Secondary School Teachers: General Teaching Requirements

Secondary School Teachers: General Teaching Requirements

Secondary school teachers are those that teach high school or special education courses to higher levels of education. Those who wish to teach in these settings must meet specific educational and licensing requirements.

Public School Prerequisites

In order to become a secondary school teacher serving within the public school system, you must obtain the necessary certifications.

Educational Requirements

Most states require that students take necessary courses through accredited colleges. These educational programs must contain enough coursework in educational areas to qualify. More so, each state has their own requirements for what types of educational courses individuals need to take to qualify for this requirement.

In most situations, it is a requirement to have at least a bachelor's level degree to become a secondary school teacher. However, this requirement differs from state to state.

In some states, teachers are required to advance their level of education further, at least to the master's degree level, within a specific timeframe of receiving their bachelor's degree. They may be able to start teaching before receiving their master's degree, but they may need to obtain it as an ongoing educational requirement.


Once the individual has all of the necessary educational requirements that the state requires, he or she may sit for the certification test. This licensing exam is designed to ensure that the necessary skills and knowledge are maintained.

In order to become a teacher, most states require that you have this level of education and training followed by a licensing exam. Some states require licenses to be obtained on a regular basis, such as renewing them every 3-5 years.

Private School Requirements

In states with private and parochial schools, the requirements may be slightly different. However, all states do require that these teachers have and maintain their licenses the same as those teachers who teach in the public school system.

The largest difference here is that the schools themselves may place additional requirements on their teachers. For example, in some private schools, it's necessary for the secondary education teachers to have a master's degree to qualify for employment. In other schools, having a religious award or teaching certificate may be necessary.

How to Get Started!

Obtaining your teacher's license to teach as a secondary education teacher is only possible after you've received the necessary educational credits from an accredited school and can demonstrate the ability to teach in a classroom.

Keep in mind that school districts and individual schools have the right and ability to set their own qualifications above and beyond that which the state mandates for public school teachers. It's necessary for individuals to check with the state's board of education to determine what the specific requirements for teacher certification are, prior to enrolling in any school or program of study.

To check each state's teacher certification requirements, visit:

Schools Offering Secondary Education Courses: