How Long Does It Take To Become An Elementary Teacher?

Some people follow a straight career path that starts with high school, continues with a bachelor’s degree program, passes certification examinations, and ends with employment in a classroom. 

The question of how long it takes to become an elementary school teacher without taking this conventional path may arise for those who desire to change jobs or pursue career growth later in life. 

Fortunately, several non-traditional options are available, such as master’s programs in education and alternative certification procedures.

Regardless of how you finish your early childhood education teacher qualifications, getting a head start on your career research and job search planning can help you stay on track. 

The following article outlines the numerous degree programs and job opportunities accessible to aspirant elementary school teachers to help them prepare for this effort.

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What is an Elementary School like?

By laying the educational groundwork required for future academic experiences, elementary school teachers play a crucial role in the lives of their students. 

Early childhood educators work in a demanding, exciting, and rewarding environment every day. 

However, there are many advantages to getting a teaching degree and certification in early childhood education that goes beyond helping young children’s minds develop.

As state government workers, early childhood educators who work in public schools are eligible for various benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, paid holidays, and vacation time. 

Working as an elementary school teacher also guarantees a lifetime of education, both in and out of the classroom. 

Teachers routinely attend continuing education conferences, meetings, and workshops to stay current on changes in curriculum and policy. 

Additionally, some instructors seek advanced degrees from colleges, which may open up prospects for career advancement and raise salaries.

Is Attending an Elementary School Worth It?

Early childhood educators working in public schools are given generous benefits packages as state employees, including health insurance, retirement funds, paid holidays, and vacation time. 

A lifetime of learning, inside and beyond the classroom, is also ensured by choosing to become an elementary school teacher. 

Teachers routinely attend conferences, meetings, and workshops for continuing education to stay current on changes to curriculum and policy. 

Some instructors also choose to get additional college degrees, which may open up prospects for job advancement and raise their earning potential.

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What Schooling Do You Need to Be an Elementary Teacher?

1. Associate in Early Childhood Education

Although a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university is usually required for entry-level positions in elementary schools, those interested in teaching may consider the advantages of obtaining an associate degree in early childhood education or a closely related discipline. 

Students finish many of the fundamental prerequisites for a bachelor’s degree during these programs, frequently for less money. 

Then, after transferring to a four-year institution, students can spend an additional two years getting their bachelor’s degree and teaching certification.

A series of introductory courses on child development, child behavior, curriculum, and instruction are usually included in an associate degree program in early childhood education. 

Outside of the walls of a public school, an associate’s degree can open doors to careers in childcare. 

The following list provides information on the qualifications and possible earnings of several potential occupations for those with an associate’s degree in early childhood education.

2. Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

An elementary teaching position in the public school system may be obtained after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. 

You can anticipate completing a curriculum centered on child development, pedagogy, and the creation of curriculum and instruction, whether you begin your college career by choosing a bachelor’s track right away or transfer to a four-year program after receiving an associate degree. 

Compared to associate programs, bachelor’s degrees offer a more thorough study of these subjects, and requirements for student teaching allow for practical learning inside a classroom. 

Additionally, several universities offer degree emphases in science, math, and special education.

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3. Master’s in Early Childhood Education

Suppose elementary school teachers wish to pursue a highly specialized area of primary education or want job advancement. In that case, they frequently return to school to obtain a master’s degree in early childhood education. 

Education master’s degrees offer a more in-depth and comprehensive study of child development and professional abilities, such as developmental evaluation, teaching strategies, and classroom engagement and management approaches. 

To further their understanding of education, graduate students may also conduct fieldwork.

A master’s degree prepares for advanced education in leadership positions, both inside and outside primary schools, is prepared for by a master’s degree. 

Not every teacher who pursues a master’s degree, nevertheless, chooses to give up teaching. 

Many people use the abilities and information gained while enrolled in a master’s degree to improve their teaching abilities and better assist the direct educational outcomes of the kids under their supervision. 

For instructors with advanced degrees, school districts frequently offer greater salaries or stipends.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Licensed Elementary Teacher?

It can take as little as four years to complete the requirements for obtaining a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and obtaining the necessary state license. At the same time, future teachers who must retake their certification exams may require more time. 

While many primary school teaching positions necessitate some prior classroom experience, student teaching experiences integrated into bachelor’s programs generally meet this criterion. 

One might anticipate devoting an additional two years of full-time study for those pursuing a master’s after receiving a bachelor’s degree.

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How Much Does It Cost to Become a Licensed Elementary Teacher?

Typically, $10,000–$30,000 is the price range for an online teaching credential program. 

For $22,500, Drexel University in Philadelphia, for instance, provides a 30-credit online program for teaching certification that focuses on specialized training (tailored to the student’s grade-level interests) and fieldwork under the supervision of an instructor. 

The program will aid in preparing students for a teaching career in any state. 

It is intended for career changers or those already possessing a degree in a different field. 

The cost of an online accelerated teacher certification program at Saint Joseph’s University, also in Philadelphia, is $17,500. 

Working adults seeking a career change are the program’s target audience.

State institutions normally charge $25,000 for a bachelor’s degree in education, whereas private universities may charge $100,000 or more. 

According to a report by the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees at public colleges and universities in 2010 was $7,605 for in-state students and $19,595 for out-of-state students.

This equates to an average price of $30,400 (resident) or $78,400 (non-resident) for a four-year bachelor’s degree, excluding housing and board, which adds $8,545 a year on average.

Furthermore, it normally costs between $12,000 and $74,000 to pursue a master’s degree in education. 

For instance, residents of Washington State pay $26,200 and non-residents pay $52,000 for the Master of Education at the University of Washington Bothell.

Salary and Job Outlook for Elementary Teachers after Study

The pay scales for teachers in elementary schools differ by state and school district. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for elementary teachers is $57,980. 

The lowest and richest 10% earn less than $37,780 and more than $95,270, respectively. 

According to, the average salary for elementary school teachers in the US is between $37,780 and $89,749. 

According to data from, the starting salary for elementary school teachers varies from $29,144 to $41,179, depending on the state. 

An elementary teaching degree will result in an average salary of $53,296.

An overview of elementary school teacher pay is shown below:

  • $58,230
  • $47,263
  • $58,270
  • $45,257

The BLS predicts that through 2028, the number of primary teachers will increase by 3% nationally. 

Regional differences in employment growth result from state and municipal governments being responsible for recruiting within the educational system. 

To fill the void left by retiring or leaving the field for other reasons, there will still be a demand for elementary instructors.

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In conclusion, leveraging various technologies for educational objectives can help elementary teachers seek professional development. 

Numerous software tools are available to teachers to aid in class planning, distribution, and improvement. 

Elementary teachers are drawn to today’s technology, which includes videos and podcasts, to increase their computer use and help children gain a broader understanding of particular subjects. 

Teachers in elementary schools can, for instance, use computers to improve their lessons on reading and writing by encouraging their pupils to include images, pictures, and videos in their projects.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

How long does it take in the US to become a teacher? 

Three years.

To qualify for certification, potential instructors must hold a bachelor’s degree at the very least. Teaching requires at least four years of education because traditional bachelor’s degrees often take four years to finish.

How long is the CT teacher certification process? 

One to four years old 

What is the Connecticut teacher certification process like? It might take one to four years to become certified to teach in Connecticut. With a bachelor’s degree, prospective teachers may be able to finish the educator preparation program and the remaining certification requirements in one to two years.

In California, how can I become a teacher in an elementary school? 

The Multiple Subject Teaching Credential is required of candidates who wish to teach in elementary schools. This is part of obtaining a bachelor’s degree and successfully finishing a program to become a certified teacher in several subject areas.

Do I need a degree to become a teacher? 

The government claims that QTLS, parity with QTS in maintained primary and secondary schools, has equal standing to QTS; hence, the answer is yes, you may become a teacher without a degree and hold it.
However, there is no assurance that the institutions you apply to will view the QTLS qualification as being on par with QTS applicants.

Is teaching in elementary schools worthwhile? 

Every teacher has an impact, but those who engage with young students at the beginning of their academic careers are especially so. Despite the difficulty, becoming an elementary school teacher can be quite gratifying. Before entering the sector, it’s crucial to determine whether your personality, education, and career goals are a fit.

Can you get by on the wages a teacher makes?

Living on a teacher’s salary is more than feasible, and it doesn’t necessarily imply you can’t have fun. You won’t have to worry about money as long as you know how much needs to be spent on bills each month, how much needs to come in each month, and how to safely manage the remaining funds (as much as possible).

Is elementary school teaching demanding? 

How is the work? There is a possibility of significant stress among elementary school teachers. But a lot depends on the work environment, the class size, and your level of experience. Because they frequently have old lesson plans at their disposal, seasoned teachers can build a routine.


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