Guide to Becoming a Teacher in Massachusetts

Massachusetts’ teachers are among the nation’s most well compensated. In short, Massachusetts is a state that values education at all levels. If you want to become a teacher in Massachusetts, however, be prepared to face a competitive job market. Fortunately, making the right decisions early on can make all the difference.

1. Choosing a Program: The first step is to find a teaching program that supports your budget and short- and long-term career goals.

  • Finding an appropriate program that fits your needs is a critical first step. To ensure you select a program that meets your needs, it is important to ask the right questions. What matters to you as a student? Are you concerned about the cost of the program or the amount of debt you might incur? Does the program’s graduation rate matter? Is program reputation a factor?

2. Planning for Licensure in Massachusetts: In Massachusetts, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree and a teacher preparation program and to write and pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educators Licensure.

3. Entering the Workforce: Once you’ve completed your education and passed the applicable exams, you can launch your teaching career in Massachusetts.

  • At this point, it is important to consider the type of teaching environment in which you hope to work? What are your lifestyle priorities? Do you see yourself teaching in a school located in a town or larger city, such as Boston or Springfield? What are your salary expectations? During this stage of the process, you should also keep expanding your resume, engaging in professional development activities and gaining additional classroom teaching experience. This will help you to enter the job market in Massachusetts with a competitive edge.


Choosing an Education Program in Massachusetts appreciates that choosing the right teacher licensure program can be challenging. To assist you with this task, we have streamlined the process. Our complex algorithm was developed to respond to the specific needs of aspiring teachers. Our testing criteria include several specific elements that will permit you to determine which school is the best fit for your career path, including total expense, student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings, return on investment and much more.

Every school lists below is committed to the pursuit of excellence. Simply put, these programs comprise Massachusett’s very best. Find out which ones stand above the rest by reviewing the information posted below.

Ranking Factors Explained

Our ranking data is based upon, IPEDS, and the Carnegie Foundation data sets.

How to Become a Teacher in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MDESE) offers different types of licenses for educators based on their individual qualifications; four common pathways to teaching in Massachusetts are outlined below:

  • Pathway 1: A common pathway is to complete a bachelor’s degree and approved educator preparation program and to write and pass the applicable Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) exams.
  • Pathway 2: For candidates who already hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, there is the option of completing a master’s degree in education that leads to teacher licensure; like all other candidates, they are also expected to write and pass the applicable MTEL exams.
  • Pathway 3: For candidates with a bachelor’s degree or higher who have written and passed the MTEL exams, there is also the option of applying for a preliminary license; valid for five years, the license enables candidates to teach in a Massachusetts school while completing all the additional requirements needed to obtain a full teaching license in the state.
  • Pathway 4: If a candidate is a licensed teacher in another U.S. state, Massachusetts offers a temporary license that is valid for one year; during this period, the candidate is expected to acquire any additional requirements needed to meet Massachusetts’ standards for teachers.

What is the Teaching Job Outlook in the State of Massachusetts?

In 2015, there were 3,490 kindergarten teachers, 27,220 elementary teachers, 18,520 middle school teachers and 24,130 high school teachers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, teaching is expected to show average growth (5 to 10 percent) over the coming years in the Northeast. Anticipated retirements, however, will impact the availability of jobs for teachers, even in state’s with lower than average growth, such as Massachusetts.

What Resources are Available to Teachers in Massachusetts?

What online programs are available to potential teachers in Massachusetts?

Lesley University offers several online graduate programs in education, including an M.Ed in mathematics education that may lead to teacher licensure in Massachusetts, depending on the option selected, and an M.Ed in science education that leads to licensure in Massachusetts at the elementary and middle school levels. The University of Massachusetts offers more than 20 certificate and degree programs in education through its online program for teachers hoping to acquire an additional specialization or acquire the credentials needed to move into school administration. At Boston University, teachers can pursue graduate degrees in both art education and music education through its online program.


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