Requirements in Colorado to Become a School Teacher

So, you want to become a teacher in Colorado, the ‘Centennial State’? Need some help getting a push in the right direction? Well congratulations, you landed here and that’s a good start. Let’s begin by looking at the overview of the teaching industry in Colorado. As of last year there were approximately 454,500 students in the state. Colorado has 1,734 public schools, broken down into 968 elementary, 289 middle, and 337 high schools. Teachers in Colorado had an average salary of $45,585 in 2009-2010 (according to, with incrementally higher salaries going to those with higher qualifications. Colorado has a great teacher training program, in which new teachers follow an approved teaching program which includes student teaching as well as mentor programs.

Preliminary Teaching Requirements in Colorado

Provisional License:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution
  • Follow a state approved teacher licensure program
  • Take and pass the PLACE (Program for Licensing Assessments for Colorado Educators) Assessment
  • Complete the Application for Certification
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Some schools and districts may have additional requirements

Professional Teaching License:

Complete the teacher induction program including completion of mentor supervision as well as additional training and evaluations

Applying for Accreditation

After satisfying these requirements, you must then submit the packet for your Colorado Teaching Certification and pay any required fees, as well as go in for fingerprinting by a state agency.

What next?

Once you have fulfilled these requirements and submitted the appropriate paperwork, you should look into receiving national board teacher certification, since as of 2005 you can receive a $1,600, or $3,200 bonus if you are in a low performing school for having certification. Board Certification does cost $2,500 to apply for, but in addition to receiving the bonus the majority of certified teachers receive a higher salary. The provisional license first received is valid for a period of three years, after which you must apply for a professional license, which is then valid for five years.