Education Colleges
California Teaching Info
Browse By Degree
Teaching By Grade Level
Teaching By Subject
Admin & Professional
Certifications

 

Teaching Certifications in California, CA

There are several different certifications that can be obtained in California, ranging from Elementary to Special Education, however most all Certifications have the same basic requirements that must be met. After meeting those requirements, more specific qualifications may be needed to receive a specific teaching license.

On This Page:

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree or higher from a regionally accredited university
  • Teacher preparation program (credential program, including student teaching)
    Find a teacher preparation program
  • Meet the Basic Skills Requirement
  • Developing English Language Skills (reading instruction course)
  • U.S. Constitution course*
  • Subject matter competency
  • Subject matter (CSET)
  • Subject matter program (major)
  • Computer technology course
  • Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)—for multiple subject and education specialist credential only

Once these basic requirements have been met, you can look into the specific degree that interests you, these degrees include Elementary (multiple subject), Secondary/Middle (single subject), Special Education, Career Technical Education (vocational education), or degrees for people with prior teaching experience or degrees from other states.

Elementary (multiple subject) Certification

5 year preliminary degree:

  • Bachelor's Degree or higher from a regionally accredited university
  • Teacher preparation program (credential program, including student teaching)
  • Meet the Basic Skills Requirement
    Demonstrate subject matter competency with passage of test:
  • California Subject Examinations for Teachers CSET
    Developing English Language Skills (reading instruction course)
  • U.S. Constitution course
  • Foundational computer technology course
  • Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA )

Clear Credential (renewable after 5 years):

  • Complete a Professional Teacher Induction Program
  • Obtain National Board certification

If you already have your Bachelor's Degree and meet the other requirements it is possible to enroll in an internship program, which allows you to teach while you complete necessary coursework.

Secondary (single subject) Certification

Preliminary 5 year degree:

  • Bachelor's Degree or higher from a regionally accredited university
  • Teacher preparation program (credential program, including student teaching)
  • Meet the Basic Skills Requirement
  • Demonstrate subject matter competency with:
  • passage of California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET )
  • completion of approved single subject program
  • Complete developing English Language skills courses
  • Complete U.S. Constitution course
  • Foundational computer technology course

Clear Credential (renewable after 5 years):

  • Complete a Professional Teacher Induction Program
  • Obtain National Board certification

Similar to receiving an Elementary Certification, if you have your Bachelors Degree and meet the other requirements it is possible to enroll in an internship program while you complete coursework.

Special Education Certification
Level 1 Education Specialist:

  • Bachelor's Degree or higher from a regionally accredited university
  • Complete an accredited Education Specialist Credential program in an education specialist category, including student teaching.
  • Demonstrate subject competence with the CSET Test  or an approved college or university program
  • Meet the Basic Skills Requirement
    Click here to find test preparation programs
  • Pass the RICA Test (Applicants who hold a valid California teaching credential other than internship credentials, internship certificates, and emergency permits are exempt from this requirement.)
  • Receive an offer of employment from a California school

Level 2 Education Specialist:

  • Complete an individualized induction plan
  • Complete a course in Health Education
  • Complete a course in Computer Education
  • Provide verification of at least two years of successful experience in a public school (or private school with equivalent status) while holding the Level I Education Specialist Credential
  • Obtain the formal recommendation for the credential by the college or university where your induction plan was completed

Career Technical Education (vocational education)

There are many different specific vocational subjects, known as industry sectors, that can be focused upon, the list is as follows-

  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment
  • Building Trades and Construction
  • Education, Child Development, and Family Services
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Engineering and Design
  • Fashion and Interior Design
  • Finance and Business
  • Health Science and Medical
  • Technology
  • Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing and Product
  • Development
  • Marketing, Sales, and Service
  • Public Service
  • Transportation

3 year Preliminary Vocational Certification:

  • 3000 hours (3 years) of work experience directly related to field, may be full or part time, paid or unpaid
  • GED or equivalent
  • Signed verification by Commission-approved program sponsor that requirements have been met
  • Complete Application
  • Complete fingerprinting meeting Livescan requirements
  • Pay application processing fee
  • Obtain recommendation from a commission-approved CTE program sponsor 

5 year Vocational Clear Credential

  • Possess a valid California Preliminary CTE Teaching Credential
  • Commission-approved program of personalized preparation that includes training in Specially Designed Academic Instruction Delivered in English (SDAIE)
  • Verify completion of one of the following:

a. Two years of successful teaching on the basis of the Preliminary CTE Teaching Credential in
the industry sector(s) listed on the credential
b. A Commission-approved program of advanced personalized preparation as determined by the
program sponsor agency

  • U.S. Constitution requirement by one of the following methods:

a. Complete a course (at least two semester units or three quarter units) in the provisions and
principles of the U.S. Constitution. Submit a copy of the course description for evaluation
purposes.
b. Pass an examination in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution, given by a
regionally-accredited college or university

  • Completed Health Education
  • Completed computer-based technology study
  • Complete application and pay required fee
  • Obtain recommendation by a Commission-approved CTE program sponsor