How to Become a Certified Art Instructor


Becoming an art instructor can be an extremely rewarding career path with a variety of options. Within this field, one can choose to work with children, adults, schools, residential facilities, correctional facilities, non-profit organizations, veteran homes, individuals and/or groups. Once the decision is made that art instruction is your chosen profession, there are several steps to follow in order to make this career choice a reality.

  • Choose a degree of study. Though educators must have some type of teaching training, as stated at, "those interested in becoming art teachers have the option of earning a bachelor's degree in art history, fine arts or a related field."

    If you know you want to teach in a K-12 school setting, then choose a B.S. in either Elementary, Middle or Secondary Education. If you may want to teach collegiately, then you may choose to pursue a degree in art history, fine arts or a related field.

  • Select and enroll in a learning institution based on your degree program. There are a multitude of schools that offer degrees in teacher education and will advise you toward fulfilling certification requirements.

    If you choose a degree that is not in teacher education, it is vital that you discuss your art teaching goals with an adviser so that you will know what courses you need to have completed in order to qualify for fulfilling certification requirements.

  • Arm yourself with teacher certification information by the start of your junior year in college. As the testing schedules vary, you should be aware of the availability, cost, question types and other information you can find regarding the certification test you need. This gives you an opportunity to properly prepare for the test, which is essential for successfully completing your certification. (See for Praxis testing information)

  • Take practice tests. Colleges and universities that offer teacher education have practice testing and test-taking skills sessions available to aspiring educators. Also, once you complete Step 3, you will come across a free practice test in your information packet. Test prep materials are always available, as well.

  • Take the actual test. It is best to take the test at the beginning of your last year of course study. Doing so will allow you the chance to re-take the test if your scores are less than desirable.

    Schools generally begin reviewing applications for the the school year from February to March, four months before the start of the school year. You want to have a passed test by your graduation in May or June in order to make you a candidate for hiring as soon as walk across the stage, so that you can begin your career as a certified art instructor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although teacher certifications can be transferred between states, each state has its own teacher certification requirements. Research the requirements for the state you plan on working in before you complete your Bachelor's degree to make sure you have taken all necessary courses. For example, if you are going to school in California but plan to teach in Texas, you will find out that you would have to take an additional certification test in addition to the Praxis.


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