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For School Employees

If you already work or volunteer in a Houston school, you can turn your experience into a rewarding teaching career.

You’re already uniquely qualified

Paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, support staff and volunteers have demonstrated their commitment to education in and around the classroom. Whether you already have a bachelor’s degree or not, TEACH for Houston and our partner educator preparation programs can accelerate your path to earning your teacher certification.

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  • 5,000

    Open teaching positions every year

  • $65,000

    Potential salary with financial assistance opportunities

  • 19

    Partner educator preparation providers

Here’s What it Takes

To become a teacher in Houston, you need at least one teacher certification endorsement. To get it, follow the steps below.
  1. 1

    Earn your degree.

    If you haven’t earned your bachelor’s degree, several programs allow you to earn it and your certification at the same time. If you’re thinking about a master’s degree or other post-baccalaureate program, we’ve got you covered there, too. 

  2. 2

    Complete an educator preparation program.

    Decide the grades and subjects you want to teach, and explore the prep programs offered by our 13 partner providers, including programs for working professionals and school employees.

    For more details about getting certified to teach, check out our About Certification page.

  3. 3

    Pass Texas certification exams.

    You’ll have to pass one or more exams that evaluate your knowledge of teaching and the subject area you wish to teach. Depending on your educator preparation program, you may need to take a content test before you apply to the program, or you might end up taking it after enrolling. Tests usually cost $131 each, and you are allowed up to five attempts to pass.

    Pro Tip: You may see these exams referred to as the Pre-Admissions Content Test (PACT) or the Texas Examinations for Educator Standards (TExES). If  you’re taking the test prior to admission, it’s the PACT, but otherwise it’s the TExES. See Texas Educator Certification Testing for more details.

Funding Your Certification

We know getting certified is a big decision and that funding your certification might be holding you back. Here are some things to consider and some resources to explore to help make your teacher prep program more affordable.

You’ll have more job opportunities and more ways to fund your education if you teach in a state-designated shortage area.

  • If you plan to teach in a critical shortage area you may be eligible for the Educational Aide Exemption Program, which provides need-based exemptions from tuition and fees for some paraprofessionals and substitute teachers.
  • You’ll have additional options for loan forgiveness by teaching in a high-needs area, so you can feel more confident if you need to take education loans for your program.

Explore ways TEACH for Houston can support you:

Featured Programs

  • The following partners participate in the Educational Aide Exemption Program, which provides need-based exemptions from tuition and fees for some paraprofessionals and substitute teachers getting certified in state-designated shortage areas: Sam Houston State University, Texas Southern University, University of Houston and University of Houston-Clear Lake.

    That means that you may be eligible to finish your degree and get certified tuition-free!



    INSPIRE is one of the largest public alternative certification programs in the state.

    Learn More
  • KIPP Graduate Teaching Fellowship

    KIPP Graduate Teaching Fellowship

    KIPP Texas is part of a network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools preparing students in under-served communities.

    Learn More
  • Rice University

    Rice University

    Students enter our program following a teacher certification path, a five-year Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) path or both.

    Learn More
  • Sam Houston State University

    Sam Houston State University

    Sam Houston State University continually strives to honor it's historical roots through academic excellence. 

    Learn More
  • Teach For America Houston

    Teach For America Houston

    TFA's mission is to enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of the nation's most promising future leaders.

    Learn More
  • Teaching Excellence

    Teaching Excellence

    TE has been responsible for the development and certification of thousands of teachers across Houston. 

    Learn More

Talk to a TEACH for Houston Coach

We get it—becoming a teacher is a big decision with many choices to make along the way. You don’t have to do it alone. A coach can walk you through program options, application steps, and answer any questions you have along the way.

If you’re not sure about your path quite yet, you can talk to a Houston teacher to get advice, weigh career options and feel encouraged to make an informed choice.


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