A teaching credential can be earned in a number of different ways, depending on the needs of the area in which you live as well as certification processes. The traditional way to earn this credential is the completion of a college degree in education, usually aimed at teaching a certain subject or grade range. Once you have this degree, then you can take a test to earn a teaching credential in your area, which is often accepted by other regions. There are conditions, however, in which emergency need for educators can create alternate routes, such as acceptance of professional experience and special recommendation from within a school district.
In general, the most straightforward way in which you can earn a teaching credential is through the completion of a college degree. There are a number of programs that you can use to earn this degree, depending on the subject or age range that you want to teach. To earn a teaching credential for grade school, for example, complete a bachelor’s degree in primary education and then become certified to teach. In secondary education, however, you need to choose a subject to pursue, such as mathematics or language arts, and receive your degree in an educational specialization of that field.
Once you complete your degree, then you can pass a test for your area that is necessary to receive a teaching credential. This test is usually required for you to become certified to teach and can be administered at a national or more local level. The subject matter of this test varies, depending on where you want to teach, and also includes general information in classroom management. If you live in an area that grants you a regional teaching credential, such as a certificate to teach in a particular state or province, this is often recognized by other areas in your country.
There may also be situations in which you can earn a teaching credential through less orthodox means. This depends a great deal upon where you live and the types of conditions in place for teaching certification, and such credentials may only be short-term. In some areas, a tremendous need for educators has created opportunities in which you can become certified based on years of experience working in a related field.
If you have worked as an engineer for 20 years, for example, and want to teach drafting in a high school, then you may be able to do so. This is highly dependent on the needs of your area, however, and is not applicable to all locations. You may need to receive a teaching credential from someone within the school district, usually a high-ranking individual, allowing you to teach. This is often a probationary certification that lasts a few years as you prove yourself, after which you may receive a long-term certification.