Become a Teacher in Mississippi

Mississippi Highlights


Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary $41,760
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary $43,100
Vacation Weeks per Year 15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio 1:22
Expenditure per Pupil $8,263

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

P.O. Box 771
Jackson, MS 39205
(601) 359-3513

Mississippi Teacher Shortage Areas

A teacher shortage occurs when there are not enough teachers in key subject areas, which has been partly caused by years of teacher layoffs during the Great Recession, a growing student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs, according to the Learning Policy Institute.

The following is a list of teacher shortage areas in Mississippi for the 2016-17 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education (see page 87).

  • Foreign Language (French, German, Spanish)
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Special Education

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Mississippi

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 11/15/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Mississippi, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a Mississippi teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Mississippi Teaching Credential

To earn your Mississippi teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program.

Learn more about getting your teaching credential on

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Mississippi

All states require at least a bachelor’s degree to teach. Some states require additional undergraduate coursework, but Mississippi does not.

Step Two: Mississippi Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher Certification Programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area.

Step Three: Required Tests for Mississippi

Most states require tests to show competency in basic skills as well as in the desired subject area. Mississippi requires the PPST (Pre Professional Skills Test) for Basic Skills and the Praxis II: Subject Tests as well as the Praxis II PLT (Principles of Learning and Teaching) Test for Subject Area competency.

You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep. Read more about teacher certification tests.

For more information about testing requirements please visit the Mississippi Department of Education or go to the ETS website.

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Featured Online Programs

Explore your career options in education:

Boost your credentials: in this 8-week online course, you'll engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective and engaging teaching methods in the higher education context. Refine your own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy and set yourself apart as effective educator.

BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons is the highly respected Master of Science in Behavior Analysis program delivered online from Simmons College. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.

Counseling@NYU offers an online master of arts in Counseling and Guidance program, with concentrations in school and bilingual school counseling to prepare students to become collaborative leaders elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Part-time and full-time options are available to fit student schedules.

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.

The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.

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Alternative Teacher Certification in Mississippi

In order to receive your teacher certification through an alternate route in Mississippi, you must use one of four state-approved Alternate Route Programs. You can pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching without having a bachelor's degree in education, pursue the MS Alternate Path to Quality Teachers (MAPQT), participate in the Teach Mississippi Institute, or the ABCTE alternative certification program, an online course typically completed over 8-10 months. This certification can be attained while taking other college courses, or working full time. All alternate route programs in Mississippi require testing, a training program or coursework and a one-year internship.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Mississippi

It is no longer enough to only have years of experience for teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, teachers are almost solely evaluated by their success in the classroom. A master's degree in the field of education can give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor.

After a master's program, you may be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay. A master’s degree in Mississippi can lead to a $2,400 increase in initial salary over holding just a bachelor’s degree and increases with more years of experience, according to a 2016-17 salary schedule provided by the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

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Certification Reciprocity in Mississippi

Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in Mississippi, visit the reciprocity page. Or, for more specific questions about your situation, contact the Mississippi Department of Education.

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Financial Aid in Mississippi

Mississippi residents are eligible for the Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship as well as the TEACH Grant, a grant which gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need school.

Learn more about how to finance your master's degree on

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Mississippi Teacher Salary and Incentives

In Mississippi, teachers earned an average of  $41,994 per year in 2012-13, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Mississippi provides additional salary for teachers in high needs schools and shortage subjects. for more specific salary information, the Department of Education publishes the annual Mississippi Teacher Salary Schedule.

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Mississippi Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Mississippi public school teachers with at least 25 years of teaching experience at age 60 or older, are eligible for full retirement benefits for life under the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS). Retirement benefits are calculated using average compensation and years of creditable teaching service. PERS also handles health insurance for Mississippi teacher retirees.

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Professional Development for Teachers in Mississippi

The Mississippi Teacher Center provides information on the Mississippi Beginning Teacher Support Program, a mentoring and induction program for prospective teachers in Mississippi. Mississippi Teachers Continuing Education provides listings for conferences, workshops and courses that teachers can use in their professional development.  

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Mississippi Teaching Jobs

Mississippi teaching jobs can be found by looking at the vacancies listing on the Job Placement Service of the Mississippi Teacher Center.

Learn more about finding a teaching job on

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