Can I Become a Teacher without an Education Degree?

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Although you may be a professional in your field, you might find yourself interested in a career change and wonder how to become a teacher without an education degree. Education majors enter college because they want to teach elementary school, junior high, high school and college students. Whether you have some experience working in a specific field or recently graduated from college, you can still work as a teacher without having an undergraduate degree in education. Furthering your education and obtaining a Master’s degree is just one option.

Complete a Master’s Degree

Obtaining your Master’s degree or a higher degree in your field is one way to find work as a teacher without having an education degree. Public and private colleges and universities hire those with a terminal degree in a specific field and some experience. Depending on your field, you might need a Master’s degree or a PhD. Earning a Master’s degree typically takes two years, while earning a PhD takes another two to five years. You may also work with students and have teaching opportunities available to you while completing your degree.

Work at a Community College

Did you know that many community colleges don’t require an advanced degree or an education degree for its professors?  These schools often offer vocational programs that involve a high level of hands on training, and the schools need teachers capable of showing students how to use different skills and ideas. Many of these schools require a Master’s degree, but other community colleges hire professors who have experience and a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Someone with 10 years of experience and a Bachelor’s degree is, at times, more beneficial than someone with an advanced degree fresh out of college.

Pass the License Examination in Your State

Every state in the country has a licensing examination to teach in that state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teachers either possess a certificate or a license that they receive after taking a long and in-depth test. The BLS also found that some states require that teachers have a strong background in their field of study. Before teaching art, you need to demonstrate that you have experience as an artist or with teaching art. More than 50,000 new teaching jobs will become available at the high school level by 2022, and both education majors and those majoring in other areas will have access to those jobs.

Apply for Emergency Status

If your state offers emergency status jobs, you can become a teacher without an education degree. States offer emergency status to teachers when the number of teaching positions within the state is higher than the number of teachers to fill those spaces. Some states let college graduates apply for those spots and begin teaching right away. At the end of the semester, you can take the licensing examination and become a teacher. Other states let you teach full-time with the agreement that you’ll go back to school and finish an education degree within a specified period of time.  Often a person with a bachelor’s degree will choose to take just a few extra classes and earn a master’s in education.

Teachers mold and shape the minds of tomorrow and foster the creativity, imagination and intelligence of younger minds. While most of those teachers have a degree in education, under the right circumstances, you can become a teacher without an education degree.

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