Becoming a Teacher in Montana


Guide to Becoming a Teacher in Montana

If you are currently contemplating a teaching career in Montana or you have already decided that this is your future career path, has all the information you’ll need to get started.  To begin, anyone hoping to teach in Montana will need to complete the following critical steps:

1. Choosing a Program: First, you will need to find an education program that supports your budget and short- and long-term career goals.

  • Finding an appropriate program that fits your needs is never easy. What matters to you as a student? Is cost a major concern? Are you concerned about the program’s graduation rate or job placement rate? Asking the right questions upfront will ensure you end up in the program that is best suited to your needs and budget.

2. Planning for Licensure in Montana: To become a teacher in Montana, you’ll need to complete at least a bachelor’s degree and a teacher preparation program and to write and pass the state’s required teacher licensure exams.

3. Entering the Workforce: Once you’ve completed an education program and passed the applicable exams, you will be ready to launch your job search and find a teaching job that is right for you.

  • It is always best to start by asking the right questions. Are you interested in working in a rural or urban school? Where would you be most comfortable working and living? What are your lifestyle priorities and which regions of the state can best meet these priorities? What are your salary expectations? Throughout this process, keep developing your resume, expanding your education and gaining additional teaching experience. This will ensure you have the best possible chance of gaining a full-time teaching position shortly after graduation.

Choosing an Education Program in Montana appreciates that choosing the best program is never an easy task. Fortunately, we have streamlined the process. Using a algorithmic tool, we have reviewed, tested and documented the top education programs in the State of Montana. Since our criteria reflects prospective teachers’ top priorities, our rankings focus on the things that matter most to you, including total expense, student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings and over all return on investment.

All the schools on’s list below are committed to excellence and have proven themselves to be among the very best places to pursue an education degree in Montana. Find out which schools rank best at the bachelor’s and master’s levels in education.

Montana State University-Northern

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 16 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 21064
  • Acceptance rate 100 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 27274
  • Graduation Rate 32.98 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 18022.5

The University of Montana

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 18 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 25100
  • Acceptance rate 94.23 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 27274
  • Graduation Rate 47.04 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 24776.5

Montana State University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 19 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 27008
  • Acceptance rate 84.49 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 27274
  • Graduation Rate 49.03 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 24801

Rocky Mountain College

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 12 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 94872
  • Acceptance rate 66.83 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 27274
  • Graduation Rate 45.19 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 26000

Montana State University-Billings

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 18 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 22980
  • Average state starting salary$ 27274
  • Graduation Rate 47.15 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 19000

Ranking Factors Explained

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

How to Become a Teacher in Montana

The State of Montana offers multiple pathways to teacher licensure:

  • Pathway 1: The first option requires an individual to complete an education program through an accredited college or university in Montana and pass the Praxis Core and applicable Praxis II exams.
  • Pathway 2: The second option, targeting candidates who already hold at least a bachelor’s degree, is to complete a graduate degree in education leading to licensure and to then write and pass the Praxis Core and applicable Praxis II exams.
  • Pathway 3: Another option, available to candidates who already hold at least a bachelor’s degree, is to apply for a provisional three-year license; candidates who choose this option must submit a plan indicating how they will complete their teacher preparation program while working full-time as a Montana teacher.

What is the job outlook for teaching careers in Montana?

In 2015, there were 4,290 elementary teachers, 2, 420 middle school teachers and 3,440 high school teachers in Montana. Over the coming years, job growth for teachers in Montana is expected to hold steady or experience moderate growth. However, in some communities, the need for teachers is considered critical. In 2014, one community–located in the Hays/Lodge Pole School District–was so desperate for teachers, they put out a call that offered teachers willing to relocate to the community a $1000 signing bonus, a three-bedroom home to live in for $230 a month (utilities covered) and a dollar-to-dollar match (up to $300) on student loan payments. Unfortunately, even with the incentives, Hays/Lodge Pole School District continues to struggle to attract qualified teachers. In the state’s larger communities and cities, teaching jobs can be found but there are fewer reported critical shortages.

What resources do teachers have to help them during their careers in Montana?

What online programs are available to potential teachers in the state of Montana?

Montana State University offers an online program known as Extended University. Degree programs from the Extended University include a master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, mathematics education and science education. The extended campus also supports the Northern Plains Transition to Teaching licensure program and the Science for Educators professional development course.

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