Art Teacher Certification in Massachusetts

Jan 02, 2019

Taking your love for art and sharing it with a classroom can turn into a rewarding career. Continue reading to find out what degree is needed for a position as an art teacher, along with the necessary tests and administrative procedures for a license!

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Art teachers in Massachusetts are classified as specialty educators and do not need to fulfill some of the requirements needed for licensure that would be asked of core teachers. A fine arts degree and two exams are all that stands between a teacher and a license.

Art Teacher Certification Requirements in Massachusetts

Average Salary for Art Teachers in Massachusetts (2017)* $71,790 (Kindergarten), $76,590 (Elementary), $74,400 (Middle), $76,170 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor of Fine Arts
Degree Field Art Education
Testing Requirements MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills, MTEL Visual Art

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for Art Teacher Certification in Massachusetts

Art educators can expect to first earn a bachelor's degree in the fine arts (BFA) before they begin conducting their own classes. A BFA in Art Teacher Education allows potential teachers to diversify themselves and work with multiple mediums. The BFA in Studio Education concentrates on one studio area. Both majors grant eligibility to become licensed art teachers in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. This program can offer as much as 300 hours of student teaching and may allow for Saturday morning experiences, with supervised teaching of children in fourth through twelfth grade. Classes in the BFA program can include contemporary art practices, designing curriculum in the visual arts, and creating community.

Testing Requirements for Art Teacher Certification in Massachusetts

As a specialized educator, art teachers must pass two Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs). First, the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills test looks at two areas: reading and writing. The writing portion of the exam contains a collection of multiple-choice, sentence correction, and open-response questions. The reading section consists entirely of multiple-choice questions. A score of 240 is necessary to pass both sections, each scored independently. The MTEL Visual Art test requires the same passing score and contains both multiple-choice and open-response assignments. Appointments must be made to take each test separately, although the Communication and Literacy Skills sections can be combined into one appointment.

Art Teacher License Requirements in Massachusetts

Art teachers in the commonwealth of Massachusetts are able to apply for licensure through the online portal of the state Department of Education. For first-time applicants, the Initial License is given for a period of five years. This can be extended one time for an additional five years. The SEI endorsement, normally required for core academic educators, is not necessary for art teachers. The cost of an Initial License is $100, and it does not need to be paid until the application is finalized. The online system for licenses can also be used to verify your status as an educator by other school districts and request a hard copy of your teacher's license if necessary.

Extra Resources for Art Teacher Certification in Massachusetts

Before you obtain your license in Massachusetts, find out how prepared you are for the MTEL exams with's practice material. The review guides give you a chance to brush up on what you have learned throughout your academic career, including the content listed below:

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