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Drama Teacher Certification and Certificate Program Overviews

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

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Essential Information

In a 1-year drama teacher certification program, course content emphasizes the integration of theater education throughout the K-12 curriculum. Those who teach drama classes or lead after-school drama or theater clubs might pursue these programs. Theater professionals who enroll will be qualified to teach drama in public and private schools, as well as college and universities. The coursework emphasizes the fundamentals of theater/drama theory and practice. Some courses and programs may be available online. Applicants must have prior coursework in theater. Some programs require a bachelor's degree in theater.


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Drama Teacher Certification

A drama teacher certificate program covers the essentials of creating a live theatrical production, and 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 13% job growth for the decade 2014-2024. In 2015, the BLS reported that art, music and drama postsecondary teachers earned $65,340 as a median annual salary.

Continuing Education Information

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

Drama teacher certification programs prepare students for the field, as they learn about instructional methods and key topics in the subjects of drama and theater. Graduates may pursue an advanced degree.

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