In the state of Texas, according to the Texas Education Agency, there are roughly 10,000 high school science teachers. Let's take a look at the various requirements and exams needed to become a high school science teacher in Texas.
Requirements for High School Science Teachers in Texas
|Average Salary for Teachers in Texas (2017)*||$57,830 (Secondary School)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's Degree|
|Required Field||Science or a Scienctific Subject|
|Testing Requirements||TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 (160), AND Chemistry 7-12 (240), Life Science 7-12 (238), Physical Science 6-12 (237), Physics/Mathematics 7-12 (243), OR Science 7-12 (236)|
Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete Education Requirements
A bachelor's degree will get you certified as a teacher in Texas. There are a few endorsement options available for those who want to teach science to high school students. You can either be endorsed in specific science subjects, such as physics, or you can get certified to teach science to grades 7-12. In Texas, there are several colleges and universities that offer science programs, science-specific degree programs, and science education programs. Be sure to choose a program that suits your career goals. If you'd like to be able to switch between the sciences, you'll want a general science degree, but if you want to complete biology research in the future, be sure to study biology for a more in-depth background on the subject.
Whether or not you're able to find a science program with an education focus depends on whether you'll need to complete an additional educator preparation program (EPP). These programs are part of the teacher certification requirements. You'll need to complete student teaching for experience, and you'll also take some courses on teaching methods and skills.
Step 2: Complete TExES Exams
To become a teacher in Texas, you must complete the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12. This exam looks at the skills you'll likely have learned in your EPP - teaching methods and skills for the classroom. There are 100 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in five hours.
Five hours seems to be the magic number. All science endorsement exams also have a 5-hour time limit. You can take one or more of these exams at $131 a piece for endorsement in that area. Some exams are given for various grades, so be sure to look for high school-level exams. However, the following tests all have between 100 and 140 multiple-choice questions per exam:
- Chemistry 7-12
- Life Science 7-12
- Physical Science 6-12
- Physics/Mathematics 7-12
- Science 7-12
Step 3: Complete a Background Check
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires all teachers to have a background check completed before they are certified. The cost for this is $49: $10 to be fingerprinted and $39 for the background check. This background check is run by the FBI and the TEA to guarantee results. It is suggested that you go to a local MorphoTrust location in Texas to be fingerprinted. These scanned prints will run more quickly than a paper card will.
High School Science Teacher Certification Resources for Texas
High school science teachers may be some of the most influential for future scientists. If you want to become a high school science teacher in Texas, consider the following links to help you study for the TExES exams.