How to Become a Teacher in Maryland

Jan 02, 2019

All teachers in Maryland must earn a bachelor's degree through an approved program, fulfill their Basic Skills test requirements and pass a content test. Some teachers are also required to pass a pedagogy assessment test.

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In Maryland, there are several areas teachers can opt to specialize in. Some may focus on earning credentials to teach early childhood education students, elementary education students or middle school students while others may concentrate on pursuing credentials to teach a specific subject area. Once the academic and testing requirements are met, individuals can apply to receive their Professional Eligibility Certificate or Standard Professional Certificate I.

Maryland Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Maryland (2016)* $35,090 (Pre-school)
$58,930 (Kindergarten)
$64,970 (Elementary)
$64,840 (Middle)
$65,930 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills;
Pedagogy and Content Exams

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete an Approved Bachelor's Degree

If you are planning on pursuing a teaching career in Maryland, the most direct path is to earn a bachelor's degree from an approved program. A number of colleges and universities are recognized by Maryland's Department of Education for fulfilling their core academic requirements for teachers. These programs include several courses related to the subject or subjects that will be taught. For example, those who pursue their qualification to teach elementary students will need to take courses in language arts, mathematics and science. Those who are taking a program designed for middle school teachers may have courses in English language arts or social studies. At the secondary level, education students major in a specific content area, such as biology or chemistry.

In addition to core course requirements that prepare teachers to instruct a subject or age group, approved bachelor's degree programs also include courses about education psychology and how to instruct and evaluate students. Students gain practical experience through student teaching assignments so that they graduate with a combination of academic and practical skills.

Pass the Praxis Core or Alternate Test

Prior to being admitted into an approved education major, students will need to pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test, which covers three subject areas. A score of 150 is needed to pass the mathematics test. Those who take the reading test must earn a grade of 156 or higher and 162 is needed to pass the writing test. Students may also pass the ACT, SAT or GRE to fulfill the basic skills testing requirements for admission. The passing score for ACT is 24. A score of 297 is needed to pass the GRE and a grade of 1100 or higher is required on the SAT.

Step 2: Pass Certification Exams

Content and pedagogy test requirements vary by subject and age group. In Maryland, those pursuing their credentials to teach art, physical education, special education, ESOL, music, or health only need to pass one combined subject area and pedagogy test to fulfill their requirements. All other teaching endorsements require two exams.

Those pursuing other teaching endorsements take the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam for their specific age group, whether early childhood, k-6, 5-9, or 7-12. The qualifying passing score is usually 160, though early childhood educators and career and technical educators can qualify with a score of 157. World language teachers take a different pedagogy exam known as the World Languages Pedagogy test and must earn a 158 to pass.

Required subject area assessments vary widely. Middle school science teachers will take the Middle School Science content test, for example, while a future secondary English teacher takes the English Language Arts: Content & Analysis exam. Early childhood and elementary teachers also have content-specific exams that emphasize the content specific to their age groups, such as the Elementary Education: Instructional Practice and Applications test.

Step 3: Apply For Certification

An application, proof of an approved degree and proof that you've passed the required certification tests must be submitted to receive a Maryland teaching certificate. You must also include a letter that provides the following information:

  • Your name and date of birth
  • The final four digits in your social security number
  • The name of the certification type you are applying for
  • Your email address
  • Your address

Once your application has been processed you will either receive the Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC) or Standard Professional Certificate I (SPC I). The PEC is given to those who fulfill all of the requirements but do not have a job teaching at a school in Maryland. The SPC I is provided to those who do have a teaching job in Maryland. Both the PEC and SPC I are valid for 5 years.

Teacher Certification Resources

Prepare to successfully take the Praxis Core Academic Skills test required to qualify for teacher education programs and certification in Maryland using these resources.

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