HOW TO BECOME A TEACHER IN PENNSYLVANIA
Home to more than five hundred school districts, Pennsylvania provides beginning teachers with no shortage of opportunities for career growth and advancement. The growing national demand for qualified educators makes teaching in PA an excellent way to start a teaching career. Below you can learn how to get a teaching certificate in PA and what kinds of requirements you will need to meet.
Better qualified teachers are better prepared to help students; take a moment to inquire about opportunities to become a teacher in Pennsylvania through the School of Education at Drexel University.
WHAT DEGREE DO YOU NEED TO BE A TEACHER IN PENNSYLVANIA?
Determining what degree you need to be a teacher will depend on your state. Like most states, becoming a teacher in PA requires candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree. The most direct route is a college degree, which can help you meet various requirements such as student teaching requirements.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, you will also need to complete a teacher education program that is regionally accredited as well as accredited by the Ministry of Education. For Pennsylvania, that means accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
STUDENT TEACHING THROUGH THE DREXEL SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
To become a teacher in Pennsylvania, you must have hands-on classroom experience. The student’s teaching practice experience enables future educators to apply pedagogical theory to classroom practice under the supervision of a teacher mentor. Student teaching lasts a minimum of 13 weeks and allows pre-school teachers to gain practical experience in teaching specific grades and subjects.
Not all student learning programs are created equal. For example, the Drexel University School of Education provides students with a variety of options to specialize their student learning experience, such as the Undergraduate Co-Op Program.
Combining hands-on experience with classroom work, the co-op program provides an immersive and flexible approach to student learning. For example, students seeking certification in biology may partner with a life science firm. With placements based on the student’s major and areas of interest, these programs can help you go beyond the teaching requirements of PA students.
REQUIRED CERTIFICATIONS FOR PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL TEACHERS
In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree, a teacher education program, and student teaching experience, there are several other requirements to become a teacher in the state of Pennsylvania. Meeting the requirements for PA teaching certification will require the completion of a variety of pedagogical, general skills, and subject-specific exams.
This includes the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA), Praxis Core exams and all relevant Praxis subject exams. For example, someone who wants to become a high school math teacher would have to complete a high school math exam.
While college teacher certification requirements vary from state to state, most states have requirements similar to Pennsylvania. It is also possible to go beyond meeting Pennsylvania’s minimum teaching requirements through graduate education certifications.
LICENSE REQUIRED FOR PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL TEACHERS
What permits do you need to teach in PA? Pennsylvania law requires teachers and teacher candidates to complete a federal background check, a Pennsylvania criminal records check, and a Pennsylvania child abuse history background check. More information can be found on our background checks page and student teaching form.
In addition to fingerprinting, there are a number of small fees associated with completing these permits. The total cost is around $55. It is also important to allow time for the documents to be processed and you should complete the screening at least eight weeks before you start teaching students.
ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATION FOR TEACHERS IN PENNSYLVANIA
Certification could be considered the bare minimum requirement to become a teacher. There are also a number of additional teaching certifications that can enhance your qualifications. Drexel offers certification in a variety of areas including English as a Second Language Teaching, Reading Specialist, Special Education, Principal Certification, and more. Check out our certifications page to learn more.
Graduate Education Programs:
Drexel University’s School of Education offers 14 graduate certificates as a result of the master’s program. This includes graduate education programs in areas such as:
- Certificate in Instructional Design
- Certificate in K-12 Virtual School Leadership
- Dyslexia Specialist Certificate (Wilson Language® Certification)
- Certificate in STEM Education
- Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
Certificates are essentially a letter of recommendation from the issuing institution that says the recipient has a specific type of expertise and is ready to put it into practice. Self-certification can help improve an educator’s ability to serve students and can create new opportunities for career advancement.
AVERAGE TEACHER SALARIES IN PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania teacher salaries will vary based on several factors, including grade level, subject, type of school (public, private, parochial, etc.) and years of experience. According to Indeed, the average hourly pay for teachers in Pennsylvania as of November 29, 2021 is $14.22/hour, while WHYY reports an annual average pay of $67,535.
Average elementary school teacher salary in Pennsylvania:
According to pay.com, as of October 29, 2021, elementary school teacher salaries range from $39,435/year to $81,672/year, with an average salary of $60,252/year.
Average Pennsylvania High School Teacher Salary:
According to pay.com, the average high school teacher salary is $58,329.
Average High School Teacher Salary in Pennsylvania:
According to Career Explorer, the average base salary for a high school teacher in the United States is $59,043.