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Teacher Certifications

Teacher Certifications

Anyone seeking educator certification in Texas must pass examinations of professional knowledge and subject content approved by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). In addition to passing the appropriate certification examinations, applicants for a Texas educator certificate must satisfy other requirements by following one of the several routes to educator certification listed below and must apply for certification using the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS) by going to www.tea.texas.gov. Select the ‘Texas Educators’ tab on the top bar, then from the list titled Certification click on ‘Initial Certification’. Next choose the option ‘ECOS Login’.

Routes to Educator Certification

  1. University-based Programs
    These programs are usually delivered as part of a baccalaureate degree program; however, most colleges and universities, also, have programs designed to prepare those who already hold a bachelor's and want to obtain educator certification. The only exemption from the degree requirement is for individuals seeking Career and Technology certification in certain courses such as welding or automotive technology. Since university-based programs may vary by institution, individuals should contact the college or university of their choice for degree and/or certification requirements.
  2. Alternative Programs for Educator Preparation
    Some institutions of higher education, school districts, regional service centers, community colleges, and other entities have been approved by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to operate alternative programs of preparation for teachers. These programs may involve university coursework or other professional development experiences as well as intense mentoring and supervision during the candidate's first year as an educator. Many of these programs can be completed in a year, during which time an individual may hold a paid teaching position in a public school classroom. A list of these Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) can be found at www.tea.texas.gov. Select the ‘Texas Educators’ tab on the top bar, then from the list titled Preparation and Continuing Education click on ‘Choosing an Educator Preparation Program’. In the first paragraph click on ‘approved EPPs’.
  3. Additional Certification Based on Examination
    A teacher who holds an appropriate Texas classroom teaching certificate and a bachelor's degree may add classroom certification areas by successfully completing the appropriate certification examination(s) for the area(s) sought. Certification by examination is not available for the following:
    • Initial certification
    • Career and Technology certification based on skill and work experience
    • A class of certificate other than classroom teacher (e.g. School Counselor, Principal, Superintendent, Learning Resources/School Librarian, Educational Diagnostician)
    • A certificate for which no certification examination has been developed

Teachers wishing to add certification by examination must apply online and pay for the certification online after passing the appropriate exam(s).

  • An applicant who has been issued a standard certificate or credential from another state, territory of the United States, or another country may apply for a Texas certificate. The credentials must be equivalent to a certificate issued by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) and must not have been revoked, suspended, or pending such action. SBEC will evaluate an expired credential provided it was standard at the time of issuance. A statement issued by another state department of education specifying eligibility for standard certification upon completion of certain employment or examination requirements will have the same standing as a standard certificate.
  • An applicant who holds a standard credential issued by a jurisdiction outside Texas and who meets specified requirements as determined by the review of credentials completed by SBEC may be issued a One-Year Certificate in one or more subject areas. During the validity of this temporary, nonrenewable certificate, the applicant must satisfactorily complete all appropriate examinations for each certification area for which continued certification is desired. Individuals who have completed an examination administered under the authority of a jurisdiction outside Texas that is determined to be comparable to a Texas test may request an exemption of the Texas test. Information on comparable out-of-state tests can be found at www.tea.texas.gov. Select the ‘Texas Educators’ tab on the top bar, then from the list titled Certification click on ‘Out-of-State Certification’.
    To apply for the review of credentials and the One-Year Certification, click on ‘Certification based on credentials from another country’ from that same ‘Out-of-Sate Certification’ web page, and follow the instructions. The review of credentials and the issuance of the One-Year Certificate require a nonrefundable online payment of $164 along with a separate processing fee for fingerprinting.
    To establish eligibility for the Standard Certificate, certified applicants from outside Texas must complete all requirements specified in the certification plan prepared by SBEC after completing the online credentials review.

Educational Paraprofessional

Applicants for Educational Aide positions shall have earned a high school diploma either from an accredited high school or through a GED program.


Applicants shall have at least 48 college hours or an Associate's Degree or Higher or must successfully complete the Paraprofessional Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (PAKS), and must have at least 2 years of child-related experience. Computer skills are preferred.

Applicants not meeting the stated requirements may also attend an accredited paraprofessional training program. Please refer to this link.