05.22.2024

How to Become a STEM Teacher in Texas

How to Become a STEM Teacher in Texas

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It’s all about sparking creativity and critical thinking in students. As a STEM instructor, you’ll have the exciting job of teaching kids to solve real-life problems with hands-on, research-based methods.

You’ll create fun and innovative learning spaces where lessons are brought to life with practical, real-world examples. Your role will aim to eliminate boring rote learning and promote skills that students can actually use every day!

Sounds good? Here is your ultimate guide to becoming a STEM teacher in Texas.

Woman doing research online

Gain Minimum Eligibility

To become a STEM teacher in Texas, you’ll need to meet some minimum eligibility requirements. First, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.5 or higher from an accredited university. Additionally, a strong science background is essential. Choose a major in the subject area you want to teach, such as math, chemistry, physics, biology, or a related field.

Enroll in EPP

If you have already graduated, you need to apply for the EPP or Educator Preparation Program. Those who haven’t yet graduated can apply for EPP alongside their graduation.

Apply for a traditional EPP course here if you want to complete EPP alongside graduation. Others need to apply for an alternative or post-baccalaureate EPP.

EPP, or Educator Preparation Program, is a state-approved program that prepares applicants for classroom teaching. The program provides theoretical and practical knowledge focused on instilling the qualities of a good teacher. It also provides on-field teaching experience that helps aspirants face the students easily after they receive the certificate.

To become a STEM teacher, you have to complete EPP in any of the STEM-related subject areas like Mathematics, Science, Physical Science/Mathematics/Engineering, and more.

Your EPP will help you prepare for the Texas educator certification examinations (the next step) and help you understand the exam content.

Man doing online application

Apply For Teacher Certification Tests

Once you complete your Educator Preparation Program (EPP) course, you’ll need to register for and take the teacher certification tests in your subject area. Don’t worry—your EPP will guide you through the entire process.

They will help you create an account, register for exams, choose an appointment date and center, and provide practice tests to prepare you for success.

To become a STEM teacher, you can choose and register for any of the subjects mentioned below:

  • Chemistry (grades 7–12) (240)
  • Computer Science (grades 7–12) (241)
  • Health Science (grades 6–12) (273)
  • Life Science (grades 7–12) (238)
  • Mathematics (grades 4–8) (115)
  • Mathematics (grades 7–12) (235)
  • Mathematics, Physical Science/ Engineering (grades 6–12) (274)
  • Mathematics / Science (grades 4–8) (114)
  • Physical Science (grades 6–12) (237)
  • Physics/Mathematics (grades 7–12) (243)
  • Science (grades 4–8) (118)
  • Science (grades 7–12) (232)
  • Technology Education (grades 6–12) (171)

You can also get help from your EPP in deciding which subject area to choose before registering for the exam.

Apart from these subject area tests, you also have to register for a mandatory test as required for first-time educators in Texas: Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 (160). The exam is 5 hours long and contains 100 selected response questions.

The passing score for all exams is 240, and the fee is $116. You can also reappear for the test if you fail on the first attempt.

young businesswoman prints on the printer in the office

Apply For a Texas Educator Certificate

Once you have registered, appeared, and received your results, you can apply for the Texas educator certification through the TEA’s official website.

To apply for the certificate, you need to create your TEA account. For this, go to its official website and click on TEAL login. Now, click on Request a New User Account.

Fill out the form that appears on the screen. Under the organization option, choose Educator, complete the rest of the form, and submit.

Apply For a Standard Certificate Using Your ECOS Portal

Once you have created your TEAL account, you will be directed to your educator profile. If you are unable to access your ECOS portal, you can take advantage of this guide.

After accessing your Educator profile, you can apply for standard certification from the left vertical menu. Go to Applications and select Standard Certificate from the drop-down menu. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process.

Complete the Fingerprinting Process

When the Texas Education Agency (TEA) receives your standard certificate request, they will email you instructions to complete the fingerprinting process. This step is necessary before you can be granted your educator standard certificate.

Here’s what you need to do for the fingerprinting process:

  • Schedule an appointment using the instructions provided in the email.
  • Pay the fingerprinting fees to initiate the process.

Fingerprinting will be conducted by IDENTOGO/Morpho Trust, the TEA’s approved vendor, as part of a background check. You can check the status of your fingerprinting through your ECOS portal.

Download and Print the Certificate

Once you pass the fingerprinting process, you’ll receive your Texas educator certificate. You can download and print this certificate from your ECOS portal.

Congratulations! You are now a certified STEM teacher in Texas and can start applying for teaching positions across the state.

The good news doesn’t stop there—the Texas educator certificate is also recognized in other states through teacher reciprocity agreements. This means you can present your Texas educator certificate to schools in other states without needing to go through additional processes to prove your qualifications.

happy young teacher helping his teen students with diy robot on stem education class

Complete The Renewal Requirements

Once you secure a teaching position, you are required to complete 150 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) within five years. If you don’t meet this requirement within the five-year period, you will need to apply for a standard certificate again.

To fulfill your CPE hours, you must use one of the state-approved CPE providers.

Additionally, you can renew your standard certificate before it expires through your ECOS portal, ensuring you stay compliant and continue your teaching career without interruption.

STEM Teacher Salary in Texas

As per Talent.com, a STEM teacher in Texas can collect an average salary of $48,750 per month, with a minimum of $40,950 and a maximum of $60,500. This data is based on 150 salaries.

The salary varies as per your school, experience, subject area, and the Texas city you are in.

Role of STEM Teachers

As a STEM teacher in Texas, you’ll follow quality learning progressions whether you’re working with kindergarteners or high schoolers. Your role starts with getting to know your students through pre-assessment, where you’ll observe their existing skills, decision-making abilities, and content knowledge. This helps you tailor your teaching to meet each student’s needs.

You’ll use fun and engaging methods like project-based learning, real-world tasks, and content-based assessments to make sure students are really grasping the material. And your classroom isn’t just limited to four walls. You’ll be taking learning to the library, media room, cafeteria, playground, virtual spaces, and even off-campus. This way, students can experience STEM in a variety of exciting and practical settings.

Become a STEM Teacher in Texas Now!

Anyone with a science background can become a STEM teacher in Texas by following its usual educator program. After completing your bachelor’s degree, complete the EPP, appear for certification tests, and get your Texas standard certificate without much hassle.

If you are a non-US resident, you may have to apply for an out-of-country standard certificate, which involves an extra step of review of credentials, wherein they review the authenticity of your teacher certificate.

So, are you ready to become a STEM teacher in Texas? Join TeacherBuilder.com to kickstart your journey. Our 100% online curriculum and first-year teaching support make the certification process easy. Contact us today to learn more.

Disclaimer

This article does not contain legal, educational, or government advice. As regulations can change from time to time, readers are advised to check with their local education departments to receive up-to-date information.

Resources

Learn more about the tools you need to pass your teacher certification exam!

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