Becoming Certified

Requirements for Texas Educator Certification

Candidates seeking standard certification in the state of Texas will need to complete the following:

  1. Complete program requirements.
  2. Graduate (or already possess a conferred Bachelor’s degree).
  3. Pass all appropriate certification exams (content and pedagogy).
  4. Apply for standard/intern/probationary certification with TEA and pay the fee.
  5. Complete fingerprinting and pass a required national background check.
  6. Submit a request to be recommended for certification with required documentation.

Requirements for Alternative Texas Teacher Certification

Alternative certification programs (ACP’s) offer a nontraditional route to certification that may allow you to teach while completing the requirements.  If you are interested in seeking alternative certification, please review more about the steps here.  Steps include:

  • Decide what you would like to teach
  • Select an approved Texas Alternative Certification Program
  • Meet the screening criteria of the program
  • Develop a certification plan with your program
  • Obtain a teaching position
  • Apply for a probationary certificate
  • Complete all requirements for a standard certificate
  • Apply for a standard certificate
  • Congrats! You are a certified Texas educator!

For any candidate seeking alternative teacher certification program who is seeking an internship certificate, please complete the top portion of the Statement of Eligibility form. After the top portion is complete and signed by the appropriate parties, the form will need to be sent to the hiring district for verification of internship.

Required Fingerprinting of Applicants for Certification

TEA requires that applicants for a Texas certification must be fingerprinted through their contracted DPS vendor unless the applicant currently resides outside Texas, and is unable to utilize a Texas location of the vendor.  For further information click: TEA Fingerprinting.

  • A fee of $39.50 is required for processing of fingerprints though DPS, FBI and TEA. TEA requires all applicants for certification and all certified educators required to be fingerprinted under TEC Chapter 22, Subchapter C to pay this fingerprinting fee online.
  • An additional fee of $9.95 is paid to the vendor at the time of appointment. This fee is assessed for scanning of prints.
  • A FAST Fingerprint Pass is issued to the applicant/educator by TEA once online payment has been made; a fingerprinting appointment cannot be scheduled without this document in hand. This document, along with a valid photo ID must be presented at the time of appointment.
  • Fingerprinting results are received by TEA typically 3-5 days after the appointment.
  • Digital fingerprinting through the vendor is offered at over 80 locations currently. For a list of current sites, click: Vendor Sites

Fee Waivers for Military Service

Under Senate Bill 807, certain educator certification fees are waived for members of the military, military spouses, and military veterans. Military service members can also use military experience to meet certain requirements under the Health Science and Trade Industrial Education Certification. For more information, go to 

Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation of Educator Certification Candidates

A Request for Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation is a non-mandatory, non-binding evaluation of an individual’s self-reported criminal history, by the agency’s educator investigations staff. The evaluation is a service provided to the requestor for a non-refundable fee made by credit card. The requestor will receive a preliminary criminal history evaluation letter by email from the agency advising the requestor of a determination of potential ineligibility for educator certification. The evaluation is based solely on the information that is provided by the requestor. Participation in the evaluation will not preclude you from being required to submit to a national criminal history review at the time you apply for your educator certification. This means you will be required to be fingerprinted and to pay the applicable fees at that time. Your criminal history will be reviewed at that time and you may be subject to an investigation based on that criminal history, including any relevant information regarding the criminal history evaluated that you failed to submit for evaluation. For further information or to request this service, please visit the TEA website.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I pass all of my certification exams, will I become certified?

Certification only occurs when a candidate has met all requirements - including degree requirements, internship requirements, program requirements, testing, background check, and application and fee for certification.  Please consult your program for specifics.

How do I receive approval to be recommended for certification?

First, apply for certification through TEAL and pay your fee. Then, complete and submit the Recommendation for Certification form at the top of this page.

What documentation do I produce for my background check?

Your TEAL account will show you a screen with your fingerprinting status. To process your request for certification, include verification of that green box with the words, "complete."