How to Become a Health Teacher in Maryland

This article looks at the academic requirements to qualify for a career as a health teacher in Maryland, as well as the certification test requirements for health educators.

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Maryland's health teachers are certified to teach all students from pre-K to grade 12. They are trained to cover subjects such as drug abuse, mental health and nutrition. Their objective is to promote healthy lifestyle habits and an awareness of health issues.

Maryland Health Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Maryland (2016)* $58,930 (Kindergarten);
$64,970 (Elementary School);
$64,840 (Middle School);
$65,930 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Physical Education
Testing Requirements Basic Skills;
Content Area

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

Health education bachelor's programs that are approved by the Maryland State Department of Education include a combination of education and health courses, as well as student teaching assignments. The standard way to qualify for a career as a health teacher in Maryland is to earn a bachelor's degree from one of the approved, accredited programs.

There are currently only three health education bachelor's degree programs approved to fulfill Maryland's teaching requirements. There is also one program that offers a health and physical education focus.

Students pursuing studies in health education will be expected to take a number of health courses that cover subjects such as nutrition, disease and mental health. Required education courses inform students about topics such as special education and human development.

The internship components offer students an opportunity to gain practical experience teaching in a school setting.

Step 2: Pass the Basic Skills Tests

There are three basic skills tests that must be passed in order to fulfill the Basic Skills testing requirements for certification.

Basic Skills Tests Passing Score Fee
Mathematics 150 $90
Reading 156 $90
Writing 162 $90

It is also an option to fulfill the Basic Skills requirements by earning 1100 or more on your SAT, a score of 297 on a GRE, or a score of 24 or higher on the ACT.

Step 3: Pass the Content Exam

The Health Education content exam takes two hours to complete and costs $120. Students must answer 120 questions and earn a score of 155 to pass. Topics covered on the test include promoting health, preventing injuries and disease, mental health and community health.

Step 4: Apply For PEC or SPC I

After earning a degree from an approved program and passing the certification tests it is possible to receive your initial certificate to teach in Maryland. A Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC) is given to those who are not employed as a teacher in Maryland, while those who are employed as a teacher in Maryland will receive the Standard Professional Certificate I (SPC I). These certificates are valid for five years.

In order to receive your certificate you must prepare a cover letter that includes your name, birth date, email address and other identifying information. It must also specify which certification type you are seeking.

The cover letter, a completed application form, transcripts establishing you have earned a degree and the required Basic Skills and Content test scores must be sent to the Maryland State Department of Education to receive your certificate.

Teacher Certification Resources

Prior to taking the Basic Skills and Content tests use the practice and study guides linked to here to prepare for these exams.

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