Individuals currently working in the education field or wishing to transition from another career into teaching may enroll in alternative teaching certification programs offered by most states. Applicants are required to have a bachelor's degree in any field and will be required to pass content and possible state examinations before obtaining teaching licensure. Some programs also have GPA requirements. Volunteer teaching experience might be helpful in gaining admission.
Alternative certification programs allow students to choose subjects in which to specialize based on interest and previous coursework. Some of the specializations offered are elementary education, math, science, English, Spanish, and special education. Some programs are available online depending on the school. These certification programs often aid students in finding student teaching opportunities, which are a required for completion of the program.
Alternative Teaching Certification
Alternative teaching certification applicants are commonly those who choose to teach overseas or through charity organizations or currently hold a bachelor's degree in another field. Program costs vary anywhere from $4,000-$10,000 but provide the training necessary to pass content and state examinations and gain teaching skills at a fraction of the cost of traditional teaching degrees. Students learn the basics of pedagogical theory and teaching techniques, with advanced study in a chosen specialty. Students choosing to specialize in math may be offered courses such as:
- Group psychology
- Teaching math
- Algebra for adolescents
- Teaching techniques
- Standardized testing
Career Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment for kindergarten and high school teachers will grow 4%, and employment for elementary and middle school teachers will grow 3% between 2018-2028, about as fast as the national average. Secondary education teachers made an average annual salary of $65,930 as of May 2019. During that time, kindergarten teachers earned average salaries of $60,210, elementary school teachers averaged $63,930 per year, and middle school teachers made annual average wages of $63,550.
Alternative teaching certification programs can be useful to people already in education as well as individuals looking for a career change. These programs require a bachelor's degree in addition to an ability to pass content examinations and complete student teaching.