Education Portal is now Study.com! We still offer the same great content and features, with more added every day, just under a new name. Learn more x

How to Become a History Teacher: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to become a history teacher. Research the job description and the education and licensing requirements, and find out how to start a career in teaching.

View 17 Popular Schools »

Do I Want to Be a History Teacher?

Often teaching in middle schools and high schools, these educators apply their historical knowledge to teach students about historical events, methods for understanding relationships between events, and concepts in history. They plan and deliver lessons, assess students' understanding and evaluate overall student progress. Working with young people who may be unruly or unmotivated may be quite challenging and tiring. On the other hand, being able to observe their immense accomplishments can be very rewarding.

Job Requirements

Prospective history teachers must attain at least a bachelor's degree, generally in history, and complete a teacher education program that includes student teaching. To teach at public schools, educators must also have a state teaching license, which can be acquired after completing state educational and examination requirements. Some states require that teachers complete further education, such as attaining a master's degree, after receiving certification. The following table reflects the key requirements for working as a history teacher, based on information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

Common Requirements
Degree Level Bachelor's degree required; some states require a master's degree
Degree Field History, education
Licensure/Certification Teacher certification required
Experience Student teaching internship required
Key Skills Patience, instructional skills, communication skills

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

The majority of future history teachers acquire bachelor's degrees in history while simultaneously attending teacher-training programs. History programs typically encompass courses in U.S. and world history, geography and economics. Education or teacher preparation programs incorporate student-teaching internship experiences and offer classes in areas such as human development, instructional techniques and student assessment.

Success Tips:

  • Work as a substitute teacher while in college, if possible. Substitute teaching offers the opportunity to gain experience in the classroom and develop the skills needed to be successful as a teacher, such as effective communication and classroom management.
  • Attend an accredited program. While it is not necessarily a requirement, completing an accredited teacher education program might simplify the licensing process. The two chief accrediting bodies are the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

Step 2: Obtain a Teaching Certificate

Potential history teachers must acquire certification through the state in which they plan to teach. Aside from a bachelor's degree and completion of an educator preparation program, the guidelines for certification often vary by state. Individuals should contact their state Board of Education for specific details. Each state typically evaluates educators' competence through an examination process, but the required exams can vary by state. After completing the state licensure requirements, aspiring history teachers can apply for teacher certification, which typically involves fingerprinting and a background check. Many states require that teachers meet on-going education requirements to remain licensed. Certain states also expect history teachers to earn a post-baccalaureate degree.

Success Tip:

  • Join a professional organization. By joining a professional organization, such as the American Historical Association's Organization of History Teachers, educators can gain access to professional events, networking opportunities and information about developments in the field.

Step 3: Complete a Master's Degree

As stated by the BLS, certain states expect teachers to earn a master's degree within a stipulated time period after they start teaching. Some master's degree programs are fashioned for individuals who have obtained a bachelor's degree in history, but who are not certified, while others are designed for educators certified in different subject areas who seek a history certification. There are also programs that offer master's degrees in education with history concentrations. Classes in a master's degree program in education may include curriculum planning, classroom technology and human development. Students could also be expected to complete a thesis or a research project to graduate.

Show me popular schools

Related to How to Become a History Teacher

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
History Teacher: Educational Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a history teacher. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as...

History Teacher Degree Program Information

Learn about undergraduate and graduate educational options for aspiring history teachers, including the 4-year and 7-year...

World History Teacher: Employment Info & Requirements

Learn about the job duties of a world history teacher. See what the career prospects and earning potential are to figure out if...

American History Teacher: Job Description & Requirements

Read about a career in American history teaching. Research the educational and skill requirements, and learn about the job...

Ancient History Teacher: Job Description & Requirements

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • California (2)
    • Colorado (2)
    • Florida (3)
    • Georgia (1)
    • Hawaii (1)
    • Missouri (1)
    • New Mexico (1)
    • Nevada (1)
    • Texas (1)

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MS in Higher Education Administration
        • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction - Dyslexia Studies & LBLD
        • MEd in Elementary Education
        • MEd in Educational Leadership
        • MEd in Early Childhood Education

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's de
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors de
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MSEd in Curriculum and Instruction

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • M.A. Teaching --Social Science (5-12)
        • M.A. Teaching (K-8)
        • M.A. Teaching --Science (5-9 or 5-12)
        • M.A. Science Education (5-12, Biological Science)
        • M.A. Science Education (5-9)
        • M.A. Science Education (5-12, Chemistry)
    • Bachelor
        • B.A. Science (5-9)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Chemistry)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Geosciences)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Physics)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Biological Science)
    • Non-Degree

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching
        • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Psychology programs do not lead to licensure and do not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professiona
    • An online degree does not lead to teacher licensure in any state; online education programs are not CAE or TEA or NCATE accredited which is a requirement for certification in some states.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Doctorate
        • Doctor of Philosophy in Education
        • Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
    • Master
        • Master of Arts in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
        • Master of Arts in Education - Distance Learning
        • Master of Arts in Education

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics