How to Become a Career or Technical Education Teacher
Teachers need years of experience in their field of expertise.
Career and technical education teachers typically must have at least a bachelor’s degree. They also need work experience in the subject they teach. Public schools may require a state-issued teaching certification or license.
Career and technical education teachers generally need a bachelor’s degree in the field they teach, such as agriculture, engineering, or computer science.
All states require prospective career and technical education teachers in public schools to complete a period of fieldwork, called a student-teaching program, in which they work with a mentor teacher and get experience teaching students in a classroom. For information about teacher preparation programs in your state, visit Teach.org.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Many career and technical education teachers need work experience in the field they teach. For example, automotive mechanics, chefs, and nurses typically spend years in their career before moving into teaching.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
States may require career and technical education teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified. Requirements for certification or licensure vary by state, but generally involve the following:
- A bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average
- Completion of a student-teaching program
- Passing a background check
- Passing a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge of the subject they will teach.
For information on certification requirements in your state, visit Teach.org.
Career and technical education teachers who prepare students for an occupation that requires a license or certification may need to have and maintain the same credential. For example, career and technical education teachers who teach welding may need to have certification in welding. In addition, teachers may be required to complete annual professional development courses to maintain their license or certification.
Some states offer an alternative route to certification or licensure for prospective teachers who have a bachelor’s degree or work experience in their field but lack the education courses required for certification. Alternative programs typically cover teaching methods, development of lesson plans, and classroom management.
Experienced teachers may advance to become mentors or lead teachers, helping less experienced teachers to improve their teaching skills.
Teachers may become school counselors, instructional coordinators, or principals. These positions generally require additional education, an advanced degree, or certification. An advanced degree in education administration or leadership may be helpful.
Communication skills. Career and technical education teachers must explain concepts in terms that students can understand.
Organizational skills. Career and technical education teachers must coordinate their time and teaching materials.
Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Teachers must be even-tempered with students to develop a positive learning environment.
Resourcefulness. Teachers need to create different ways of presenting information and demonstrating tasks so that all students learn the material.