What Kind of Degree Do I Need to Become a Biology Teacher?

Biology teachers are natural-science teachers who specialise in the study of life and all living organisms. They usually teach at the secondary- or middle-school levels. Biology is a broad subject that encompasses many aspects of science and requires much education in various branches of science.

Teachers must possess a firm understanding of chemistry, botany, genetics, anatomy and physiology.

High School

Although there are no required high school courses a student must take to become a biology teacher, it is recommended that those interested in teaching the subject focus heavily on science and math. Recommended courses include biology, physics, English, health, chemistry and mathematics.


All states require teachers of any grade level and subject to hold a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Students should focus on education courses as well as courses in science subjects. Students who go on to graduate school and obtain a master's degree in biology will have a better chance of being hired as a biology teacher.

Certification and Licensing

All states require teachers to be licensed and certified in the state where they intend to teach. Certification and licensing requirements vary from state to state.

Median Income

According to the National Institutes of Health's Office of Science Education, the median annual income for secondary-school biology teachers in 2008 was £33,280. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income for all state school teachers was between £30,615 and £33,267 in May 2008.