Ohio, like most other states, has a demand for good teachers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were more than 315,000 workers employed in the education, training and library occupations in Ohio during May of 2015. Most of those professions show positive growth in the coming decade. Kindergarten, preschool and middle school teachers are among those occupations in demand in the state of Ohio.
Learning how to become a teacher in Ohio is the first step toward a career in the education space. Most secondary teachers need a bachelor's degree and Ohio teaching credentials, but preschool teachers typically need only an associate degree and a certification in early childhood development. It's up to you to decide which path you want to take.
Ohio Teaching Credentials
Ohio has a tiered licensing system. The state issues a four-year resident license to new teachers who are graduates of an in-state accredited teacher prep program. They also issue an alternative four-year resident license to students who are pursuing an alternative certification route. (Alternative resident educator licenses help to expand the pool of high-quality teachers and are typically obtained in subject areas where there is a shortage of teachers.) When either of the four-year resident programs is successfully completed, you will receive a professional educator license for five years, which is renewable.
If you decide to study for an advanced degree in Ohio, the senior professional educator license is granted for five years and is renewable. It's issued to teachers who have earned an advanced degree and have taught successfully for nine years -- at least five of those years with a professional educator license and after completing a master teacher portfolio. The lead professional educator license is issued to teachers who have met the requirements for the senior license and have earned a teacher leader endorsement. National board certification may be substituted for the portfolio and endorsement.
If you want to acquire a teaching certificate in the state of Ohio you must:
- Obtain a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
- Complete a state and regionally approved teacher education program
- Obtain passing scores on all Ohio Educator Assessment (OAE) tests
- Pass a background check and obtain fingerprint clearance on both a state and federal level
Teacher education programs are comprised of a combination of different types of curricula and fieldwork, which includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, the art and science of teaching, and preparing you to implement your learning experiences in your particular field of study. The fieldwork component of your studies will often include field observations, student teaching and an internship.
As of September 2013, aspiring teachers must also complete Ohio's new test series, Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE). With this new test series, you must complete and pass a Pedagogy Assessment and a Content Assessment exam. This exam must be taken by applicants seeking to teach kindergarten through high school; it includes a separate test for special education teachers.
Obtaining a Master's Degree in Ohio
Obtaining your master's degree in education in the state of Ohio might pay off in the long run, as Ohio teachers typically make more money with a master's degree than with a bachelor's degree alone. A master's degree tends to open up more career opportunities, such as a school administrator or college professor. While studying for your master's degree, you may learn about the history of education, how the field has developed in recent years, how to create lesson plans and activities, how to interact with students using technology and how to develop strong leadership skills. You may also take classes in child development and in educational research.
Three well-known master's degree programs in Ohio include the following:
- Ohio University Athens, which includes master's degree programs in counseling, instructional technology and administration, among other areas of education
- Kent State University, which offers an array of graduate degrees in education, including a master's of arts in teaching degree that prepares non-teachers to enter the educational field
- The University of Toledo, which offers over a dozen master's of education degrees
Career Outlook for Teachers in Ohio
There are different types of teaching careers that you can pursue in Ohio. Some are more in demand than others, but all teaching careers are showing positive growth. Here are some figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to show the outlook for teaching careers you can get with a bachelor's degree:
- Preschool teachers (except special education): $26,750
- Kindergarten teachers (except special education): $54,230
- Middle school teachers (except special education): $58,130
- Secondary school teachers (except special education): $59,660
- Kindergarten and elementary school special education teachers: $57,100
- Middle school special education teachers: $57,990
- Secondary special education teachers: $56,390
Projections Central also predicts good growth for some teaching categories in Ohio from 2014 to 2024. Some of the most in-demand jobs in the field are in the area of special education.
- Preschool special education teachers: 11.8%
- Secondary school special education teachers: 6.3%
- Middle school special education teachers: 6%
Most of the other teaching positions are predicted to grow between four and five percent from 2014 to 2024. To find out more information about schools in your area, check out the school listings below.
- Become a Teacher in Ohio, Teach.com, http://teach.com/states/become-a-teacher-in-ohio
- Become a Teacher in Ohio, Certification Map, http://certificationmap.com/states/ohio-teacher-certification/
- Employment and annual wages for preschool, primary, middle, and secondary school teachers, TED: The Economics Daily, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/employment-and-annual-wages-for-preschool-primary-middle-and-secondary-school-teachers.htm
- Educator Licenses, Ohio Department of Education, http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Teaching/Educator-Licensure
- May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Ohio, Occupation Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_oh.htm
- Long Term Projections, Ohio, Projections Central, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm