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What Is the Average Teacher Salary in Texas?

Teachers build the foundations of society by sharing knowledge, social skills, and critical thinking skills, as well as giving students career advice. Texas has the most teachers of any state, with 363,195 out of a total of 3.8 million public school teachers in the US in 2020. If you want to join this group, you’re probably wondering about the range of teacher salaries in Texas.

If you want to become a teacher, you should know that there are certain requirements to become a teacher in Texas. The requirements vary depending on the type of teacher and grade level. Read on to learn more about the state requirements to become a teacher in Texas and what the average teacher salary in Texas is.

What Is the Average Teacher Salary in Texas?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average salary of Texas public school teachers was $57,641 in the 2020-2021 school year. Public school teacher salaries in Texas have actually decreased by 1.6 percent since the 2009-2010 school year when the average salary was $58,404.

What Is the Average Salary of a Teacher in the United States?

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NCES reports that the average salary of public school teachers in the US was $65,090 in 2020-2021. Teacher salaries vary by state and district, with the higher base salary for teachers in New York and the lowest base salary for teachers in Mississippi. Along with location, your qualifications, experience, and teaching skills determine your median salary as a teacher.

Average Teacher Salary in Texas: K—12

Level Number Employed in Texas Average Salary in Texas Average Salary in the United States
Kindergarten Teachers 14,730 $59,270 $60,900
Elementary School Teachers 135,560 $59,210 $61,400
Middle School Teachers 65,830 $59,080 $61,320
High School Teachers 102,360 $60,470 $61,820

Basic Requirements to Become a Teacher in Texas: K—12

  • Bachelor’s Degree. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required to become a classroom teacher in Texas. Check the Department of Education’s Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to see if your school is accredited by an agency approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • Educator Preparation Program. Complete an Educator Preparation Program approved by the state of Texas. All first-year teachers need to have passed this test to access job openings and become teachers.
  • Pass Certification Exams. Take and pass the state certification exams required for your grade level and subject area. For example, high school chemistry teachers need to take the 240 Chemistry 7-12 TExES exam.
  • Complete a State Application. Once you complete your degree and exams, it’s time to officially apply for Texas teacher certification through the state application. Applicants need to complete fingerprinting assessment for a background check as part of the application.

How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher in Texas

To get started on the path to becoming a kindergarten teacher in Texas, complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or in a similar subject area. Next, you’ll need to complete an Educator Preparation Program with an internship in a kindergarten classroom before you apply for state certification. 

How to Become an Elementary School Teacher in Texas

Future Texas elementary school teachers need to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and an Educator Preparation Program in elementary education, which includes student teaching and practical experiences during years of study. If you don’t have a BS in Elementary Education, you can obtain a teacher’s license through a master’s degree

After the training, apply for a license through your state board of education. Texas teacher certification is a requirement for elementary teachers in public schools. However, a license isn’t required in all private schools for an elementary school teacher. 

How to Become a Middle School Teacher in Texas

In middle school, teachers train to teach specific subjects rather than general elementary or early elementary education. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a subject of your choice with a teacher training program. The next step is to pass your subject-specific licensing exams to gain Texas teacher certification to apply for teaching jobs. 

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in your desired subject from a previous career, you can complete your education preparation program in one or two years to switch to a teaching career. Some alternative certification programs are taught online, while others may require classroom experience with an instructor.

How to Become a High School Teacher in Texas

To become a high school teacher in Texas, you first need to earn a bachelor’s degree in the subject you wish to teach, along with an Educator Preparation Program to qualify for Texas teaching certification. The programs include an internship in a classroom under experienced teachers to gain real-world experience. 

Once you have completed your training, you can apply for teacher licensure and begin applying for entry-level teaching positions. Teaching certification isn’t a requirement to become a high school teacher in private schools, but many employers prefer it. However, a teaching certificate is mandatory to land a job as a public school teacher.

Average Teacher Salary in Texas: Other Types of Teachers

Type Number Employed in Texas Average Salary in Texas Average Salary in the United States
Preschool Teachers 33,440 $36,760 $30,210
Career and Technical Education Teachers 12,730 $61,860 $61,160
Adult Basic Education Teachers 2,710 $55,080 $59,720
Substitute Teachers 54,170 $31,710 $38,410

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Texas: Preschool

  • Bachelor’s Degree. Like kindergarten teachers, preschool teachers need a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or Childhood Development. This degree allows you to obtain teacher certification for more than just teaching preschool.
  • Educator Preparation Program. Future teachers need to complete an educator preparation program for the age they want to teach. These programs can be offered as part of a bachelor’s degree or as a standalone program.
  • Certification Exams. Like all Texas teachers, preschool teachers need to pass the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam. They also need to pass the Core Subjects exam for early childhood through grade six.

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Texas: Career and Technical Education

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a technical subject field or a career and technical education is required to become a career and technical education teacher. Some employers prefer a master’s degree, which qualifies you for teaching at community colleges and universities.
  • Work Experience. Vocational teachers in Texas need two to five years of work experience in the field they want to teach. If you want to teach culinary arts, you’ll need at least two years of work experience as a professional cook.
  • Take an Educator Preparation Program. Like all other types of teachers in Texas, you’ll need to take an Educator Preparation Program. These programs include classroom experience, so you’ll be ready to manage your own classroom of students.

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Texas: Adult Basic Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree. Earn a bachelor’s degree at an accredited school in the subject you wish to teach. Adult basic education instructors teach subjects like math, English, and science.
  • Professional Work Experience. Most adult education instructors need work experience related to their subject areas. For example, music teachers should be somewhat involved in the music community in their area.
  • Obtain a Texas Teaching Certification. You’ll be required to complete an Educator Preparation Program and take a certification exam in your subject area.

Requirements to Become a Substitute Teacher in Texas

  • Undergraduate Degree. A bachelor’s or associate degree is a required qualification to be a substitute in Texas. A high school diploma is also acceptable in some school districts, but substitute teachers with higher education will earn higher wages.
  • Create Lesson Plans. Substitute teachers usually follow the lesson plans and assignments outlined by full-time teachers, but having to create lesson plans is also a responsibility. They also have to administer non-classroom activities, such as monitoring the student’s progress.
  • Background Check. It varies by school district whether you’ll need a teaching license or substitute teacher training to work as a substitute teacher in Texas. However, you will need to get a background with fingerprinting before you can start working in a classroom. 

Average Teacher Salary in Texas: Special Education

Special Education Level Number Employed in Texas Average Salary in Texas Average Salary in the United States
Preschool 100 $49,670 $62,420
Kindergarten and Elementary 16,870 $60,030 $61,640
Middle School 8,090 $60,240 $61,820
High School 12,620 $61,430 $62,120

Requirements to Become a Teacher in Texas: Special Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree. A special education bachelor’s degree is required to become a special education teacher in Texas. In some cases, teachers might need a Master’s Degree in Special Education, especially if their undergraduate degree is not related to education. 
  • Educational Training Program. Complete an education preparation program with an internship in a special education classroom.
  • Certification. Special ed teachers need to complete two exams to obtain the certification, The Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities and Special Education exams. Both exams cover teaching skills for students from early childhood through 12th grade.
  • License Renewal. Special ed teachers in Texas need to renew their licenses every five years. One requirement for license renewal is to complete 150 hours of professional education (CEU) credits.

Is a Teacher’s Salary in Texas Worth My Time and Money?

Based on MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, an average teacher’s salary in Texas is enough to make a living wage for a single adult or a small family with two parents. However, the average classroom teacher salary is too low for single-parent households with one or more children or two-parent households with more than two children.

The average cost of tuition for a four-year degree is $13,360 per year, and many new teachers start their careers with student debt. Even though the salary is low, teaching comes with a few common benefits that add value beyond the base salary. Teachers get health insurance and a retirement plan.

Depending on your financial situation, a teacher’s salary in Texas might not be enough. The good news is that there is high demand for teachers in Texas, so you are likely to find a job once you become certified.

Teacher Salary in Texas FAQ

How does Texas teacher retirement work?

Texas teachers get a pension plan through the Texas Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS). Educators working in public schools are automatically eligible for the plan, which creates a retirement fund. However, Texas public schools don’t pay into social security, so many teachers can’t access social security benefits.

What age can Texas teachers retire?

The normal age of retirement for Texas teachers is 65 with five or more years of service credit. Texas teachers can retire as early as 60 if their age plus years of service credits add up to 80 or more, as long as they have at least five years of service credits. 

Does Texas have a teacher shortage?

Yes, Texas does have a teacher shortage in certain areas. In 2020-21, there were teacher shortages in career and technical education, special education, mathematics, and English as a second language.

Will Texas teachers get a raise in 2022?

Some Texas teachers will get a raise in 2022. It all depends on the city or town, school district, and state legislature. Teachers across the state are eligible for additional compensation through the Teacher Incentive Allotment if they meet certain criteria. The program is designed to give teachers the money they need to stay teaching in high-needs and rural schools.

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