So you’ve set your sights on becoming a teacher and you’re pretty sure that this is the right career path for you – congratulations! Now the only question remains is how long will it take you to get there? Time is of the essence, so how long until you can finally be the one behind the desk making the lesson plans and leading the youth of today into the better tomorrow?
The simple answer is that there is no simple answer to that question. There are many different routes to take when becoming a teacher. Ultimately the amount of time it takes you to become a teacher differs from state to state. Though all states will require you to have at least your Bachelors of Education before you can go on to obtain your teaching license. This will typically take you three to four years to obtain.
From there you may need to complete a one-year credential program or you might be expected to earn your two-year Masters of Education before you can earn your certification. Not only does this depend on where you intend on teaching but also what level you intend to teach at. Obviously a general education teacher at an elementary school might not have to spend as much time in school as say a Special Education Teacher or an Advanced Education Teacher.
Some states facing a teacher shortage may also allow you to become certified through alternative certification process for people who have graduated with other degrees but now wish to become teachers. This too could alter your time-table slightly as after obtaining your alternative certification you are then placed under closer supervision for one or two years before you are finally given the full reigns to the classroom.
All told you should probably plan on taking at least five to six years to complete all the per-requisites and become a full-fledged fully licensed teacher.
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