How to Become a Science Teacher in Massachusetts

Jan 02, 2019

Find out what the teacher certification process in Massachusetts requires of applicants. Discover what degree is required, which tests to take, and how to apply for the Initial License.

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The state of Massachusetts licenses elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and secondary school teachers to instruct students in the sciences. There are opportunities for those passionate about different areas of science, including biology and chemistry.

Massachusetts Teacher Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Massachusetts (2016)* $76,590 (Elementary), $74,400 (Middle), $76,170 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Science Education
Testing Requirements MTELs: Communication & Literacy, subject exams

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Graduate with a Bachelor's Degree

In order to become a science teacher in Massachusetts, students need to graduate from an approved, accredited teacher preparation program with a degree in science education. Teachers hoping to work with elementary-aged students will need to become certified in elementary education and choose a program that best fits this need. Teachers of middle schoolers and secondary schoolers will need to focus on science education. Though every program will vary somewhat, all will require classes like:

  • Teaching bilingual students (this is also called the Sheltered English Immersion or SEI requirement, and it is a requirement for certification)
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth/environmental science

All students will also complete a teaching internship prior to graduation.

Step 2: Take All Required Tests

The tests required for science educators in Massachusetts will vary depending on the age group a teacher wishes to work with and the endorsements a teacher hopes to garner. All teachers in Massachusetts must take the Communication and Literacy Skills test, which is one of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) exams. This test is made up of a writing subtest (35 multiple-choice questions, 7 short-answer questions, and 2 open-response questions) and a reading subtest (42 multiple-choice questions). It takes 4 hours and costs $112, and each subtest requires a score of at least 240.

Teachers will then have to take the appropriate MTEL subject exams. For instance, teachers may take the biology subtest, the chemistry subtest, or even earth science. Teachers should be sure they take the test that corresponds most directly with the subjects they hope to teach in science.

Step 3: Complete the Certification Application

Once all MTELs are complete, teachers will be ready to begin applying for their certification. This can be done online through the Educator Licensure and Renewal tool. This online guide will take teachers through a detailed process and prompt them to provide all necessary documentation. Teachers will need to provide transcripts, test scores, and proof of SEI endorsement completion. Once all of these materials are provided, teachers will be eligible for their Initial License, which is valid in the state of Massachusetts for 5 years.

Study Resources for Future Massachusetts Teachers

Prepare for the required MTELs now, and feel confident before you take the tests. Check out the following study guides and resources to start getting ready.

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