How long does it take to get a teaching degree?

How Long Does It Take To Get A Teaching Degree

Virtually major professions of the world require that you obtain at least a degree or two before you can successfully practice that profession.

The teaching profession is no different as it takes a lot of time which requires that you carefully understand what the profession entails and will you also need to develop skills/knowledge in the course/subject you wish to teach.

However, combining the teaching pedagogies and time to acquire knowledge in a particular subject often accounts for the time spent in acquiring a teaching degree.

There is a simple answer to how long you will actually spend to obtain your teaching degree; as I don’t know your level of education so, for the case of this article, I will assume you are done with high school.

On the other hand, for your teaching degree to be complete, you should obtain certification, as your teaching degree is quite incomplete without certification.

Moreover, you can easily choose various paths to obtain your teaching degree, but we will be looking at the key or most commonly used paths.

How long does it take to get a teaching degree?

The basic requirement for teaching is obtaining a bachelor of science in education degree. This degree usually makes you eligible to obtain a certification in teaching.

A bachelor of science is one of the fastest routes to obtaining a teaching degree. It is the rate-determining step to becoming a teacher, as it is also the most time-consuming step to becoming a teacher too.

It often consumes more time because it is where most teachers learn about pedagogical strategies, classroom management, educational psychology, learning styles that include:

and other foundational topics related to teaching. Most part-time and full-time Bachelor of Science in Education programs include a practicum component, allowing students to satisfy the student-teaching hours required to qualify for licensure before graduation.

An alternative method of obtaining your teaching degree is for students who’ve already earned bachelor’s degrees in other subjects to enroll in a one-year or two-year master’s degree program in teaching.

You might pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Master of Science in Teaching (MST), or Master of Education (MEd) in a concentration-related to teaching.

If you go through this route, just be sure your program has a teacher certification track that builds student teaching hours into the curriculum.

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Elementary school

However, if you intend to teach in an elementary school, it is easier to obtain your teaching degree; basically, it requires only about four years to obtain your teaching degree.

This is possible because after obtaining your bachelor’s degree, then you can go straight for certification since elementary teachers are usually fortunate.

On the other hand, the teaching internships and student teaching experiences required in your state will likely be built into your teacher education program, making the path rather straightforward.

Middle school

To teach in a middle school or high might be more tasking. So to obtain a degree that qualifies you to obtain certification as a middle school teacher, you usually have to make sure you enroll in middle grades education or secondary education bachelor’s degree programs that allow them to choose concentrations in the disciplines they intend to teach.

Others major in their subject areas and minor in education. Still others can also double major in their subject area and education too.

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However, in times when you are not sure if you want to become a teacher or not, you can start of as a substitute teacher.

This is usually easier to obtain certification, oftentimes you just need to obtain a high school diploma to obtain certification to work as a sub (provided they can pass a background check). Some states have no statewide requirements for substitute teachers.

The easiest way to find out what it takes to become a substitute teacher in your state is to contact the department of education. As some states also insist that substitute teachers have similar requirements to that of the major teachers.

Is obtaining a Masters Degree important to complete my Teaching Degree

It is important to note that obtaining a bachelor of education degree is the minimum requirement to become a teacher, but it is not also the maximum.

You can decide to obtain a master’s degree as this may not be compulsory but it gives you an edge over other people who just have a bachelor’s degree on their résumé.

However, a handful of states (e.g. Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York) require teachers to go back to grad school within a set period to maintain their licensure or to achieve the highest level of a teaching credential.

If you want to teach in one of those states, you’ll need to make earning an MAT, MST, or MEd part of your long-term career plan.

Can I become a teacher without a Teaching Degree?

It is important to mention that most times you can teach without obtaining any teaching degree. This is possible in virtually all States.

It only requires that you get a bachelor’s degree in any course of your choice even though it may not be really related to the course you wish to teach.

Once you have a bachelor’s degree, you can obtain a non-degree teacher preparation program to prepare you to teach. This is usually fast-track as the teacher preparation takes less than one year to acquire.

Non-degree teaching certification programs (e.g. Teach for America and programs offered by states) require students to commit to teaching in underfunded schools or schools in underserved areas for a number of years.


Like it was stated in the beginning of this article, it’s quite difficult to discern how long it will take to obtain your teaching degree, because some of these processes are self dependent.

But by going through this article you can easily predict how long it would actually take you to obtain your own teaching degree.

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