School Teacher Requirements in Rhode Island, RI

Rhode Island, ranking 43th in population, has 157,362 students. There are 344 public schools, broken down into 218 elementary, 58 middle, and 55 high schools. Rhode Island ranks 37th in average combined SAT and ACT scores (the two most common national standardized tests), with an average SAT score of 888 and ACT score of 21.4. Rhode Island has about an average graduation rate of 76.4%.

Rhode Island Teacher Certification Requirements:

  • Provisional Teaching Certificate (valid for 5 years)
  • Bachelors Degree from an accredited college or university
  • Complete an approved Rhode Island Teacher Preparation Program
  • Complete the Praxis I: Basic Skills Test
  • Fulfill state fingerprinting requirements
  • Pass a criminal background check through the state and FBI
  • Complete the certification application packet, including transcripts, certifications, and references
  • Pay any applicable fees

Some districts may require additional training and certification.

Rhode Island Teacher Employment Outlook:

Since Rhode Island is such a small state, coupled with the fact it boasts the highest teacher salary in the nation, there isn’t too many job opportunities for prospective teachers, but that certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t any. In order to make yourself the most attractive candidate for the few position available, consider achieving highly qualified teaching status. Following the national trend, Rhode Island is also looking to expand its education in technology, so teachers with experience in areas such as computer science are valued as well. The teaching industry has proved to be a relatively stable job market, and even through the budget cuts of the recession teachers have faired well. As in any state, it is a good idea to have a Masters or PhD as that is certainly an eye catcher for prospective employers, as well as providing increased salary opportunities.

Rhode Island Teachers Salary Expectation:

Rhode Island is ranked 1st in the nation when it comes to teacher salaries, the average salary being $67,060 in 2009-2010 (according to In the last three years teachers in Rhode Island have seen an average 7.37% wage increase. Because of the fact Rhode Island pays its teachers better then anywhere else in the United States, teaching in Rhode Island is a very attractive proposition. The average cost of living in the state is relatively high however, so take the statistic with a grain of salt, many teachers in Rhode Island are forced to pick up part time work tutoring or teaching summer school in the months students have off for break.