How long does it take to be a teacher?
The answer to how long does it take to be a teacher, of course, depends on a number of factors, including what you want to teach, what level you want to teach at, and even how good of a teacher you want to be. In simplest terms, most states in the US require 4-year bachelor’s degrees to teach in public schools. In addition, there is typically a semester to year-long internship process, followed by a test to obtain certification. If you’re lucky, you should be able to find a job that fall, for a total of about 5 years of training.
There are also a couple of different paths to become a teacher. The most obvious is to simply go to school for it; you can major in an educational field, from early childhood education to special needs education to physical education. Once you choose a major and a subfield, it falls to you to get good grades and pass each course, as at most schools the required degree will take 4 years. However, if you changed majors a couple of times or make poor class choices, it can take up to five, or even six years to get a degree, as well. How long does it take to become a teacher can also be affected by what kind of degree you are getting. It will take a couple more years if you are pursuing a masters or even doctorate degree in an education field, which typically take two and four years, respectively. Typical topics of study for being a teacher include basic general education subjects like science and math, and then more specialty courses such as effective communication, curriculum development, and so on.
Special education majors require a specific degree in special education, as teaching those with special needs requires its own methods, compassion, and courses in order to be successful. This is a separate major and requires a separate internship and certification track, although it still shares many courses with tradition education majors.
Another route to become a teacher is to get a different degree, such as a bachelors degree in physics, math, English, or whatever your specific course of study is, work in that field and develop a career. It is then possible to go back to school in order to become qualified to teach in your subject area, although admittedly there is no real strict timetable on how this can be achieved, although switching to an educational concentration can take less than two years.
Becoming a college professor is a little different. It takes a lot more time and effort, which increases according to the prestige of the institution that you wish to teach in. A PhD is really a must, and after that post-doctorate research will be required. Working as a student aid to a current professor will provide you with needed experience, and then you will need to apply everywhere in order to get to an open position.
So how long does it take to be a teacher? In conclusion, it takes roughly 5 years post high school to become a teacher in a public school, and a couple years longer to teach at the collegiate level.