How long does it take to become a teacher in California?

The teaching job is a very honorable one that many individuals often love to venture into. Some do so out of an inner desire to affect the lives of students positively, others just see teaching as a side hustle to make money.

Irrespective of your reason, one common thing all good teachers share is that you must undergo a level of training and formation.

This training and formation may vary with respect to location, but if you wonder how long it takes in California, then walk with me through this article.

How long does it take to become a teacher in California?

California is a state in the United States of America that has some similar characteristics to other states in the US.

For instance, all states require that prospective teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification. While some states also have specific course and credit-hour requirements.

Teacher education programs generally consist of two key or basic elements:

  • Field work
  • Curricula.

Curricula generally include instructions on teaching pedagogy (the science of teaching), preparing students to research, fundamental skills, design, and implement learning experiences in their field of study.

On the other hand, fieldwork often includes field observations, internships, student teaching, and other related activities.

Unlike other states in the US, California does not list specific course or credit-hour requirements, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own.

However, all California teachers must take a class on the U.S Constitution, as well as a developing English Language Skills course, which also covers the use of computers in a school setting and health education.

Read this: Homeschooling in California (Ultimate A-Z Guide)

How long does it take to become a teacher in California?

Becoming a teacher in California usually is quite demanding, hence there are steps one must undergo to obtain such prestige. Some of the steps include;

Obtain the educational requirements to be a teacher in California:

Just like some other states in the US have strict legislation when it comes to teaching, California insists that teachers must have completed five-years of higher education before they are certified to teach.

Obtaining this five-years degree can come in two steps:

Step 1:

This first step involves a process where you can obtain a degree in a course you intend to teach and then going further to obtain a teaching certificate either in a graduate learning teacher program or obtaining a master’s degree in teaching.

Some institutions in California that offers this include;

  • UC Davis School Of Education
  • School of leadership and education sciences-University of San Diego etc.

Step 2:

The other path can be said to be new when compared to the first path, it usually involves a process where you can enroll in an undergraduate program majorly dedicated to teaching.

This route helps you fulfill the educational requirements by earning a single education degree in one distinct program.

Some institutions in California that offers such degrees include;

  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • University of California-Irvine etc.

Gain Experience through Student Teaching

The teaching job deals with speaking to a good number of distinct people from various backgrounds and various characters. This makes it very necessary for students within their course of study to undergo student teaching assignments.

This assignment helps them decipher whether or not the teaching environment is what they love or not.

In California, it is expected that every individual who wants the teacher certification must have at one point or the other gotten acquainted to teaching.

This also creates an avenue for students to prepare for their career path, as schools often retain student-teachers that impress during their teaching time there.

Obtain your certification by passing the Certification Exam

To successfully obtain a teaching certificate, you must prove your worth by first satisfying the state’s basic skills requirement. This can be done by passing one of the following:

  • CSET Multiple Subject Plus Writing Skills Examination
  • California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
  • CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examinations

You also must prove subject matter competency through one of three methods:

  • Pass an applicable subject-matter test.
  • Complete a subject matter program approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
  • Pass the applicable subject matter test, or obtain proof of subject-matter coursework completion — from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Read this: How to become a Homeschool Teacher

How long does it take to become a teacher in California


Trying to become a teacher can be quite tasking, it requires the tenents of a particular field being properly drilled into the students.

The length of becoming a teacher is dependent on individuals as students learn at different places. Although it ranges from 6yrs and above depending on how bright or fast a student learns.

So when you decide to become a teacher in California, prepare to be focus for at least half a dozen years.

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Franklin Izuekwe
Franklin Izuekwe

Hello, I am Franklin! For two years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, Asia and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am a content writer at

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