How to Become a Teacher In Minnesota

Those who love to work with children and enjoy teaching should strongly consider a job in education. Learning how to become a teacher in Minnesota could be the first step in a rewarding career.

From working with 4- or 5-year-olds in early childhood education to teaching advanced math or physics to high-schoolers, educators have a host of opportunities in Minnesota. Learn the required credentials for Minnesota teachers before embarking on your education to ensure that you meet all of the requirements.

Minnesota Teaching Facts and Figures

Also known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota has a population of 5.3 million. According to estimates from the National Center for Education Statistics, the state has more than 800,000 students attending 2,461 public schools, including charter and traditional schools. The public school system employs more than 52,000 teachers, resulting in a student-to-teacher ratio of 15.91. This is right near the national average, making Minnesota classroom sizes similar to that of many surrounding states.

Salaries for Minnesota Teachers

Teachers in Minnesota are among the better-paid in the nation, ranking 19th in the United States, reports Education Minnesota. On average, a first-year teacher in the state makes $33,009 annually. Salaries increase steadily with greater work experience and for individuals who obtain an advanced degree. The average Minnesota teacher is 41 years old and makes $53,680, similar to the national average of $55,623. When considering Minnesota’s relatively low cost of living, this makes becoming a teacher in the state an attractive option.

Minnesota Teaching Licensure Requirements

To become a teacher in Minnesota, you must hold a bachelor degree or higher from an accredited college or university. Online degree programs can be a smart choice for individuals with poor access to traditional, campus-based colleges. To receive a full professional license, you must complete a teacher-preparation program approved by the state Board of Education.

Those who have not completed an approved teacher-preparation program still have opportunities to become Minnesota educators. Through the limited full-time license, those who have successfully completed a bachelor degree and hold a minor in the area in which they wish to teach can work in a classroom. However, the school district must provide a verification form demonstrating that a hardship prevented the school from hiring a fully licensed teacher. Getting a limited license is a great way for midlife career changers to gain teaching experience while working toward completion of a teacher-preparation program.

Job Outlook for Minnesota Educators

Although the recession hit some parts of Minnesota hard, on the whole the state has a much stronger economy than the national average. As of April 2013, Minnesota had an unemployment rate of 5.3%, significantly lower than the national rate of 7.5%, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Furthermore, the education and health services sectors continue to add jobs, growing by 2.3% since April 2012. Individuals looking for teaching positions in Minnesota are expected to have strong options from which to choose. Overall, the outlook for educators in the state is strong compared to others in the region.

Benefits of Becoming a Teacher in Minnesota

Several areas of Minnesota have been designated official teacher-shortage areas by the U.S. Department of Education. Qualified teachers who accept positions in these areas may qualify for federal loan forgiveness or deferment programs. Many of these are rural areas, allowing teachers to gain experience working with underserved populations as well as to receive a financial incentive to take a more challenging position

Another benefit to working in Minnesota is the excellent teaching atmosphere. Minnesota families are often strongly dedicated to their children’s success. The quality of the teaching environment and abilities of the students translates into excellent standardized test scores. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Minnesota fourth- and eighth-graders outperform the national average in math, science, reading and writing. For teachers, it can be rewarding to work with students who work hard and show high achievement throughout their time in school.