Minnesota Teacher Certification Requirements

Becoming a licensed teacher in Minnesota comes with a strict set of requirements, but you shouldn't worry! This article shows you how to prepare with the correct education, standardized exams, and administrative procedures to earn your certification.

For new applicants who go through a proper teacher education program and pass their exams, a Tier 2 or Tier 3 license in Minnesota will be the best fit. The content below explains how to prepare for a license with a degree and the correct exams.

Requirements for Minnesota Teacher Certification

Average Salary for Teachers in Minnesota (2017)* $35,360 (Preschool)
$58,790 (Kindergarten)
$63,490 (Elementary)
$64,780 (Middle)
$65,290 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Early Childhood, Elementary or Secondary Education
Testing Requirements Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills, pedagogy test for grade level, content-area test for subject area

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for Certified Minnesota Teachers

Aspiring teachers who wish to become certified in Minnesota must complete a bachelor's program. The degree has to include an accredited teacher preparation program, which includes a student reaching practicum that allows students to work directly in a classroom to develop their skills as teachers. The degree focus will depend on the grade level you intend to teach.

For example, those hoping to work with students in the 'birth to third grade' range would pursue a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. This program would include courses on related topics such as the development of infants and toddlers, methods for teaching young children with disabilities, and literacy from grades K-4.

Candidates wanting to work with children in grades K-6 might consider a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, which involves classes such as Introductory College Physics, Introduction to Child Psychology, and Culture Power and Education. Those who prefer to teach students in middle and secondary grades would perhaps pursue a Bachelor of Arts in a concentration area of education. As an example, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts and Literature Education involves topics like linguistics, integrated literacy, and educational equity.

Testing Requirements for Minnesota Teacher Certification

Several exams must be passed in order for a teacher to receive their credentials in Minnesota. First on the list is the MTLE NES Essential Academic Skills (EAS) exam, a general test consisting of three sections. The Reading, Writing, and Mathematics subtests all contain multiple-choice questions, and the Writing section also asks for one written assignment as part of the task. The three parts of the exam can be taken all at once or in multiple appointments. Each section has a minimum passing score of 520.

A pedagogy test is required for one of three grade ranges: Early Childhood (birth to grade 3), Elementary (K-6), or Secondary (5-12). Each pedagogy test contains two subtests of 50 multiple-choice questions; each subtest requires a score of 240 or higher. There are also content-area tests for various subjects, including mathematics, dance, chemistry, and physical education. The content-area tests are structured like the pedagogy tests -- two subtests in multiple-choice format, each requiring a passing score of 240.

License Requirements for Minnesota Teacher Certification

Applicants for a Minnesota teaching license who have completed a proper teacher education program can apply for a Tier 2 or Tier 3 license. A Tier 2 license is good for two years and can be renewed three times; the Tier 3 license is valid for three years and has no limits on the number of renewals. Evidence must be provided of passing scores on all MTLE exams, as well as the issuing of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Teachers must go through a full background check, which includes a criminal history investigation. A money order or cashier's check should be made out to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Fingerprinting and communication with the FBI's database will also take place throughout the investigation process.

Extra Resources for Minnesota Teacher Certification

You can check out the database of information to review for the MTLE needed to become a licensed teacher in Minnesota. Take a look at some examples below to get an idea of what you can find in the library of test review material:


What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?