Steps to Teacher Certification – Washington
How to Become a Teacher in Washington State
Once you decide that you want to be a teacher, the next step depends on where you are now on the path toward reaching your goal.
Please Choose From The Following Guide:
- I Have a High School Diploma/GED
- I Have Some College; Credits, Associate’s, Other.
- I have a Bachelor’s Degree
Look over the information below and discover steps you can take to become a teacher in Washington.
I Have Graduated From High School
Having a high school diploma opens doors to institutions of higher learning that can lead you to a teaching career.
- Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, specific academic content areas or student populations.
- Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
- Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help you make a decision about what school to attend and what degree program to pursue.
I Have Had Some College
Attending a two-year institution, like a community college, and earning an Associate degree, can be a valuable step toward becoming a Washington teacher. A Bachelor’s degree is required prior to applying for all regular teaching certificates.
- If you have earned an Associate in Arts degree or Associate in Arts and Sciences degree from a community college that participates in Washington’s Direct Transfer Agreement Associate Degree, you may qualify to enter certain four-year colleges as a Junior and pursue a Bachelor’s degree that leads to teacher certification
- Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact the schools that interest you to request more information.
- If you attended a Washington community college or another two-year college and completed a certificate or degree program, e.g. an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education or a Child Development Associate Credential, you may be qualified for a career working with young children, such as teaching for Head Start, childcare organizations and private preschools.
I Have a Bachelor’s Degree
If you want to teach in Washington and already have a Bachelor’s degree, your next steps toward teacher certification will often depend on your undergraduate major.
- If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education that included an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you have already fulfilled essential academic and teacher preparation requirements, including student teaching. Successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Education will qualify you to apply for teacher certification.
- All prospective teachers are required to take the Washington Educator Skills Test – Basic. Students who completed a Bachelor’s degree in Education, typically take this exam during their undergraduate studies, before they begin their Teacher Preparation Program module.
- If you majored in Liberal Arts and received a Bachelor’s degree, you have accomplished a major step toward certification as an Elementary level teacher. Many certification programs recommend a Liberal Arts major, because it prepares educators to teach in many different subject areas.
- If you received your Bachelor’s degree in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have already satisfied the academic requirements recommended by many certification programs. Majoring in a specific subject that can be taught at the secondary school level (high school and middle school) prepares you to become endorsed or qualified to teach classes in that content area.
- All prospective teachers are required to take the Washington Educator Skills Test – Basic. Students who have a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts or in a specific content area must take the Washington Educator Skills Test prior to beginning their Teacher Preparation Program.
- All Washington State teachers who have not earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education and finished their Teacher Preparation requirement, must successfully complete a Teacher Preparation Program at a regionally accredited institution. Some of these are Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation programs and some are Master’s in Education programs. Gather information and decide which route works best for your.
- Once you have successfully completed all academic and experiential requirements, you are ready to begin the application process that will lead to your certification as a Washington State educator.