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The impact of an elementary school teacher during the early and formative years of a child's life is significant from both an intellectual and social development perspective. From impacting their self-image to affecting their success or failure in school or work to their personal lives, Teachers play a critical role.

Elementary School Teachers picture    Elementary School Teachers image

Elementary Teacher Education Schools and Courses

Elementary school teachers are required to have at least a bachelor's degree and a state or national teaching license. In addition to degree programs from brick-and-mortar colleges and universities, programs leading to teaching degrees are also available through online programs. Prior to obtaining a degree, many elementary education majors complete a student-teaching internship at an elementary school.

The courses that are traditionally undertaken by students are unique to the subject that you want to teach. Such courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Social and physical sciences
  • Math
  • Music
  • Art
  • Literature
  • Psychology of learning
  • Philosophy of education

Once you have a bachelor's degree, you may also get certified to teach a specific subject or pursue teaching jobs in private schools. A license from the State Board of Education or from a licensure advisory committee is typically also required, depending on where you plan to teach.

Accreditation is usually very important when choosing an elementary education school. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) accredits teacher education programs. To maintain accreditation, these programs are required to include instruction in computer use and various technologies; and, many programs also require student-teaching internships. While it is not necessary for a student to graduate from an accredited program, it makes for a smoother process when the time comes to fulfilling requirements for licensure.

In many states today, professional development schools are also available, which have partnerships established between elementary or secondary schools and universities. Blending practice with theory, these schools offer the bachelor degree graduate an opportunity to enter into a one-year program where they will experience firsthand what it is like to teach (under the guidance and supervision of a professional).

Download Our FREE eBook on Real-World Elementary School Teaching

Elementary School Teaching eBook Cover

64 pages packed with information from 25 working teachers. Inside you'll find:

  • A summary of findings from our interviews with real elementary school teachers
  • Practical tips and advice
  • The best and the worst parts of the job
  • Words of inspiration balanced with cautionary notes
  • What teachers say about working with children, interacting with parents, standardized testing and more.
  • Full transcripts of all interviews

Note to students, counselors, professors, bloggers, and webmasters:

You are permitted to distribute this eBook to your friends, students, blog readers, web site visitors, etc. free of charge. Read the first chapter of the eBook for details.

Regular Teacher Licensing

The State Board of Education or a licensing advisory committee generally grants licensing. While licensing is not a requirement for teachers in most private schools, it is required in all states and the District of Columbia for those teaching in public schools.

Regular licensing requirements vary by state, but all states require general education teachers to achieve:

  • A four-year bachelor's degree
  • Approved teacher-training program that includes a required number of subject and education credits
  • Supervised practice teaching

Some states require training in technology and a minimum grade point average; others require an individual to achieve a master's degree in education within a specific window of time after they have begun formal teaching.

Nearly all states require competency testing in basic/fundamental skills (e.g., reading, writing, teaching), as well as proof of proficiency in the subject taught by the teacher. This applies to all applicants looking to secure a teacher's license. Many states have agreements that are reciprocal in nature, whereby teachers who are licensed in one state can easily become licensed in another. Most states require teachers who are seeking license renewal to complete a specific (or minimum) number of hours in continuing education.

Alternative Teacher Licensing

The main intent of an alternative licensing program is to attract people who do not fulfill traditional licensing standards into the teaching profession. For example, this would be relevant if you wanted to switch from a current career into teaching, or you're a new grad who lacks completion of education programs.

With some programs, an individual may start teaching immediately with a temporary license, while under close supervision of a licensed and experienced educator(s), while simultaneously attending required education courses. Those who make positive progress may, after working one or two years, qualify for a regular license. Then, there are other programs where a new college graduate will complete the required education courses (one or two full-time semesters) and then become eligible for licensure.

It's important to note that, in general, private school institutions are not obliged to meet state licensing requirements.

Teaching Certification

Teachers who wish to obtain professional certification as an endorsement of qualification and competency beyond that required for regular licensing may do so through voluntary, national certification offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Not only is the NBPTS certification recognized by all states, several offer various benefits to Teachers who possess this certification (e.g., reimbursement for fees related to continuing education and certification, and higher salaries). Certification requires the applicant to pass a written assessment and evaluation that focuses on their teaching knowledge, as well as the presentation of a portfolio that illustrates their classroom work.


Resources for Elementary School Teachers


Sources:

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-1
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Elementary School Teachers, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252021.htm

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Elementary School Teachers

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Elementary School Teachers jobs , as of 2016

     
Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 43,080 $76,050
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 36,870 $57,230
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 35,050 $59,610
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 29,310 $55,690
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 19,960 $49,730
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario 18,120 $80,070
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 17,880 $74,490
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 16,630 $65,560
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 15,010 $43,730
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 12,960 $54,580

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Elementary School Teachers

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to elementary school teachers

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Elementary School Teachers

To find out more about building a career as Elementary School Teachers, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Elementary School Teachers

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Education 1,529,330 99% $49,370
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Results:  10
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Programs
  • M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
  • M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Does not lead to initial teacher licensure)
  • M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Elementary Education
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Programs
  • M.Ed. Teaching and Learning - Elementary Education
  • MA in Teaching - Elementary Education
  • MA Teaching: Middle Grades
  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
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Programs
  • M.A. Education with Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential
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  • Multiple Subject English Learner Teaching Credential
  • Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
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Programs
  • General Education - Doctor of Education
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  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
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  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
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Programs
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies
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  • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
  • Concordia pursues online learning with the same passion and commitment to excellence that has marked our 110-year history. Our online degrees provides the same high academic standards as our on-campus.
  • #1 in M.Ed Degrees awarded by a Non-Profit University with over 8,000 M.Ed degrees that have been awarded to Concordia Online Students (Based on 2013-2014 IPEDS data); #3 MBA Program in Oregon (2015).
  • Your diploma and transcript is exactly the same as what students receive from Concordia’s on-campus program and carries the same value as a traditional degree
  • Concordia offers a variety of scholarships, grants, and awards designed to make the cost of a quality liberal arts education more affordable. Military benefits are available to candidates who qualify.
  • Concordia offers outstanding student-focused support including technical support and student service teams to assist you from initial contact through graduation. 
  • Concordia University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Programs
  • Early Childhood Education (Certificate Only) - Online
  • Early Childhood Education (MEd plus Certification) - Online
  • Early Childhood Education (Master of Education) - Online
  • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
  • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
  • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
  • CAL U online programs complete an annual assessment of student learning to ensure outcomes are focused on your success in career entry, advancement or enhancement!
Programs
  • MS - Teaching and Learning
  • The first and only 100% online, fully accredited public university in the United States
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Programs
  • Online Accelerated Teaching Certification
  • SJU provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts
  • A Jesuit school with 8,415 students in all programs for 2016 grads &undergrads
  • Institutionally Accredited by the MSCHE and the AACSB (Haub School of Business)
  • 96% of 2016 graduates employed, pursuing graduate study or volunteering full time
  • Qualifying students can receive financial assistance with tuition costs
Programs
  • Education Specialist in Instructional Design and Technology
  • PhD in Instructional Design and Technology
  • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
  • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
  • Its main campus is located in Fort Lauderdale, with campuses located throughout the State of Florida and internationally. 
  • Provides a Department of Student Services and Resources that assists students with résumé preparation, interviewing skills coaching, mock interviewing, professional development workshops, and more.
Programs
  • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis

Mason is committed to creating a more just, free and prosperous world. Located in one of the most important political, economic and intellectual hubs in the world, we accept our responsibility to serve others: to help our students succeed, enrich the life of our community, and contribute to solving some of the most complex global problems of our time.

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Elementary School Teachers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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