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Certified Reading Instructor Education Requirements and Career Info

Reading instructor certification is generally an optional credential that proves expertise in the field of literacy. Continue reading for an overview of the requirements necessary for certification, as well as job growth and salary info for a few career options for certified professionals.

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Essential Information

Reading teacher certification is predominantly for those who are already teachers. This certification represents competency in the field of literacy, the ability to identify reading disabilities and the capability to develop programs that rectify the problem. To qualify for a teacher's certification, one must first earn a bachelor's degree in education. The master's and doctoral degree in reading instruction delve more into reading disabilities, assessment methods and instruction strategies but are not required for certification. If an individual plans on teaching at a public school, they must also obtain teaching certification. Reading certification requirements vary between states. Most schools require completion of a state approved reading instructor program, at least 1 year teaching experience and the passage of a licensing exam. For national certification, one must have a bachelor's degree and three years teaching experience.

Required Education or Training Bachelor's
Required Experience At least 1 year
Skills Necessary Reading instruction, evaluation and adaptation, reading disability identification and correction
Exam Requirements Exam required for reading teacher certification
Specialization Options Reading teacher for elementary, middle school or secondary school
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 12% for elementary teachers; 12% for middle school teachers; 6% for secondary teachers
Average Salary (2014)* $56, 830 for elementary teachers; $57, 620 for middle school teachers; $59, 330 for secondary teachers

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Reading Certification Requirements

States govern the requirements for reading certification. A good starting point for certification as a reading instructor is the completion of a bachelor's degree program in education, which often includes a component that meets teacher certification requirements. Teachers who are already certified only need to pass a reading certification exam.

A state master reading teacher certification is offered to candidates with a set number of years of experience as reading instructors. This certification is awarded after the completion of state-approved courses. Students who are interested in becoming reading specialists are encouraged to consult with their academic adviser on the certification requirements for reading instructors in the state in which they plan to teach.

Career Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, a 17% increase in job openings for kindergarten, elementary and middle school teachers is expected for the 2010-2020 period, while a seven percent increase is expected for high school teachers. Overall, school enrollment is projected to increase, and student-to-teacher ratios are expected to decline; however, states in the South and West will experience greater numbers of enrollment, and as a result, greater numbers of teachers will be needed. reports that the annual median salary for a master reading teacher working at an elementary school was approximately $40,760 in 2013. For the same year, middle school and high school master reading teachers earned an annual median salary of roughly $42,950 and $44,730, respectively.

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