School Teaching Requirements in Illinois, IL

So, you want to become a teacher in Illinois, the ‘Land of Lincoln’. 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 Illinois. As of last year there were approximately 2,100,403 students in the state. Illinois has 4,493 public schools, broken down into 2,605 elementary, 744 middle, and 759 high schools. Teachers in Illinois had an average salary of $56,670 in 2009-2010 (according to, with incrementally higher salaries going to those with higher qualifications. Let’s take a look at what acquiring a teaching license takes.

Preliminary Requirements

Illinois Elementary Teaching Certificate

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution
  • Complete a State Approved Teacher Educator Program (SATEP)
  • College coursework must be consistent with the Illinois Certification Requirements
  • Pass the ICTS’s (Illionois Certification Testing System) Basic Skills Test
  • Pass the Praxis II Content Knowledge Assessment
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Some schools and districts may have additional requirements

Illinois Secondary Teaching Certificate

Same requirements as elementary with the addition of specific subject matter training and certification

Applying for Teacher Accreditation in Illinois

After satisfying these requirements, you must then fill out the Certificate packet and include any required fees. Required information includes references as well as documentation and transcripts from accredited Universities. Some schools may require additional specific subject matter coursework and testing, so make sure to check with the individual district requirements.

What next?

Once you have fulfilled these requirements and submitted the appropriate paperwork, you should look into receiving national board teacher certification, as most schools offer financial incentive to those who have one.