How to Become a Teacher in Maryland

In Maryland, teachers have the power to motivate and prepare students for success in the real world, ready to compete for jobs in the global marketplace. It's all part of Maryland's commitment to creating what it calls "world-class" students. It is no wonder that teaching is consistently recognized as one of the most rewarding careers available with a bachelor's degree.

Follow these steps to learn exactly how to become a teacher in Maryland.

Choose What You Want to Teach

Choosing the level at which you want to teach is crucial before continuing with the requirements to become a teacher. Think about the age range of children you want to teach and whether or not you want to work with younger or older children. It is even important to consider what topics you want to teach. If you have a specialty in a certain subject, you could consider becoming a high school teacher. If you prefer to teach multiple subjects, you could consider getting certificated in Elementary education. The choice is yours. The Maryland State Department of Education has helpful information about students, teacher, and schools in the state which could help you make your decision.

Earn a Bachelor's in Education to Meet the Requirements for a Teaching Certificate in Maryland

Maryland requires all teachers to hold a bachelor's in education and complete a Maryland approved teacher preparation program.

Complete a Teacher Preparation Program

There are a few routes that lead to teaching certification in Maryland. What route you take will be based on your education and experience. Regardless of what route you take, it is mandatory to complete an approved Maryland teacher's certification program in an accredited institution. When trying to choose a potential teacher program, it's recommended to confirm that the program is accredited.

Teacher preparation programs generally have two parts: college coursework and fieldwork. During the program, your coursework will likely focus on pedagogy, content-based teaching methods, differentiated instruction, assessment, and the integration of technology. The fieldwork element includes classroom observations, student teaching, or interning. As a student teacher or intern, you will work with a master teacher to develop and implement lessons based on the needs of your student population. In addition, student teachers and interns are usually responsible for grading, disciplining, and communicating with parents.

Alternative Teacher Certification in Maryland

Maryland has a few alternative certification programs for individuals who decide to become teachers after graduating from college or individuals who decide to change careers. These programs are tailored to meet the staffing needs of school districts, while providing the convenience necessary to attract experienced and diverse individuals to the classroom. Although several school districts offer alternative preparation, only some partner with two-year or four-year institutions of higher education.

Alternative preparation programs usually allow individuals to begin teaching and receiving a salary much earlier than in a traditional program. However, although these programs lead to a certification, they do not necessarily lead to a degree. Keep in mind that alternative preparation programs are sometimes considered intensive and very challenging due to the shortened time frame.

Prior to entering a teacher education program at a college or university, you may be required to take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests to demonstrate your basic academic skills.

Pass the Tests Required for Teacher Certification in Maryland

Basic Skills Test

Maryland requires that candidates pass the PPST (Pre-Professional Skills Test). However, the candidate will not be required to pass the PPST if he/she has earned sufficient scores on the SAT, ACT, or GRE.

Subject Tests

Candidates must also pass the appropriate Maryland Praxis II tests for each desired area of certification. The Praxis II is a subject area assessment. The test also assesses principles of learning as well as teaching foundations. In order to earn certification, candidates must pass the Praxis II exam specific to the area they want to become certificated in.

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Apply for your Maryland Teacher Certification

Upon completion of all the requirements, the pertinent paperwork should be mailed to the Maryland Department of Education.

Application Requirements

  • Official transcript(s) of all course work taken
  • Verification of completed teacher preparation program at an accredited school
  • Passing scores for the required certification tests
  • A cover letter with your name, complete mailing address, date of birth, social security number, personal email address, and the area of certification you are seeking
  • Completed application along with payment of non-refundable processing fees

Contact Information

Maryland State Department of Education
Certification Branch
200 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 767-0412

Find a Teaching Job in Maryland

Once your application processes, you will be ready to begin your career as a certified teacher in Maryland!

Public School Jobs

The Department of Education in Maryland is committed to ensuring that there is a continual pool of qualified teacher candidates available to draw from. This means that job postings for teachers are open and continuous. With that said, teachers may apply when qualified to do so. Employers may contact candidates from the pool as their need arises.

The state maintains teaching and other education job postings on Candidates are encouraged to review the site carefully before applying.

NEA and AFT-Maryland

Once hired, teachers join the Maryland State Education Association (NEA), or the American Federation of Teachers (AFT-Maryland). Members then have support of their union for labor and legal issues, as well as professional development and networking opportunities.

Retirement Benefits for Teachers

Teachers retiring from the public system draw a pension from their mandatory contributions through the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System. Teachers should also be aware that supplemental pension funds exist through organizations like the Maryland Teachers & State Employees Supplemental Retirement Plans. Teachers are encouraged to speak with a certified financial planner who is knowledgeable about retirement for educators.

Private School Jobs

Maryland private schools are also in need of qualified and innovative teachers within the state's 800+ private schools that serve about 158,000 students. Smaller class sizes have benefits for both staff and students.

Teacher Shortage in Maryland by Subjects or Discipline (2021-2022)

The following list of teacher shortage areas in Maryland has been obtained from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) list for the 2021-2022 school year:

  • Career and Technical Education 7-12
  • Special Education, all exceptionalities PreK-12
  • World Languages, Spanish, French PreK-12
  • Biological Sciences 7-12
  • Family and Consumer Sciences 7-12
  • Dance PreK-12
  • Business Education 7-12
  • ESOL PreK-12
  • Chemistry 7-12
  • Basic and Advanced Mathematics 7-12
  • Elementary Education 1-6
  • English 7-12
  • Early Childhood PreK-3
  • Physical Fitness PreK-12
  • Music PreK-12
  • Computer Science 7-12
  • Health Science PreK-12
  • Theatre 7-12

Number of Public and Private School Teachers By Grade

The following Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) table highlights the number of teachers in Maryland in both private and public schools, by grade level, as of May 2021:

Grade Level Number of Teachers
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 7,450
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 28,590
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 12,230
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 18,530
Special Education Teachers, Preschool -
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 4,050
Special Education Teachers, Middle School 2,830
Special Education Teachers, Secondary School 2,930

Continue Your Education and Professional Development

Common sense, scientific findings, and professional insight all indicate that skilled teachers have a positive impact on student learning. Ensuring that teachers engage in professional development on an ongoing basis helps them enhance their knowledge and skills both inside and outside of the classroom. In addition to boosting student achievement, teachers who engage in professional development are more likely to achieve salary and career advancement goals.

Professional Development in Maryland

In the state of Maryland, the Department of Education has a number of guidelines for administering, partaking in, and accrediting professional development endeavors. These guiding documents are found on the Maryland Department of Education website. To register for professional development opportunities, teachers are encouraged to visit the state's Blackboard website with their login information. Additional information can be found through some of the professional organizations in the state like, Council of Educational Administrative and Supervisory Organizations of Maryland (CEASOM), Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET), and Maryland Assessment Group (MAG). Teachers with further questions are encouraged to contact the Director of Instructional Assessment and Professional Development at the Maryland State Department of Education.

Earn a Master's in Education to Achieve the Advanced Professional Certificate and Earn a Much Higher Salary

Maryland is one of a few states that require teachers to complete some graduate work in order to advance in the profession. Here, teachers must either earn a master's degree or complete extensive graduate coursework to continue teaching after their tenth year.

Teacher certification here is organized into three steps:

Step 1. Your initial, Standard Professional Certificate I is valid for five years and can only be renewed once if your teaching service was interrupted due to extenuating circumstances.

Step 2. To earn the Standard Professional Certificate II, you'll need at least three years of experience, six semester hours of acceptable credit, and a professional development plan for the Advanced Professional Certificate (APC). This certificate is valid for five years and is not renewable.

Step 3. Then, to earn the five-year Advanced Professional Certificate, you'll need to complete at least three years of experience and meet one of the following requirements:

  • A master's degree or higher in a certification area, including at least six semester hours related to the teacher's specific discipline; or
  • At least 36 semester hours of approved content or professional education coursework related to public school education - must include at least 21 graduate credits, including at least six credits related to the teacher's specific discipline; or
  • National Board Certification AND at least 12 semester hours of approved graduate work that's related to the teacher's specific discipline.

Earn a Master's and You'll Earn a Higher Salary

A master's in education or teaching almost always leads to a bigger paycheck in Maryland. For example, educators in Prince George County schools within the Maryland Public Schools earned a minimum salary of $49,468 as of the 2020-2021 school year, while educators with a master's degree here earned a minimum salary of $54,538 - a difference of nearly $5,000 annually.

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2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for Teachers (Preschool, Elementary, Middle School, High School) and Special Education Teachers, (Preschool, Kindergarten and Elementary, Middle, High School) reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed March 2023.