How to become a high school or college teacher

To become a high school teacher you must study both education and the field you want to teach. Some courses are typically required for state certification; the other ones you determine, and getting certified in multiple areas for high school is usually wise.

For college most of the time you need at least a Master degree in the area that you teach. Education courses are typically not required for colleges, but sometimes work experience in the area is also required. This depends on the college.


In order to become a high school teacher you have 2 main options:

  • Get a college major/master's degree and then a teaching certification.
  • Get an education major/master's.

I would recomend the first option since you can work in the industry, gain real experience, and then step into a classroom and share valuable information with the students instead of sticking to the books only.

In the U.S., I think that most universities require a Ph.D. degree in order to give lectures. I guess that universities prefer people with research experience so that they can guide college students on research and be able to assess research works as well.


In the UK people who teach in high school and colleges for 16 to 18 year olds typically have at least a bachelor level degree in a subject related to what they want to teach. They then usually do at least a post graduate diploma in education.

Having completed this they are taken on a probationary contract for 1 year and further employment is subject to having completed the probationary year to a satisfactory standard.

Other pathways are available for people who have a significant vocational experience in a particular area, and it is also possible to forgo the diploma in education in favour of a longer probationary ‘apprenticeship' although final employment is still only available to those who show that they have reached the required standard.

I believe other the career path in other countries is significantly different.


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