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Which Teaching Credential is Right for Me?

Alliant International University
Published 10/30/2018
3 minutes read
The content of this page is only for informational purposes and is not intended, expressly or by implication, as a guarantee of employment or salary, which vary based on many factors including but not limited to education, credentials, and experience. Alliant International University explicitly makes no representations or guarantees about the accuracy of the information provided by any prospective employer or any other website. Salary information available on the internet may not reflect the typical experience of Alliant graduates. Alliant does not guarantee that any graduate will be placed with a particular employer or in any specific employment position.

You will need a teacher certification credential to become a school teacher, but what type of teaching credential is right for you? Find out what you can do with the different types of teaching credentials.

Find Your Path

What are the Types of Teaching Credentials?

Elementary school teaching credentials allow you to teach pre-K, kindergarten, and elementary education.1 Credentials for elementary education cover multiple subjects, rather than a single subject, such as math or history.

Secondary school teaching credentials cover a single subject, rather than multiple subjects. You’ll be prepared to teach the subject at various levels, from elementary school, middle school, and high school up to adult education.2

As the name implies, special education teaching credentials prepare you to teach special education. Individuals with special education teaching credentials may teach in classrooms, special schools, home settings, hospitals, or other settings. There are specialties available here, for instance for early childhood education, visual health impairments, or physical health impairments.3

Which Teaching Credential is Right?

The right teaching credential will allow you to teach the subject that interests you to the level of children or adults you want to work with. If you have a passion for working with young children, then an elementary school teaching credential is a strong fit for your professional development.

If you would prefer to teach one subject instead of multiple, then you may prefer a secondary school teaching credential. Likewise, if you are highly interested in one topic, you’ll be able to pursue your passions more with secondary school teaching credentials.

Consider what teaching experience you would most enjoy. Would you rather teach critical thinking and academic skills or direct children in play? If you’re not sure what age group is right, volunteer with children to get a better idea of what you enjoy.

Once you’ve made the decision, find a student teaching training program and prepare to obtain your teaching credentials.

Interested in learning more about CA teaching, online teaching credentials, or any of our other teacher education programs? Contact an Alliant admissions counselor today. Check out our full list of online programs today to take the next step in your career. 

Become a teacher


  1. “Elementary School Teacher Career Guide,” Teacher Certification Degrees, accessed November 22, 2021,….
  2. “High School Teacher Career Guide.” Teacher Certification Degrees. Accessed November 22, 2021.…;
  3. “Teaching Special Education.” Teaching Special Education. Accessed November 22, 2021.…;

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