Becoming a Physics Teacher

Preparing for a Career Teaching High School Physics

Consider Teaching

High Ranking Job Satisfaction
Teaching can be one of the most rewarding and challenging careers, particularly for graduates with a B.S. in physics. In addition, physics teachers are highly sought after almost anywhere in the United States. Have you considered a career in teaching?

Find a Program

Physics Teacher Preparation
The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) maintains a map and a descriptive list of many of the top U.S. teacher-preparation programs dedicated to improving physics teacher preparation. You can find descriptions of programs.
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Find the Right People to Talk to

Teaching Options
If you're an undergraduate, talk to your advisor in the physics department about the best course sequence to take to prepare for becoming a teacher. Many departments have a physics program geared specifically for future teachers.

If you want to teach in public school, you will need a teaching certificate. If you are at a university with an Education School or Department, you may wish to talk to an advisor there about fulfilling teaching certification requirements. If your school does not have an Education program, you may need to find a Master's or post-baccalaureate program at a different institution after you complete your physics degree.

Alternative routes to teaching that do not require certification include teaching in a private school, and programs like Teach for America.

How to Pay for It

Many universities offer Noyce Scholarships for future science and math teachers. Find out if your school offers them.
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Gray arrow Noyce Scholarship Video

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) also offer scholarships for future teachers.
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Want to Learn More?

Webinar: Becoming a Physics Teacher
View an APS-hosted a webinar on Becoming a Physics Teacher, with a presentation by Eugenia Etkina, who directs the physics teacher preparation program at Rutgers University.
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Joining a Professional Society

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) offers membership at a reduced rate for undergraduates.
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