Here’s How to Springboard Your Teaching Career (6+ Tips)

Guest Post By Max Woolf


You’ve decided to take the teaching route. You want to share knowledge with others and shape the society of tomorrow.


You’re in a maze. You don’t know where to start and at this point, becoming a teacher feels more like climbing Mountain Everest, blindfolded.

Don’t stress.

If you’re interested in being part of this purely vocational profession, you’re about to get some rapid-fire tips on how to jumpstart your teaching career.

Let’s Talk Numbers

Before we go through steps of becoming a teacher, let’s address important related questions.


Teaching might not meet your expectations, and you’ll want to run screaming into the Rocky Mountains when you enter a classroom.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Teacher?

Generally speaking, you’ll need at least four years to become qualified to teach. But the time might vary depending on education level and students’ age.

Do You Need a Degree in Education to Become a Teacher?

It depends. If you want to work at a public school, a teaching credential is a must.

But if you don’t have the degree, all is not lost.

Private schools and not-for-profit schools don’t require a teaching degree. Also, you might qualify for teaching-related jobs like a teaching assistant or substitute teacher if you write a robust entry-level resume.

How Much Do Teachers Earn?

The salary of teachers varies based on length of employment, subject matter, school district, age level, degree, and lots of other factors.


The average teacher salary in the US is around $61,000 if you have 15 years of experience.

Figure out What Moves You

So far so good.

You know the numbers, and you feel that teaching is your calling.


Before you enter the classroom, it’s important to consider your future career path. You’ll need to decide on the education level of the students you want to teach and their general age.


It’ll help understand what degree you need (e.g., a Bachelor’s or a Master’s) and what field to specialize in.

Teaching levels:

    • Preschool (ages 3-5)
    • Elementary School (ages 4-11)
    • Middle School/Jr. High School/High School (ages 11-18)
    • Special Education Teacher (all ages)

Obtain a Teaching Certificate


With a degree in place, you’ll also have to complete a formal teacher preparation program and get certified.


It a necessary measure that ensures that all teachers have the knowledge and skillsets to teach effectively.


Here’s a breakdown of things you need do before you can start teaching (varies depending on the state):

    • Get a relevant Bachelor’s degree.
    • Complete a teacher preparation program.
    • Upon completion of a teacher preparation program, pass a state-approved exam (most states require Praxis I and Praxis II.)
    • Carry out a period of student teaching.
    • Pass a criminal background check.

To check the certification requirements for your particular state, check this guide.


Here comes the fun part:

Before you’re licensed to teach, you need to carry out a period of student teaching and hit a certain number of hours of supervised classroom teaching experience.

How is that possible?

It’s a Catch-22, but don’t worry.

As Tom Gerencer, Career Expert at Zety, puts it:

Typically, you can acquire teaching experience at the end of your teacher preparation program before you graduate.

Plus, there’s also the alternative teacher certification accepted by 48 states that may not require supervised classroom teaching.

Stacking It All Up

Unlike many others, teaching is an extremely vocational job you need a knack for.

It lets you shape people’s lives, and help them grow, which could be extremely rewarding.


Set your best foot forward and enlighten our next generation!

About The Author

Jeff Gillis

Co-founder and CTO of Jeff is a featured contributor delivering advice on job search, job interviews and career advancement, having published more than 50 pieces of unique content on the site, with his work being featured in top publications such as INC, ZDnet, MSN and more. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.