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Teaching as a Second Career

If you’re a working professional or graduate student looking to change careers to become a teacher, your experience from the professional world can help lead students to academic and personal growth.

In fact, 38 percent of people who joined Teach For America in 2023 were in the workforce before becoming a teacher. Some graduated from college two years ago and others made the jump into teaching after decades of experience, making teaching their second or even third career.
Teach helping student
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Teach For America's Corps

Teach For America's Corps

TFA corps members, as they’re called, teach full time for at least two years in schools that are underserved due to systemic racism and/or poverty. It’s our mission to find, develop, and support equity-oriented leaders to go on to transform education and expand opportunity with children, starting in the classroom. We have nearly 30 years of experience doing just that. In joining TFA, corps members:

  • Receive training and support
  • Are hired by local schools or districts
  • Are paid a full-time salary with benefits
  • Work towards certification while in the corps

At Teach For America it is possible to have a meaningful impact with young people right away, discover community with like-minded individuals, develop your leadership skills to grow professionally, and unlock a career that will transform your life—all while earning a full-time teacher’s salary with benefits.

3 Reasons Why People Consider TFA Later in Their Career

3 Reasons Why People Consider TFA Later in Their Career

There are many reasons for changing your career—craving purpose and impact, feeling burnout, wanting to align your career with your values—just to name a few. Every corps member has their unique “why” for entering the classroom. Below are the top three reasons why others like you chose to take the leap into a new career in teaching.

Teacher in classroom

Is This Career Change for You?

Is This Career Change for You?

Teaching is the most challenging, rewarding, and important job in the world. You’ll engage with rigorous training, coaching, and professional development, allowing you to further develop as a leader. The members of the community you will be joining have these things in common:

  • Believing deeply in kids and families facing systemic racism and/or poverty
  • Leading others to pursue a bold vision for change beyond the status quo
  • Working effectively in collaboration with others of diverse perspectives and backgrounds
  • Operating with curiosity and continuously learn
Teacher with students

FAQ: Am I eligible to apply for the corps?

FAQ: Am I eligible to apply for the corps?

In order to be considered for admission to the Teach For America corps, you must:

Have a Bachelor's degree with a 2.5 minimum undergraduate GPA. If your undergraduate GPA is below 2.5 but you graduated from graduate school with a 3.50 or above, you may qualify for our GPA waiver.

Be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or eligible EAD holder.

Application Process

Our application process is different than what you might be used to. There are multiple deadlines throughout the year to apply to Teach For America. No matter the deadline you choose, if admitted to the corps, your start date wouldn’t be until the following Spring when you started your Pre-Service training. 

Taking that leap into your new career starts with one application.


Choose Your Application Window

As a working professional seeking new opportunities, we have an application window that fits your schedule! Review our application deadlines and choose when you’re going to apply.

Submit your application by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sept. 18 2023 Oct. 30 2023

Feb. 5 2024

Mar. 15 2024

2024 Critical Needs Deadline

Apr. 19 2024

Early Admission

Learn if you're invited to an interview (after 3 p.m. ET) Sept. 26 Nov. 8 Feb. 13 Mar. 22 Apr. 26
Interview sign-up and recommender contact info due Oct. 8 Nov. 15 Feb. 23 Mar. 30 May 3
Attend your interview Sept. 29 - Oct. 11 Nov. 12 - 18 Feb. 16 - 26 Mar. 26 - Apr. 2 Apr. 30 - May 6
Submit coursework info + confirm/update regions selected Oct. 12 - 13 Nov. 19 - 22 Feb. 27 - 29 Apr. 3 - 4 May 5 - 8
Learn your admissions decision + regional/subject placement (after 3 p.m. ET) Oct. 26 Dec. 6 Mar. 12 Apr. 15 May 20
Accept or decline your offer Nov. 3 Dec. 14 Mar. 20 Apr. 22 TBD

Still Have Questions?