Becoming a Teacher in Virginia, VA

Virginia, ranking 12th in population, has 1,192,205 public students. There are 2,093 public schools, broken down into 1,173 elementary, 340 middle, and 339 high schools. Virginia ranks 44th in average combined SAT and ACT scores (the two most common national standardized tests), with an average SAT score of 896 and ACT score of 20.7. Virginia has a graduation rate of 77% which is about the national average.

Virginia Teaching Certification Requirements:

  • Initial Teaching Certificate (valid for 3 years)
  • Bachelors Degree from an accredited college or university
  • Complete an approved Virginia 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.

Virginia School Teacher Employment Outlook:

Virginia is currently and has been hiring new teachers. Along with paying its teachers well above the national average, Virginia has one of the best funded public educational systems in the country. The state is looking to improve upon its standardized test scores so experience with said test is a big plus to any resume. Virginia, like most states, is looking to improve its technology education so things like MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) Certifications and other such certificates are a definite bonus to any resume. Virginia does value its highly qualified teachers, a status that can be obtained by receiving national board certification or by gaining higher degree of accreditation. 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.

Virginia Teachers Salary Expectation:

Virginia is ranked 8th in the nation when it comes to teacher salaries, the average salary being $57,873 in 2009-2010 (according to In the last three years teachers in Virginia have seen an average 4.77% wage increase. Teachers in Virginia make well above the national average for teachers and more then the average state income, but higher pay can be gained through higher accreditation and certifications.