Image © Chris Titze Imaging Adobe Stock #129171397

Image © Chris Titze Imaging Adobe Stock #129171397


Being a Teacher In Texas

Are you thinking about becoming a teacher? It is a profession with great rewards and challenges. Education is also a profession that generally is in demand in Houston, providing steady jobs for thousands of men and women in the city of Houston and surrounding cities.


STEP 1: Your university degree must be recognized before becoming a certified teacher

There is no single authority in the United States for the recognition of foreign degrees and other qualifications. International agreements and the practice in the U.S. education system and labor market recognize the existence of three competent authorities for recognition matters:

1.     The admitting school or higher education institution, for students who seek to study in the United States and who are presenting credits or qualifications earned abroad;

2.     The hiring employer, for individuals seeking work and who are presenting degrees or other qualifications earned abroad; and

3.     State or territorial licensing boards, for individuals seeking to practice regulated professions in a jurisdiction of the United States and who are presenting degrees or other qualifications earned abroad.

Many, if not most, of these competent authorities in turn depend on expert comparability recommendations prepared by credential evaluation services. Credential evaluation services are independent organizations that perform analyses of non-U.S. qualifications and issue recommendations as to how a particular qualification compares to a similar qualification or set of qualifications in the U.S. education system, labor market or the professions. Credential evaluations vary in cost depending on the complexity of the analysis and the amount of documentation available, and are generally paid for.

Here are a few places you can go to have your credentials recognized:

Foreign Credential Services of America
1910 Justin Lane
Austin, TX 78757-2411
Phone: (512) 459-8428
Fax: (512 459-4565

Global Credential Evaluators, Inc. 
P.O. Box 9203
College Station, TX 77842
Fax: (512) 528-9293


STEP 2: Decide what area of certification you will focus on.

In Texas, even with a recognized bachelor’s or master’s degree, you will still have to become certified by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to teach in public school. This does not apply to private schools, Montessori schools, or daycare facilities where the requirements are often less.

To become certified, you must decide what grade level and subject you want to teach. Here are some of the most popular certifications for a degreed person:

Early Childhood-6th Grade

  • Art
  • English
  • Health
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Ed.
  • Music
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Middle School Certifications

(4th-8th Grade)

  • English Language Arts and Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies

High School Certifications

  • Chemistry (7-12)
  • Computer Science (8-12)
  • Life Science (7-12)
  • Mathematics (7-12)
  • Engineering (8-12)
  • Physical Science (6-12)
  • Science (7-12)


STEP 3: Alternative Teacher Certification

(For individuals with a recognized bachelor’s or master’s degree)

In the state of Texas, to instruct students in most public school settings, having a bachelor’s degree is usually not enough for you the become a “Highly Qualified Teacher”. Independent School Districts (there are dozens in the city of Houston alone) have a wide pool of candidates to choose from, and will often look for those who are certified, also known as a Highly Qualified Teacher. To earn this, you must become certified through an alternative program if you did not major in education through an American university. These programs often require a minimal fee upfront but in the long road may cost a few thousand dollars. However, many of them do not collect the fee until after you have secured a teaching job. Your success rate in finding a job after completing the program and passing the test is between 95-97%.

Once you have completed the alternative certification program, you will be given a probationary certification that will allow you to sit for a certification exam. You may choose one of the certifications previously mentioned to test over. You may only take one test at a time. Here are some basic facts about the teaching certification exams:

  • Must register following the probationary certificate from your alternate degree program.
  • Must register weeks or even months in advance.
  • Costs a minimal fee ranging from $130 to $150.
  • Computer version of the test is offered much more frequently and scores are returned within a week (scores from paper version of the test can take up to a month to receive).
  • If you fail, you may re-register and test again by paying the fee.
  • Usually ranges in length from 90 to 150 questions.
  • Once you have passed your initial certification exam, you may later test over additional certifications.

One you have completed your alternative certification and you are ready to take this test, you will register on this website:


Popular Alternative Certification Programs in Texas

Suite 250
Phone: (832) 200-0552

Texas Teachers
5599 San Felipe St.
Suite 1425
Phone: (713) 458-1660