gain more research and theoretical experience. However, people who have never taught in the classroom and already hold a bachelor's degree can earn a master's degree in education in order to transition into the career. Because there are so many online teaching degrees available at the master’s level, many people are finding it easier to become teachers.

If you are interested in earning a teaching degree, join us at Grand Canyon University’s College of Education. A degree from our prestigious teaching college will help you begin your career as a teacher or transition into a new role in education.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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