There are two general paths toward teaching certification, and the two teacher training programs cater to two different types of people. The first option is the traditional approach, which means a student will attend a college or university to obtain a bachelor's degree in education before going on to complete a teacher training program. This one of the two options for teacher training programs prepares the student for the necessary exams one must take in order to become certified in a particular region of a country. The second of the two teacher training programs is the non-traditional approach, in which a student obtains a degree in an unrelated field and chooses to become a teacher after the undergraduate degree is complete.
The latter of the two teacher training programs can be more work, but it allows a person who has completed a degree in another area to still enter the teaching field, as well as helping people who have worked in other fields to transition to the teaching field. This can happen a few different ways: a person may obtain a teaching position and work on the teaching certification requirements while teaching full-time, or a person may work on certification steps before obtaining a teaching job. If a person is working as a teacher and simultaneously working on teaching certification, that person will need to obtain a temporary teaching certificate as well as fingerprint clearance in order to be allowed to teach in a classroom.
The traditional route of teacher training programs involves attending a college or university with an established teacher training program and coursework. A student will be able to choose what particular area of education he or she wants to focus on. For example, a student may choose to become trained as an elementary school teacher, or he or she may choose to become a secondary school teacher. Others may even choose to focus on a particular subject, preparing them to be an English teacher, biology teacher, or math teacher. The requirements for each program will differ, but some requirements will be similar regardless of the focus. All candidates will need to pass the appropriate examinations and obtain the proper certifications before teaching.
Candidates who choose the non-traditional route of teacher training programs will still need to take college level coursework and he or she will also still need to take the appropriate examinations, but he or she will be able to piece the coursework together and work on it all while teaching full time. This means the candidate will need to research the local teaching requirements and be sure to fulfill each of those requirements properly, sometimes without the guidance of a professional in the field.