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How to Become a Science Teacher

Science Teacher

A science teaching career at the elementary and secondary levels include teaching classes in chemistry, physics, biology, astronomy subjects, and other science related fields. To be certified to teach one of these subjects, educators in the United States must meet one of the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree in the specific field of science you intend to teach and the successful completion of a state-approved teacher training program, or
  • The successful completion of an education track with core-science subjects in an undergraduate post-baccalaureate degree.

Apart from these requirements, teachers are also required to receive passing scores on teacher proficiency exams like the PRAXIS I, II, or III.

Most science teachers have a 4-year bachelor degree in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Biophysics, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Zoology, or Microbiology. Graduates of these programs are usually required to pass PRAXIS II to cover the proficiency assessment process. After that, one can be accepted on post-baccalaureate education courses as part of an approved teacher-training program, plus hours of supervised classroom teaching practicum. After completing education courses, one is evaluated through PRAXIS III, a real classroom teaching skill evaluation, which includes a pre and post-observation interview. Most of these alternative teacher certification programs often lead to a master’s degree in education.

For those who are in college and want to shift into Science teaching career, you must complete a specific number of education courses plus the required core science subjects.  For undergraduates aspiring to be science teachers, there are several state universities that offer continuing or supplementary program options like associate in Elementary Education and Paraprofessional Education degrees. Most of these are already available in online campus options. Post-baccalaureate and accelerated programs are also available. There is a Master of Arts in education in Secondary Science, which may include two to four core subject concentrations. For accelerated programs, a minimum of 2.5 GPA from a bachelor degree is required to get into a screening process.  After that, one must take preparation courses. In Texas, where there is a great demand for science teachers, at least 24 hrs of accelerated science preparation courses are required and one should get at least 2.5 or 2.75 GPA.  Relevant information is available in state-accelerated teacher training programs, where one can get a paid teaching internship in a probationary certificate.

Foreign science teachers who want to teach in US should have a degree equivalent to the US educational system. State agencies usually require credential verification and statement issued issued by the state department that one is eligible for examination or employment. For those who come from countries where English is a second language, passing scores in International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is also required. Besides that, one must get a recommendation, contract or consent letter from the education board or school district a science teacher will be employed in. This is also the basic requirement of obtaining J-1 or H1-B visas in United States.