Art Teacher Certification and Certificate Program Information

Typically less than one year long, art teacher certificate programs prepare individuals for careers in education through the use of a broad pedagogical curriculum that offers instruction in the theory and practice of teaching art.

Essential Information

Although these programs most often do not encompass the process of certification, they do qualify graduates to sit for exams to become certified by the state. Art teacher certificate programs are offered at the post-baccalaureate level. These programs are designed for those who wish to teach art at the K-12 grade levels.

  • Program Levels: Undergraduate degree, master's degree, teaching licensure or certification
  • Prerequisites: Undergraduate degree in related field, art portfolio, minimum grade point average, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation.
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Other Requirements: Internship

Art Teacher Certificate Program

These programs feature a curriculum that blends art history and philosophy with hands-on studio techniques. In addition to the coursework, certificate candidates gain valuable experience through supervised student teaching. Most art teacher certificate programs can be completed in one year. Sample core curriculum topics include:

  • Art education foundations
  • Contemporary theories of art education
  • Life drawing
  • Multimedia art education
  • Ceramics
  • Art and cultural awareness

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for K-12 teachers are expected to increase from 2012-2022, although the amount of growth will depend on the grade level taught ( Elementary and middle school teachers are expected to see 12% job growth, while high school teachers may only see six percent growth. The BLS also reports the median salary of elementary school teachers was $54,120 as of 2014. New York and Rhode Island featured the highest elementary school teacher salaries at that time.

Certification, Licensure and Continuing Education Information

In order to teach in a public school system in the United States, individuals must be licensed. The certification process is administered at the state level. While the exact requirements vary between states, the process generally involves the completion of an accredited teacher education program, along with a proficiency exam in the candidate's field of study. More information on the teacher licensing process can be obtained from professional organizations, such as the American Federation of Teachers.

For individuals who want to pursue a graduate degree, there are master's degree programs in art education. Nearly all master's degree programs in art education feature a graduate thesis or research project as a degree requirement. Some art education master's degree programs offer a licensing concentration, in which the student graduates as a licensed art instructor.

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