Drama Teacher Certification and Certificate Program Overviews

Drama teacher certification programs are designed for established theater professionals who want to teach theater in formal and non-formal settings, and licensed teachers who want to improve upon their arts education competency.

Essential Information

In a drama teacher certification program, course content emphasizes the integration of theater education throughout the K-12 curriculum.Teachers might pursue a drama teacher certification program if they teach drama classes or lead a drama or theater club after school. Theater professionals can sometimes earn teaching certification through these programs, qualifying them to teach drama in public and private schools, as well as college and universities.

  • Prerequisites: Prior coursework in theater.
  • Program Length: 1 year.
  • Other requirements: Some programs require bachelor's degree in theater.
  • Online Availability: Some courses and programs may be available online.

Drama Teacher Certification

A drama teacher certificate program cover the essentials of creating a live theatrical production. The coursework emphasizes both the fundamentals of theater and drama theory and practice, as well as the best methods to involve and educate students in drama. Possible course topics in a drama teacher program include:

  • Teaching through theater
  • Playwriting fundamentals
  • Directing fundamentals
  • Acting fundamentals
  • Lighting, stagecraft and stage management
  • Costume design, scene design and makeup

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Job prospects for drama teachers will generally reflect the availability of arts education grants and the level of state and federal arts education spending. During times of economic stress, public funding for arts education often comes under pressure because the arts are less likely to be viewed as a fundamental educational necessity compared to reading, writing and mathematics.

A drama teacher certificate qualifies established, licensed teachers to move into theater education. Theater professionals who earn the certificate but don't have a teaching license may still find opportunities to teach theater as adjunct teachers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that all postsecondary teachers will experience 19% job growth for the decade 2012-2022. In 2014, the BLS reported that art, music and drama postsecondary teachers earned $64,300 as a median annual salary.

Continuing Education Information

A handful of schools offer master's degree programs either in theater education or in drama or theater with a teaching emphasis. Credits from a certificate program may be transferable to a master's program.

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