How to Become a Biology Teacher in Texas

Three Parts:Getting a Bachelor’s DegreeBecome Certified to Teach in TexasApplying for a Teaching Position

With more than 8,000 public and charter schools in the state of Texas, teaching jobs can be difficult for the administrators in Texas to fill. If you think you would find teaching biology to be a rewarding experience and you live in or plan to relocate to Texas, a biology teaching career may be for you.

Part 1
Getting a Bachelor’s Degree

  1. 1
    Research colleges. You can go to most any four-year college or university and get the education you’ll need to begin your path toward being a biology teacher. Simply make sure they offer a degree in biology or a related science.[1]
    • If you aren’t prepared financially or otherwise to enroll in a four-year school full-time, you can begin by taking classes at a local community college.
    • You may want to attend a large university with many programs of study, or a smaller college with a narrower focus.
  2. 2
    Apply to several schools. You may not get into the school of your choice, depending on your grades, your admissions essays, and your extracurricular activities. Choose a few colleges that you’re interested in and that you think you have a reasonable chance of getting into.[2]
    • You can get help preparing for standardized tests like the SAT or writing admissions essays to help your chances of getting into college.
    • Prestigious schools can have their perks, but attending a particularly prestigious school isn’t necessary to become a biology teacher in Texas.
  3. 3
    Enroll in the school of your choice. Once you’ve been accepted to at least one college, you’ll need to formally enroll. This involves filling out the necessary paperwork, paying for classes, and potentially applying for housing and financial aid.[3]
    • If you have taken community college classes or high school classes for college credit, be sure that they transfer when you enroll.
  4. Image titled Become a Biology Teacher in Texas Step 1
    Complete your bachelor's degree. In order to be a biology teacher, you’ll need to major in biology or another science. However, if you choose a science that isn’t biology, you’ll need to have taken a certain number of credit hours within the field of biology.[4]
    • Many high school biology teachers also have master’s degrees, though it’s not necessary if you don’t plan to teach at the college level.
    • You can opt to get a Master’s of Science, or a Masters' of Arts in teaching.
    • Your course load will be mostly in science, but you should also take classes that will help you in teaching. Classes in adolescent psychology or behavioral psychology can be very useful in teaching high school.
  5. 5
    Do relevant volunteer work. Make sure you spend some of your time in college preparing to teach by actually working with kids. There may be volunteer positions available through your school or in the local community.[5]
    • Volunteer work always looks great as experience on a resume.
    • The volunteer work you do may not be in teaching, but it will get you experience working in the schools. Find out what the school near you needs in terms of help.

Part 2
Become Certified to Teach in Texas

  1. 1
    Complete an educator preparation program. In order to become a teacher in Texas, you must complete one of the state’s Approved Educator Preparation Programs. These programs are available throughout the state.[6]
    • There are some financial resources that may be available to help you pay for these programs.
    • If you have already received a teaching certification in another state, you may simply need your credentials reviewed by the Texas school board.
    • These programs ensure you've completed the educational requirements you'll need to pass the exams and to be a good teacher.
    • Through these programs you'll apply for your certificate and take the required exams to become a teacher.
  2. 2
    Complete an Alternative Certification Program. It’s also possible to obtain your certification through an Alternative Certification Program (ACP). These programs allow you to teach while you’re still completing the requirements for teaching.[7]
    • ACPs are available through certain Texas universities and many can be completed in one year. Check with your local state university for details on their program.
    • ACPs will require that you complete a student teaching internship and that you develop a personal plan for certification with your faculty and advisors.
    • Through your ACP you’ll be given a probationary teaching certificate that allows you to teach or student teach while earning your actual certification. You’ll need to get your official Texas certification in order to teach beyond your time in the ACP.
  3. 3
    Pass certification exams. Once you have completed your educator preparation program, you’ll need to pass specific exams. The program you complete will be responsible for approving your exam.[8]
    • These exams should not be particularly rigorous if you’ve already completed the requisite courses of study.
    • These exams cover general competency in writing, reading, math and science.
    • You'll also need to pass an exam that focuses specifically on biology.
    • Currently, the maximum number of times you can take these exams is four.
  4. 4
    Complete certification and fingerprinting. Your educator preparation program will verify for you that you’re now eligible to be certified. Once you have done that, you can apply for certification. You’ll also need to be fingerprinted.[9]
    • Fingerprinting is part of a national background check that clears to you work with children.

Part 3
Applying for a Teaching Position

  1. 1
    Search for jobs. The easiest way to search for teaching jobs in Texas is through the state school board’s website. It will list any and all job openings currently available.[10]
    • Most elementary and middle schools don’t hire teachers as specifically biology teachers. Those positions are generally only available in high schools.
  2. 2
    Look for alternative positions. It might not be possible to find your ideal position right away. Do what you can to take an alternative job while you wait. It will help pay the bills while providing valuable work experience.[11]
    • Be sure to network while you’re in another position. Being a substitute or an aide can be a great way to meet the administration and let them know you’re looking for a full-time teaching position.
  3. 3
    Make sure that your resume looks good. Your resume should be in great shape and should highlight your volunteer work, your specialization in biology and any teaching experience you have.
    • Make sure you have good references lined up. Check in with pat professors or supervisors and let them know you'll be applying for jobs and would like to list them as a reference.
    • Your resume should emphasize all of the work you've done with young people as well as any achievements you've had in the field of biology.
  4. 4
    Apply for jobs. When you find an opening for a job you want, apply for it. Most schools do the most hiring in the early summer a few months before school starts. However, they may be hiring during the year due to extenuating circumstances.[12]
    • Always dress professionally for job interviews.
    • If you don't hear back after applying for a job, it's always good to call or email to follow up.
    • Apply for multiple jobs at once. You never know what will come through.


  • You may be able to transfer your existing teaching credential from another area to Texas. The Texas Board of Education recognizing teaching certificates from areas with standards similar to or more rigorous than those in Texas.

Article Info

Categories: Teaching