School Teacher Requirements in South Dakota, SD

South Dakota, ranking 46th in population, has 125,537 students. There are 765 public schools, broken down into 363 elementary, 173 middle, and 185 high schools. South Dakota ranks 12th in average combined SAT and ACT scores (the two most common national standardized tests), with an average SAT score of 1086 and ACT score of 21.3. South Dakota has about an average graduation rate of 78%.

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South Dakota Teachers Certification Requirements:

  • Initial Teaching Certificate (valid for 3 years)
  • Bachelors Degree from an accredited college or university
  • Complete an approved South Dakota Teacher Preparation Program
  • Take and pass the Praxis I: Basic Skills Test
  • Take and pass the Praxis II: Content Subject Matter test in appropriate field/s
  • 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.

Employment Outlook For Teachers in South Dakota:

South Dakota has remained above average in standardized testing and aims to continue this trend. As such the state is really looking to hire highly qualified teachers, a status gained by higher degrees of certification as well as experience. Following the national trend, South Dakota is also looking to expand its education in technology, so teachers with experience in areas such as computer science are valued as well. Even through the tumultuous job market of the recession, teachers in South Dakota faired better the average. 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.

Salary Expectation for Teachers in South Dakota:

South Dakota is ranked 50th in the nation when it comes to teacher salaries, the average salary being $37,536 in 2009-2010 (according to In the last three years teachers in South Dakota have seen an average 5.96% wage increase. Although South Dakota teachers have a lower then average salary, the state also has of of the lowest average cost of living in the nation. Also, receiving highly qualified teaching status can increase your salary.