How To Become a History Teacher in 5 Steps (Plus Salary Outlook)

How to Become a History Teacher
  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in history and complete a teacher preparation program.
  2. Complete a student teaching internship at the grade level(s) to be taught.
  3. Take your state’s required exams for prospective teachers.
  4. Apply for your teaching license.


Average history teacher salary

From 2020 to 2030, it is anticipated that employment in the education, training, and library sectors will increase by 10%, or about as quickly as the national average for all occupations. Between 2020 and 2030, 920,500 new jobs are anticipated to be created.

What does a history teacher do?

A history teacher educates students about historical occurrences, whether they were local or global in scope. A range of grade levels, from middle school through high school and occasionally post-secondary institutions, are served by history teachers.

On a typical day history teachers will:

How to become a history teacher

To become a history teacher, follow these five steps:

1. Earn a bachelors degree in history

To become a history teacher, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree, preferably in history. You should look for a college or university that offers both a state-approved teacher preparation program and a reputable history program. These two courses will enable you to become knowledgeable about historical subjects and prepare you to work as a teacher in that state.

You will probably spend the first two years of your undergraduate studies taking general education courses as well as a few lower-level history courses. You can declare history as your major and apply for the teacher preparation program once you are in your third year. After that, you’ll start taking history classes at a higher level and classes on how to teach.

Instead of focusing on a particular period or culture, you should try to take history courses that cover a variety of topics. You can use this as a starting point for studying various historical topics. You can enroll in more challenging courses as part of your master’s degree if you decide later that you want to teach a particular time or culture at the high school or university level.

History teachers can also find employment in other fields, such as:

2. Complete a teacher preparation program

You must enroll in and successfully complete a teacher preparation program as part of your undergraduate studies. Through these courses, you will learn things such as:

A grade point average of 2 is typically required for teacher preparation programs. 5 before acceptance into the program. Some additionally demand an introductory course, which you must pass before continuing with other courses.

The majority of the program’s courses are taught in a classroom environment at your school or college. However, many programs also call for student teaching experiences, where you get to practice teaching while being guided by an experienced instructor at a different nearby school.

3. Complete an internship

Your college or university will pair you up with a teacher from a nearby school to complete this internship. Based on the course you want to teach and the students’ ages, they will pair you up with a suitable candidate. As a result, history or social studies teachers will be assigned to students aspiring to become history teachers.

After that, you will participate actively in that teacher’s classroom for several months, helping students, creating lesson plans, and delivering lessons to the class. The instructor will be available to respond to any inquiries you may have, offer guidance, and provide you with an evaluation at the conclusion of the semester.

To graduate, you must successfully complete your student-teaching experience and receive a favorable evaluation.

4. Pass certification tests and apply for your teaching license

After completing your undergraduate studies, you must earn certifications that have been approved by the state. These tests serve as evidence of your readiness to teach and are mandated by your state. You should research the standards in the state where you want to teach because each state has different tests and requirements.

The Praxis Series and the National Evaluation Series are two of the most popular certification exams. Your state determines which tests you must take and how well you must perform on each. You will be qualified to receive your state’s teacher certification after passing these exams. Your state will require you to submit an application before it will consider it and grant you a teaching license.

5. Apply for open history teacher positions

Once you have your teaching license, you can begin looking for open positions. You should seek out teaching positions in history for the age range you want to work with. You can find open positions and submit applications through the job placement service offered by your college or university.

However, because most schools prefer to hire teachers with experience, it is more difficult for recent graduates to find employment. If you can’t find a full-time job, look for opportunities where you can gain experience.

Frequently asked questions

The following are responses to some frequently asked questions about becoming and performing as a history teacher:

How can I increase my chances of getting a history teacher job?

You can do a number of things to strengthen your resume and improve your chances of landing a job as a history teacher. For starters, you should look to gain relevant experience. Consider volunteering your teaching services at local youth organizations. You can also become a member of local historical societies to gain more knowledge about your town or city.

Additionally, there are particular regions of the United States that are in dire need of teachers. Even though it can be difficult, teaching in underserved areas can be rewarding. Perhaps most advantageously, you might be eligible for student loan forgiveness if you teach for five straight years in low-income areas.

What skills should a history teacher have?

A history teacher needs:

How long does it take to become a history teacher?

A history teacher can expect to enter the profession after four years on average. The majority of this time is spent in undergraduate studies, after which it will only be a matter of time before you land your first position as a history teacher.

How can history teachers advance their careers?

How do I become a history professor for a college or university?

You must obtain a master’s or doctoral degree if you intend to teach college students. The coursework for masters programs typically lasts two years and may include lectures, research, and classroom study on a single topic. Earning your doctor of philosophy (Ph. D. degree can take three to five years and calls for choosing a topic or geographic specialization, such as 20th century, medieval, or military history, or Latin American or Asian studies.

Being a teaching assistant in graduate school for a few semesters, working as an assistant, associate, or adjunct professor in a department, or having previously taught social studies or history in middle or high schools are all examples of prior experience that is frequently required in order to be hired as a history professor.


Is becoming a history teacher worth it?

Teachers of history assist students in learning about historical events and in applying what they have learned to the present. Being a history teacher is a good career choice if you have always had a passion for the subject and a desire to teach others about it.

How many years does it take to become a history professor?

For the majority of educational institutions, including high schools and community colleges, obtaining the position of history professor frequently requires a minimum of a master’s degree. However, a Ph.D. is frequently required for higher-level teaching positions, such as full-time, tenure-track university professorships.

What degree is best for a history teacher?

Middle and high school history teachers must have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum, preferably in history, political science, anthropology, or social studies.

What qualifications do I need to be a history teacher UK?

Obtain historical credentials At the very least, excellent GCSE and A-Level history scores would be beneficial. Furthermore, GCSE English and Maths at Grade C or higher are a prerequisite in the UK, though exceptions can occasionally be made with sufficient justification of competence.

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