If you would like to become a reading specialist, you will first need to be a teacher. This means that you need to begin by obtaining a four year degree in education, though the specific requirements can differ depending on your location. After you get a bachelor's degree, you may become certified and then find work as a teacher. The next step is to attend a graduate school that offers advanced degrees in literacy related fields. After you have a master's degree, you can then become a reading specialist by obtaining the proper certification for your area.
Reading specialists are highly educated teachers that have a large amount of knowledge regarding literacy. If you choose to become a reading specialist, you may be called upon to assess a child's reading abilities or to ensure that each student in your care can read at an acceptable level. You may also have responsibilities such as examining and offering recommendations about the reading programs of schools or entire districts. Your extensive knowledge can be indispensable in improving the literacy rate at the school or schools you work with.
Since reading specialists are teachers, the first step to become one is to attain a bachelor's in education. This may not necessarily be required, though it is a prerequisite to becoming certified as a teacher in many areas. You can also begin the certification process when you are still in school by taking the Praxis I®, which is often required before you can begin studying for your bachelor of education degree. In other cases, you will not need to take that test until after you graduate.
After graduating with a bachelor of education, you can typically look for work as a teacher. The certification process can be somewhat lengthy, and the Praxis III® test is typically taken after you have taught in a classroom for a year. You may continue to teach at this point or pursue an advanced degree full time.
In order to become a reading specialist, you will need to obtain a master of education degree. This degree can focus on reading education, language arts, or other similar fields. After you have completed that degree, the final step in the process to become a reading specialist is to get certified. This certification can vary from one area to another, but it typically requires a master of education degree and several years of teaching experience. If those requirements are met and a reading specialist exam is passed, you may be issued the requisite certification.