How Long Does it Take to Become a Teacher in USA – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 4-5 years

A teacher must be licensed and regulated by the state they wish to teach in. They also need to make sure that they maintain their license through a continuing education program or CE program.

Teacher licensing includes a background check and a certain timeframe that the teacher undergoes supervised student teaching. This can be approximately one year.

There are two ways to be a certified teacher. One way is to attend college and major in teaching either elementary, middle, or high school.

Another way is to attend college for any other subject and then try to become a teacher. Each state has its requirements, but these are the basics.

Minimum Requirements to become a Teacher in the USA
Degree – Education FieldDegree – Any Other Field
4-year DegreeXX
Student Teaching XX
Professional Experience X
Teacher Prep Program

How Long Does it Take to Become a Teacher in USA

How Long Does It Take to Become a Teacher in the USA?

To become a teacher in the USA requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree which can take 4-5 years. The person also needs to obtain a teaching certificate for the state they wish to teach in.

teaching certificate held by woman

The bachelor’s degree is in education. Each course is one semester in length which is approximately 10 -12 weeks.

The types of courses vary based on the type of teaching the student wishes to pursue upon graduation. Almost all teaching degrees will require an Instructional Planning course.

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This course will train the student on how to create a curriculum for the student as well as a teaching plan which outlines what will be taught and the length of time spent on each topic.

This certificate is simply filling out information to show that they have completed all the requirements. After completing the application for the certificate, it is also required to undergo at least a year of supervised teaching.

This is when someone from the certification board visits the applicant’s classroom and observes how they teach to determine if they would make a good teacher. Normally when this is done, the applicant is considered a student-teacher and not a full-fledged teacher until he/she obtains their certificate.

A bachelor’s degree is required if the person wants to teach elementary, middle, or high school students. However, if the applicant would like to teach college students then the minimum requirement is a Master’s degree.

Minimum Degree Requirement to Teach a Certain Grade in the USA
Bachelor DegreeMaster Degree   Doctorate
Elementary School TeacherX  
Middle School TeacherX
High School TeacherX
Community CollegeX
University Professor X

Why Does It Take This Long to Become a Teacher in the USA?

It is important that those who teach the students are knowledgeable in the subjects that they teach the students. It is also important that teachers learn how to teach those students. Obtaining a degree and deciding to teach students does not just involve telling them what you know but it involves getting through to them so that they want to learn.

teacher, learning, school

This type of thinking requires a higher level of exposure than high school can provide therefore, a teacher must undergo up to 4 years of learning to obtain a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. Also, if a teacher does not have higher qualifications than the ones they are teaching then, the students may not feel as if the teacher is qualified to teach them.

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Teachers also undergo other training needed to deal with the day to day activities and changes that occur throughout the school year.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. The article effectively emphasizes the significance of acquiring a substantial education and qualification process to become a respected teacher in the US. A great read!

    1. Agreed, Lindsay. The complexity of teaching as a profession requires a comprehensive education and training process.

    2. Absolutely, Lindsay. The article effectively conveys the value of rigorous training for teachers.

  2. The article beautifully highlights the process of becoming a teacher in the USA. I appreciate the detailed information.

    1. Absolutely, Allen. It’s essential for aspiring teachers and even the general public to understand the efforts required in becoming an effective educator.

  3. The article excellently presents the detailed process of becoming a teacher in the USA, emphasizing the importance of high qualifications for educators.

  4. The high level of intellectual exposure mentioned in the article certainly justifies the longer duration of teaching qualifications.

    1. I concur, Linda. The intellectual and pedagogical development of teachers is paramount for effective teaching.

    2. Absolutely, the education and training of teachers must be comprehensive to equip them with the skills needed to inspire and educate students effectively.

  5. This article effectively portrays the rigorous process of becoming a teacher, emphasizing the extensive education and training required.

  6. The length of training and education discussed in the article is important to ensure that teachers are well-prepared and qualified for their roles.

    1. I agree, Caitlin. The detailed explanation of teacher qualifications and training benefits anyone pursuing a career in teaching.

    2. Absolutely, Caitlin. The demanding requirements for teachers reflect the significance of their role in shaping future generations.

  7. The extensive and detailed content of this article is commendable in highlighting the importance of high-level qualifications for teachers in the USA.

    1. Absolutely, Stephanie. The article effectively underscores the intellectual and pedagogical development necessary for quality teaching.

    2. Indeed, Stephanie. The thorough insight into the teacher qualification process is crucial for both prospective educators and the public.

  8. The article provides a detailed overview of the complex process of becoming an educator in the USA. It’s eye-opening and insightful.

    1. I completely agree, Keith. The in-depth explanation of the qualifications needed for teachers is beneficial for anyone considering a career in education.

  9. This was a commendable read. Educating the masses about the extensive process of becoming a teacher is crucial.

  10. This content is very informative and it is important to be reminded of the high qualifications that teachers must obtain in order to educate future generations.

    1. I agree, Sophia. The rigorous process of becoming a teacher is necessary to ensure quality education for students.

    2. Yes, it’s crucial that teachers are well-prepared. I found this article to be enlightening and thorough.

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