Education Requirements for Becoming an English Teacher in Montana

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Montana is home to more than 800 public schools scattered across its vast open territory. Teaching English language arts in Montana will afford you the opportunity to work with students that tend to do well in their studies. The National Center for Educational Statistics ranks Montana students above the national average with scores that are higher on almost all subjects (including English language arts).

If you decide to pursue a teaching career here, there are just a few basic steps to take in order to prepare you for state licensing. Follow the steps below and in a few short years, you will be ready to teach English language arts in Montana.

Complete Your Educational Program
Apply for a Teaching License
Upgrade Your License to the Next Level



Step 1. Complete Your Education

To get you started on the path to teaching, you will need to earn a degree. The basic requirements are a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program that will allow you to apply for the proper licensing endorsement.

Montana offers teaching endorsements for Elementary school grades K-8 in all subjects (there isn’t a separate licensing endorsement for middle school). You may also seek a K-12 endorsement. If this is the case, you will be evaluated based on the courses you take in your teacher preparation program. You will need to show that you have taken the necessary subjects applicable for both elementary and secondary grades.

For teachers who wish to teach at the secondary level and receive a K-12 endorsement, you will need to complete one of the following requirements as part of your degree:

  • Take a minimum of thirty semester hours in English language arts as a major and twenty semester hours in an acceptable minor
  • Forty semester hours with a major that is broad in content

There are currently ten accredited schools that offer teaching preparation programs in Montana. These programs are divided into elementary education and secondary education in language arts and English.

Each program is designed to give you a broad education as well as focused preparation in teaching skills. Your course load will include science, math, history, electives and a multitude of English language arts courses. The teacher preparation program will be at the end of your degree.

During this portion of your education, you will learn classroom skills and have the opportunity to teach in a school setting. Once you have completed your courses, you will be ready for the next step.

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Step 2. Apply for a Teaching License

The first license you will apply for in Montana is a Class Two Standard License. While most states require applicants to pass state exams, at this time, Montana does not require testing in order to apply.

The requirements to qualify for this license are as follows:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree
  • Complete a professional educator preparation program
  • Complete a supervised teaching internship program either as part of your degree program or as an adjunct one-year teaching experience in a Montana public school
  • Have a university recommendation form filled out
  • Download the application form and fill out
  • Have the application form notarized
  • Request and submit a fingerprint card. (Cards are available at law enforcement offices. Call the Montana Department of Justice at 406-444-3625 to order a card).
  • Follow all instructions on the application form
  • Gather all your supporting documents

When you have completed the above, you can mail all your paperwork to the following address:

Montana Office of Public Instruction
Attn: Educator Licensure
P.O. Box 202501
Helena, MT 59620-2501

This license will be valid for five years at which time you will need to renew or upgrade.



Step 3. Upgrade to a Professional License

Once you have been teaching for several years, you may want to consider upgrading your Class Two Standard License to a Professional License. There are many perks to upgrading including a higher salary. In order to qualify, you will need to complete the following:

  • Earn a Master’s degree in your field.
  • Complete a teacher preparation program (this may be accomplished as part of your original undergraduate degree).
  • Complete three years as a contracted teacher in one of the accredited public schools in Montana.



Montana English Teacher Salaries

Montana is the home of wide open plains and buttes known historically for its rich copper mines, cattle, and fields of crops such as flax, oat, and wheat. Montana is a rugged, unspoiled part of the West where each year tourist flock to wilderness areas like Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. Becoming a teacher in Montana will allow you to partake in a lifestyle that is unique to this beautiful part of the country.

There are currently 826 schools in Montana with just over 10,000 teachers. Montana has less than 175,000 total student populations making the schools low in teacher student ratios. The teacher salaries in Montana schools will be different depending on where you plan to teach. For example, a middle school English teacher can expect the following salary in these Montana schools:


  • Entry Level with a BA – $36,821
  • Entry Level with an MA or BA+ 60 – $42,077


  • Entry Level with a BA – $37,114
  • Entry Level with an MA or BA+ 90 – $46,132

In addition to salary, other considerations such as fringe benefits like insurance can impact your take home pay. These days with the cost of health care rising, finding a school district that offers better health coverage could boost your salary. For instance Bozeman schools pay up to $749 a year per family for health coverage.

Butte schools pay $687 per employee, but give you the option to receive a monthly cash allowance in lieu of an insurance payment equal to the contribution of the district per their contract. This could be a significant difference for some who are single. Benefits are always worth considering in light of tees facts.

To see additional salary data and information for Montana see the table below:

Area Name
Annual Median Salary
Southwestern Montana nonmetropolitan area

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