Learn how to become a teacher in Massachusetts. Discover how much teachers in this state earn and where this career can take you.
In this guide, readers will learn how to become a teacher in Massachusetts. Aspiring teachers in this state need a bachelor's degree and a teaching license. In May 2020, elementary school teachers in Massachusetts earned the second-highest average annual wage for teachers in the country, at $84,810. The same year, secondary school teachers in Massachusetts earned the third-highest average annual salary at $84,130.
Deciding to go back to college for a teaching degree can be a big step. Readers interested in earning their bachelor's in education should consider the best online colleges in Massachusetts to earn their degree. These schools offer full-time and part-time accredited teaching programs with reasonably priced tuition options.
www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Ready to start your journey?
After finishing their degree, aspiring teachers in Massachusetts must earn licensure to prove they meet the academic and professional standards of the state.
How Do I Become a Teacher in Massachusetts?
Teaching in Massachusetts requires a bachelor's degree to qualify for certification. Aspiring teachers must submit official college transcripts when applying for a license.
Teaching certification allows elementary and secondary teachers to become full-time employees in schools in the state of Massachusetts. All teachers must pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) to earn their Initial License. In general, teachers must take the Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL and specific subject tests.
Out-of-state teachers who have already passed different licensure exams may earn their Massachusetts license through reciprocity. The Massachusetts Department of Education offers a separate guide for out-of-state teachers.
Meet Minimum Education Requirements
Teachers need at least a bachelor's degree to earn certification in Massachusetts. The state does not list any specific course or credit hour requirements, meaning students do not necessarily need to complete a bachelor's in education to be eligible for a state license.
All teachers must meet the following requirements to qualify for licensure:
- Hold a bachelor's degree at an accredited university
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program
The most direct route to becoming a licensed teacher is to complete a bachelor's in education. These programs prepare students to become teachers by demonstrating how to build a curriculum plan, give lessons, and incorporate strategies for diverse learners. Aspiring teachers can pursue a bachelor's in education online or in person.
Gain Student Teaching Experience
Teaching certification in Massachusetts also requires student teaching hours. Students earn their hours by teaching in a classroom under supervision. The state requires that aspiring teachers complete 150 student teaching hours before becoming eligible for certification.
Most education degree programs offer student teaching placements for students, partnering with nearby schools to help student teachers get the experience they need. Educators who do not enroll in a bachelor's in education will need to meet this requirement another way.
Student teachers learn how to put together lesson plans, deliver lectures, lead discussions, and grade papers.
Pass Required Certification Tests
All teachers in Massachusetts must pass MTEL tests to earn licensure. How many tests each teacher must take depends on the specific subjects and grade levels that the teacher wishes to teach in their professional career.
For example, most teachers in Massachusetts are required to take the Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL. However, a math teacher may also need to pass one of the following MTEL exams:
- Elementary mathematics, grades 1-6
- Middle school mathematics, grades 5-8
- Mathematics, grades 8-12
Teachers of diverse learners, including teachers of students with disabilities, also need to pass MTEL skill tests for their specialties.
Apply for Certification
Teachers ready to apply for certification should create an account through the state's Educator License and Renewal (ELAR) portal. First-time applicants will need to create a profile. Teachers looking to renew their license only need to log in to their existing account.
After filling out an application, teachers must pay a fee. First-time teachers pay $100 for licensure. Licensure renewal requires an additional fee of $25 each time the license is renewed. Teachers also need to submit their official transcripts to verify that they received a bachelor's degree and submit proof of a passing score on their MTEL examinations.
How Do I Maintain Teaching Certification in Massachusetts?
All educators holding a professional level license in Massachusetts must renew their license every five years. Requirements for renewal include 150 professional development hours in the following areas:
- 15 hours in content
- 15 hours in pedagogy
- 15 hours related to structured English immersion or English as a second language
- 15 hours in training strategies for effective schooling for students with disabilities and diverse learning styles
- 90 hours through elective activities that address other educational issues and topics that improve student learning
Teachers can renew their licenses through the ELAR portal. They must pay a fee of $25 for each renewal. Educators who do not renew their licenses within the five-year time frame lose their eligibility for employment as teachers.
Career Outlook for Teachers in Massachusetts
Education careers in Massachusetts at both the elementary and secondary level are ranked in the top 5 for highest annual average wage in the nation, according to the BLS. In May 2020, elementary school teachers earned an average of $84,810, while secondary school teachers earned an average of $84,130.
There are plenty of teaching career opportunities in the state. The number of teachers employed in Massachusetts ranks in the top 15 for all states. Though teachers generally only need a bachelor's degree to teach in Massachusetts, readers may want to consider going to graduate school to make themselves more competitive.
Teachers with a master's degree can also earn a higher salary than their peers with a bachelor's degree. A master's degree is typically necessary for teachers looking to move into school administration.
In-Demand Teaching Careers in Massachusetts
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher
Elementary school teachers teach grades K-5. These professionals instruct students in basic subjects such as math, science, reading, and writing. Unlike most secondary school teachers, elementary school teachers are usually responsible for teaching more than one subject.The BLS projects a 7% job growth for elementary school teachers from 2020-2030.
Median Annual Salary: $60,660
Middle School Teachers
Middle school teachers educate students in grades 6-8 in either private or public schools. Like elementary school teachers, many middle school teachers are responsible for teaching more than one subject to students. Middle school teachers must prepare their students for high school. The BLS projects a 7% job growth for middle school teachers from 2020-2030.
Median Annual Salary: $60,810
High School Teachers
High school teachers can teach in public and private schools. Many high school teachers specialize in a single subject — such as math or English — and teach that subject to multiple grade levels. These teachers must prepare students for college admissions and advanced placement courses. The BLS projects an 8% growth in jobs for high school teachers from 2020-2030.
Median Annual Salary: $62,870
Special Education Teachers
Special education teachers specialize in teaching learners with diverse needs. This may include students with intellectual, emotional, and physical disabilities. Special education teachers consult with parents and school counselors to adapt the standard curriculum to suit their students' needs. The BLS projects that jobs for special education teachers will grow by 8% from 2020-2030.
Median Annual Salary: $61,500
Career and Technical Education Teachers
Career and technical education teachers offer specialized training for careers such as auto-repair and the culinary arts. Technical educators prepare students for the workforce by teaching practical skills that will help graduates find employment in a trade. The BLS projects a 5% job growth from 2020-2030 for career and technical education teachers.
Median Annual Salary: $59,140
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching Certification in Massachusetts
How do I get teaching certification in Massachusetts?
Aspiring teachers can earn teaching certification by filling out an application, passing the required MTEL examinations, and paying a fee. Teachers also need to show proof of a bachelor's degree by sending in official transcripts with their application. Additionally, they must complete 150 student teaching hours.
Teachers with licensure from other states may not need to take any additional tests if they seek licensure in Massachusetts.
While Massachusetts does not require teachers to earn a bachelor's in education, these degree programs help students meet their student teaching requirements by giving students placements in nearby schools.
Can I teach in Massachusetts without certification?
To teach in a classroom in the public school system in Massachusetts, teachers must hold a valid and current license from the state. However, teachers may teach in a private school without certification as the state has no jurisdiction over private school approvals. Whether or not private school teachers need licensure depends on each individual school.
Many private schools do require teachers to earn licensure, as this proves to potential parents that teachers meet the independent standards set by the state. Furthermore, any teachers who switch from the private school system to the public school system will need to earn their license.
How long does it take to become a teacher in Massachusetts?
On average, students need four years to complete their bachelor's degree. Aspiring teachers enrolled in a bachelor's in education will most likely complete their student teaching hours while still in college. Aspiring teachers may need 4-5 years to earn licensure including time to graduate from college and take licensure tests.
Teachers transferring from other states with state licensure and a bachelor's degree will need much less time to become a licensed teacher in Massachusetts. These professionals may earn their licensure through reciprocity and could be eligible to teach in a classroom in less than a year.
What can I do with teaching certification in Massachusetts?
Teaching certification allows professionals to teach in a classroom at levels K-12. Licensure also permits educators to teach students with special needs. Educators can receive licensure for teaching technical classes like cooking or cosmetology as well.
Educators must have a valid license to teach in the classroom. A professional license in Massachusetts must be renewed every five years. Teachers must complete 150 hours of professional development to renew their license.
How do I become a substitute teacher in Massachusetts?
Substitute teachers do not need licensure to work in Massachusetts. In most cases, substitute teachers need a bachelor's degree in education or in the field they wish to substitute in (i.e. math or science).
Substitute teachers without a bachelor's degree may still qualify to teach if they have work experience related to the subject and an associate degree. Private schools may set additional requirements for substitute teachers, as they are not governed by the state.
Feature Image: Klaus Vedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty Images
How do I get certified to teach in Massachusetts? ›
In Massachusetts, you must have at least a bachelor's degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification. Massachusetts does not list specific course or credit hour requirements; however some subject fields may have such requirements.Can I teach in Massachusetts with an out of state license? ›
Massachusetts offers teachers from out-of-state the opportunity to quickly step into a Massachusetts classroom with a Temporary Teacher's License. The Temporary License is valid for one year and the applicant must have acquired 3 years of professional teaching experience with a valid teaching credential.Do you need a teaching license to teach in Massachusetts? ›
Teachers and administrators have to be licensed in Massachusetts. Learn how to get and renew your license.How do I get my special education certification in Massachusetts? ›
Candidates will work with their schools to complete the required 150 practicum hours required for the license. The program can be completed in as little as one year. There is no application to the Special Education Add-On program; candidates enroll in coursework as non-degree students.How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in Massachusetts? ›
Aspiring teachers may need 4-5 years to earn licensure including time to graduate from college and take licensure tests. Teachers transferring from other states with state licensure and a bachelor's degree will need much less time to become a licensed teacher in Massachusetts.How long does it take to get a teaching certificate? ›
How many years do you have to study to be a teacher? The minimum number of years to become a qualified school teacher is four years.How do I get a temporary teaching license in Massachusetts? ›
PROVISIONAL (FORMERLY PRELIMINARY) LICENSES
The most common path to obtaining a Provisional License is by passing the communications and literacy portions of the Massachusetts Tests for Education Licensure (MTEL) and a subject-area MTEL.
No. Does the state provide special reciprocity for out-of-state teachers with advanced credentials? No. Massachusetts has three main licensure levels: Preliminary, Initial and Professional.What states can I teach in with a Massachusetts teaching license? ›
Massachusetts participates with every state and the District of Columbia through the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement for almost every license issued by the DESE Office of Educator Licensure.What disqualifies you from being a teacher in Massachusetts? ›
Anyone wishing to teach children must be clear of any sexually related offenses. This includes child molestation, sexual battery, or lewd and lascivious conduct against a minor or an adult. A sexual offender or predator need not even apply to teach children.
Where can I teach without certification? ›
For example, some private, charter and not-for-profit schools don't require applicants to have a teaching degree or hold state licensure. If you want to teach in the public school system (either as an elementary or high-school subject teacher), however, you will need a teaching license or teaching credential.How much do public school teachers make in Massachusetts? ›
How much does a Public School Teacher make in Massachusetts? The average Public School Teacher salary in Massachusetts is $60,324 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $50,381 and $73,552.What do you need to be a special education teacher in Massachusetts? ›
They must hold a Bachelor's degree, complete an accredited teacher preparation program, pass state-required tests, and apply for a license that qualifies them to teach students with moderate disabilities in either Pre-K through 8th Grade or 5th grade through 12th grade.Do you need a master's degree to teach? ›
The general route to get into teaching after finish school is: Bachelors degree (three years) Relevant work experience. Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses.What is an MA license? ›
“License” and “certification” are sometimes used interchangeably; both refer to a professional credential for medical assistants. Read on to learn whether or not a license is required and how to go about earning this credential.Can I still get an emergency teaching license in MA? ›
Can I get an Emergency license? A: Yes, assuming you do not already have a Temporary, Provisional (Preliminary for Vocational), Initial or Professional license for Massachusetts in the licensure category you are pursuing, and you satisfy the criteria for the Emergency license.Is a masters in education the same as a Masters in teaching? ›
The primary distinction is that the master's in teaching focuses more directly on teaching and classroom management. In contrast, the master's in education is a broader degree, applicable to a classroom career but also to jobs in administration, curriculum development, and education policy.Do student teachers get paid in Massachusetts? ›
How much does a Student Teacher make in Massachusetts? As of Oct 18, 2022, the average annual pay for a Student Teacher in Massachusetts is $39,974 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $19.22 an hour. This is the equivalent of $768/week or $3,331/month.How long does it take to get a teaching certificate UK? ›
Becoming a qualified teacher
To teach in England and Wales you need to gain QTS. You will obtain this on an ITT programme, which could be school or university-based and takes approximately one year to complete.
But generally, the maximum age limits in the government teachers jobs are 40 years.
What are the requirements for a teaching certificate? ›
- Minimum grade C+ Plus in KCSE and above.
- C+ (plus) in the two subjects specialization.
- At least C plain in English.
- C (plain) in Mathematics.
- Minimum grade C Plus in KCSE and above and C+ (plus) in the two subjects specialization.
A: This emergency license allows an individual to work in a Massachusetts public school. Each state has their own requirements for licensure and employment. You will need to check with the state where you are looking to be employed to determine eligibility.What is Professional teacher status in Massachusetts? ›
Professional Teacher Status is a designation in Massachusetts law signifying that a school employee has served a certain probationary period and has thereby obtained some measure of job security.What do you need to be a substitute teacher in Massachusetts? ›
If you have a high school diploma or GED and a certificate in a specialty area, you must have six years of work experience. If you have an associate's degree in a specialty area (or an associate's degree and a certificate in a specialty), you must have four years of work experience in that specialty area.What states accept NY teacher certification? ›
Maine is a participant in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement. Does the state have full reciprocity by statute for out-of-state teachers? No.What states accept a Florida teaching certificate? ›
Educators with an out-of-state license may be granted a similar license to teach in California, with an approved application, academic records, and criminal background check.Can I use my California teaching credential in other states? ›
Transferring Credentials from California
Since California is a participating state in the agreement, persons with valid credentials from California are eligible to request a transfer of those credentials to a receiving state.
Yes. Candidates with comparable professional certificates who have at least three years (within the past five years) of “acceptable” out-of-state teaching experience are eligible for a Professional Certificate.
Do Massachusetts teachers get a pension? ›
The MTRS, which is the largest of the Commonwealth's 104 contributory retirement systems, provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to Massachusetts teachers, administrators and their families.Can I be a teacher with a criminal record UK? ›
If you apply for teaching jobs, or for courses which result in a teaching qualification and involve work placements within schools, you will need to declare all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, final warnings and reprimands which are not eligible for filtering.Can you be a teacher with a felony in New York? ›
The educational laws of New York that govern granting teaching certification include eight points by which each candidate's eligibility is measured. So, to be clear, having a misdemeanor or felony conviction does not preclude a potential teacher from applying and receiving certification.Can a teacher teach without license? ›
Under Republic Act No. 7836 or the Philippine Teachers Professionalization Act of 1994, no person shall practice the teaching profession without obtaining a valid certificate of registration and professional license.Can I teach online with a bachelor's degree? ›
You can pursue a variety of online teaching jobs from home with only a bachelor's degree, even if your degree is not in education. Although many online schools prefer teachers with certification, demand is growing for teachers, tutors, and test scorers without professional licensing.Can I teach in Alabama without certification? ›
Those aspiring to become teachers must obtain an Alabama teacher certification to teach in our public schools. All certification providers must adhere to the Alabama Department of Education regulations for the certification process.What state is the highest paid for teachers? ›
Pennsylvania, California and New York have the highest average teacher salaries in the country, compared to all other occupations.What type of teacher gets paid the most? ›
When you are looking for the best-paid teaching jobs for your area of interest or specialized skill, then you may consider working as a professor in a college or university. A college professor prepares course material, teaches students in a classroom environment, and grades student work.
|Rank||State||Average Teacher Salary|
If you have a high school diploma or GED and a certificate in a specialty area, you must have six years of work experience. If you have an associate's degree in a specialty area (or an associate's degree and a certificate in a specialty), you must have four years of work experience in that specialty area.
How much do public school teachers make in Massachusetts? ›
How much does a Public School Teacher make in Massachusetts? The average Public School Teacher salary in Massachusetts is $60,324 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $50,381 and $73,552.Where can I teach without certification? ›
For example, some private, charter and not-for-profit schools don't require applicants to have a teaching degree or hold state licensure. If you want to teach in the public school system (either as an elementary or high-school subject teacher), however, you will need a teaching license or teaching credential.How do I get a teaching license? ›
The licence is obtained by passing two tests, one in pedagogy and the other in the specialisation of the applicant teacher. In case the applicant fails to meet the exam criteria, the system then introduces training courses that are customised based on the level shown in the exam to achieve the required outcome.How much does a substitute teacher make per day in Massachusetts? ›
|Years of experience||Per day|
|Less than 1 year||$153|
|1 to 2 years||$139|
|3 to 5 years||-|
|6 to 9 years||-|
|Annual Salary||Hourly Wage|
All substitute teachers must have at least a high school diploma (or equivalent). If you have no classroom teaching experience, the school district must provide you with training on classroom management skills and instructional strategies prior to allowing you to work in the classroom.What state is the highest paid for teachers? ›
Pennsylvania, California and New York have the highest average teacher salaries in the country, compared to all other occupations.Do teachers make good money in Massachusetts? ›
The average salary for a teacher in Massachusetts is $82,349, one of the highest state averages in the nation.Do teachers in Ma get a pension? ›
The MTRS, which is the largest of the Commonwealth's 104 contributory retirement systems, provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to Massachusetts teachers, administrators and their families.Can a teacher teach without license? ›
Under Republic Act No. 7836 or the Philippine Teachers Professionalization Act of 1994, no person shall practice the teaching profession without obtaining a valid certificate of registration and professional license.
Is a masters in education the same as a Masters in teaching? ›
The primary distinction is that the master's in teaching focuses more directly on teaching and classroom management. In contrast, the master's in education is a broader degree, applicable to a classroom career but also to jobs in administration, curriculum development, and education policy.Can I teach online with a bachelor's degree? ›
You can pursue a variety of online teaching jobs from home with only a bachelor's degree, even if your degree is not in education. Although many online schools prefer teachers with certification, demand is growing for teachers, tutors, and test scorers without professional licensing.How do I become a teacher in the US? ›
- A bachelor's degree.
- Completion of a state-approved teacher education program.
- A successful background check.
- Passage of a general teacher certification or licensure exam.
TSC Teacher Service Commission published the teaching license vacancy online application. License.tsc.gov.np is the website portal to apply online TSC License application for the all level.What is QTS certificate? ›
Qualified teacher status ( QTS ) is a legal requirement to teach in many English schools and considered desirable for teachers in the majority of schools in England. Schools in England where teachers can be employed without QTS include academies, free schools and private schools.