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Elementary School Art Teacher Certification Information

Many universities and colleges offer specific degrees tailored to aspiring art teachers, such as a Bachelor of Art in Art Education, that lead to certification. Find out more about program prerequisites, licensing and career information.

Essential Information

A bachelor's degree is the most common form of education for any individual pursuing teaching certification at the elementary level. Bachelor's programs in art education prepare art teachers to work at the elementary or secondary level. These 4-year programs combine instruction in studio arts with an overview of teaching theory, acting almost as a double major in education and art.

The majority of classes focus on the studio concepts of drawing and the like, with extensive coursework in teaching skills and classroom management. Students also complete a student-teaching experience at a local school lasting at least ten weeks. Applicants must have a high school diploma, a GPA of at least 2.5, and a portfolio of artistic achievements.

All states require that public school teachers be licensed. Requirements for licensing include completing an accredited teacher education degree program and passing a competency test.


Elementary School Art Teacher Certification Program

Those in these programs will study art forms like painting, design and ceramics, and theories and techniques for professional education. Specific topics include:

  • Foundations of art education
  • Teaching methods at the elementary level
  • General educational psychology
  • Figure drawing
  • Ceramics and painting
  • Computer design

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not offer data specific to elementary school art teachers, it did find that elementary teachers in general earned a median annual salary of $54,890 as of 2015. The BLS also indicated that in the same year, 1,381,430 elementary teachers were employed across the U.S.

Certification Options

All states require elementary school teachers to gain licensure before they can earn a position in a public school district. The State Board of Education typically provides licensure to those educators teaching preschool through third grade, as well as those teaching grades 1-6. Requirements vary by state, but most regions require teaching candidates to complete a state-approved teacher education bachelor's degree program and some supervised student-teacher hours before qualifying for licensure.

Bachelor's programs in art education provide students with direct teaching experience and courses in key art topics such as drawing, design, painting and ceramics. These programs prepare graduates for state licensing examinations to become elementary school teachers in public schools.

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