Art Teacher: Educational Requirements
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an art teacher. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.
Art teachers help students develop the ability to express themselves with various types of media. Public schools require their art teachers to have at least a bachelor's degree and practical experience. Requirements to teach in private schools vary. Teaching at the graduate level generally requires a graduate degree.
|Required Education||At least a bachelor's degree and practical experience|
|Licensure & Certification||Required for teaching art in public schools and frequently other venues|
|Projected Job Growth||Varies significantly between venues|
|Average Salary (2013)||$72,630 annually*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for postsecondary art, music, and drama teachers
Educational Requirements for Art Teachers
Most jobs for art teachers require the minimum of a bachelor's degree. Students may attend an art education program, which combines courses in the history, practice and theories of art with education courses that lead to certification. They may also choose to major in art while undergoing a teacher preparation program. Teacher preparation programs vary for elementary and secondary teachers but both include topics such as issues in education, behavior management and assessment techniques.
Most curricula include a capstone requirement of a student teaching internship. Student teaching places a student in a classroom, allowing them to lead class and make lesson plans under the supervision of an experienced art teacher. During the experience, students are evaluated by the supervising teacher on issues like classroom management, lesson planning and professionalism.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some states require teachers to earn a master's degree within a certain timeframe after they've begun teaching (www.bls.gov). Students may earn a bachelor's degree in a subject area and proceed directly into a Master of Education program. Graduate programs, some of which are specific to art education, require advanced coursework and may offer a practicum or other work experiences. Students in general master's programs may use elective coursework on the subject they'll be teaching.
The BLS reports that public school teachers must obtain licensure or certification in all 50 states and that requirements vary by state. Licensure may be based on the grade-level or the subject taught. Most states require prospective teachers to pass a basic skills exam and some states may administer subject-area exams. Teachers may maintain their licenses by meeting continuing education requirements.
While professional certification is not mandatory, it may lead to career advancement and a higher salary. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) offers the National Board Certification that is accepted nationally (www.nbpts.org). This certification is available in 25 subject areas, including art. To be eligible for NBPTS certification, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, a valid license and have a minimum of three years of experience.
Career and Salary Information
According to the BLS, postsecondary music, drama and art teachers together made an average annual salary of $72,630 as of May 2013. The BLS also estimated a 19% job growth for all types of postsecondary teachers in the decade 2012-2022.
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