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State-by-State Guide to Teacher Certification

By Amber Hilton, DegreeMatch.com
Staff Writer

All states require you to earn at least a bachelor’s degree, pass some form of exam, and complete an approved teacher training program and supervised teaching experience; however, other certification requirements vary by state.




In order to work as a public elementary, middle school or high school teacher in any of the 50 states, you need to get certified. Teacher certification is also commonly referred to as a teaching license. All states require you to earn at least a bachelor's degree, pass some form of exam, and complete an approved teacher training program and supervised teaching experience in order to become licensed; however, other certification requirements vary by state. Below is a state-by-state guide to teacher certification, with links to help you find more information.

Alabama : The Alabama Department of Education website provides information about state certification requirements, as well as contact information for resource personnel.

Alaska : In addition to more common requirements, Alaska's teacher certification requirements-discussed on the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development website-include completion of approved multicultural and Alaska studies courses.

Arizona : Check out this page from the Arizona Department of Education for a breakdown of requirements for various teaching certifications, from early childhood education to adult education and special subjects.

Arkansas : As of 2002, teacher certification in Arkansas has been performance based. This page from the Arkansas Department of Education provides a detailed outline of the requirements.

California : The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) provides information on how to become a teacher in California, with a breakdown of credential requirements for aspiring elementary school, high school and special education teachers.

Colorado : Access licensing applications and requirements for teacher certification in Colorado on the official Colorado Department of Education website.

Connecticut : The Connecticut State Department of Education website provides lots of information for aspiring teachers, including a PDF guide to Obtaining Connecticut Education Certification.

Delaware : According to the official website of the First State, requirements for teacher certification in Delaware include a bachelor's degree; student teaching experience; and passing scores on the Praxis I exam in reading, writing and math.

District of Columbia (D.C.) : Learn about teacher certification in the nation's capital on this page from the Educator Licensure Office.

Florida : The Florida Department of Education website is a comprehensive source for state teacher certification, offering information about certification types and requirements, as well as certification subjects, pathways and contacts.

Georgia : The traditional and alternative routes to obtaining teacher certification in Georgia are discussed on this page from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

Hawaii : Three types of teacher certifications are awarded in Hawaii, including a provisional license, standard license and advanced license. The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board provides information and forms for these credentials, as well as helpful videos to walk you through the application or renewal process.

Idaho : Idaho teacher certification and endorsement requirements can be viewed via a drop-down menu on the Idaho State Department of Education website.

Illinois : Everything you need to earn teacher certification in Illinois is outlined on this site from the Illinois State Board of Education.

Indiana : The Indiana Department of Education has a page for prospective educators with everything you need to know about getting a teaching license in this state.

Iowa : This helpful page from Iowa's Board of Educational Examiners outlines the requirements for a variety of teacher certifications, from getting your initial license, to the standard license, to the master educator credential.

Kansas : This page from the Kansas State Department of Education provides licensure requirements for three types of teacher certifications: initial, professional and accomplished.

Kentucky : To earn teacher certification in Kentucky, you must complete an approved four-year teacher training program and complete testing and student teaching when applicable, according to the state's Education Professional Standards Board.

Louisiana : Louisiana offers several pathways to teaching licensure, the requirements for which are outlined on this page from the Louisiana Department of Education.

Maine : Maine's requirements and application process for initial teacher certification are outlined on this page from the State of Maine Department of Education.

Maryland : This page from the Maryland State Department of Education guides you through How to Apply for a Credential based on which requirements you've fulfilled.

Massachusetts : Information on Massachusetts' three types of educator licenses can be found on this page from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Michigan : The requirements for Michigan teacher certification are discussed on the state's Department of Education website.

Minnesota : In Minnesota, a new law now requires aspiring teachers to pass a Basic Skills test. Other requirements are discussed on this page from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Mississippi : The Mississippi Department of Education website provides a number of resources for state educator licensure, including types of MS licenses, requirements and alternative route programs.

Missouri : This page from the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education is the place to go for information on teacher certification classifications and requirements, including background/fingerprint information.

Montana : Montana offers four main categories of teacher certification, the requirements for which are outlined on this page from the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Nebraska : This interactive website from the Nebraska Department of Education offers information about the state's standard teaching certificate.

Nevada : Nevada offers three main categories of teacher certification, including an elementary license, secondary license and special licenses. Read more on the Nevada Department of Education website.

New Hampshire : Application forms and other resources for teacher certification can be found on this page from the NH Department of Education Bureau of Credentialing.

New Jersey : This page from the State of New Jersey Department of Education offers an overview of teacher certification.

New Mexico : Pathways and requirements for a variety of teacher certifications can be accessed from this page from the New Mexico Public Education Department.

New York : The New York State Education Department website allows you to search teacher certification requirements based on your desired area of interest, certificate title, grade level or subject area.

North Carolina : North Carolina offers two levels of Standard Professional teacher licensure, the requirements for which are outlined on this page from the state's Department of Public Instruction.

North Dakota : A long list of teaching credentials are awarded in North Dakota, as outlined by this page from the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board.

Ohio : Ohio's licensure requirements include background checks. Read about this and more on this site from the Ohio Department of Education.

Oklahoma : You can check requirements and apply online for teacher certification via this page from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Oregon : The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission provides information about teacher certification in Oregon, including news updates about licensure tests and timelines.

Pennsylvania : View requirements and apply online for teacher certification in Pennsylvania via this site from the state's Department of Education.

Rhode Island : Certification requirements and applications are available in PDF form on this page from the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

South Carolina : Learn about the teacher certification application procedure and check your certification status via this page from the South Carolina State Department of Education.

South Dakota : Once you've completed an approved teacher education program, you can apply for a one-year teaching certificate in South Dakota; however, a five-year certificate requires you to pass Praxis II tests and complete six transcripted credits.

Tennessee : The Tennessee Department of Education website provides information about several different routes to becoming a licensed educator.

Texas : You must meet certain educator standards in order to earn teacher certification in Texas; find out more on this page from the Texas Education Agency.

Utah : This page from the Utah State Office of Education covers licensure requirements for several scenarios, including out-of-state applicants and alternative routes to teacher licensing.

Vermont : The official website of the Vermont Department of Education provides a number of resources for aspiring teachers, including information about certification requirements.

Virginia : Download a PDF document detailing the routes to licensure in Virginia via this page from the Virginia Department of Education.

Washington : If you want to teach in Washington, you can learn everything you need to know about certification on this site from the state's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

West Virginia : This page from the West Virginia Department of Education outlines a number of paths to becoming a licensed teacher.

Wisconsin : Looking to teach in Wisconsin? Check out this applicant guide to educator licenses on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website.

Wyoming : Wyoming offers just two routes to teacher certification: traditional and alternative. Read more on this page from the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board.



Last edited: May 4, 2012, 12:18 pm EST
   
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