School Teacher Requirements in Washington State

Washington is hiring teachers across the board, new teachers and experienced alike. There are even a few sites online the school districts have posted job offerings for, specific to school and district. Washington is one of the easier states in which to be a new hire teacher as the requirements are slightly more lax then others, notably the fact that Washington does not require course hours in specific teaching positions in order to be considered for employment. On the whole the teaching industry has proved to be a relatively safe job market, and teachers in Washington weathered the economic storm of the recession better then most. 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.

A few Teaching Statistics in Washington:

Washington, ranking 13th in population, has 1,021,349 students. There are 2,283 public schools, broken down into 1,188 elementary, 358 middle, and 464 high schools. Washington State for the last 8 years has dominated the standardized testing scene, for the 8th year in a row they have tested number one in SAT scores in states that more then half the eligible students have taken it did so. Washington also has an average of 54% of its students take the test each year, beating the national average of 47%. Washington has a graduation rate of 70% which is around average, but boasts a higher then average graduation to college enrollment ratio then most.

Follow These Steps for Certification

  • Initial Teaching License (valid for 2 years)
  • Bachelors Degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Complete an approved Washington Teacher Preparation Program.
  • Take and pass the WEST-B: Basic Skills test.
  • Take and pass the WEST-E: Content Skills test in appropriate subject matter.
  • Fulfill state fingerprinting requirements.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Complete the certification application packed, including transcripts, certifications, and references.
  • Pay any applicable fees.

Continuing Certificate:

The Continuing Certificate is issued upon review after the initial 3 year license has expired, this license is then valid for a period of 5 years after which it must be renewed.

Some districts may require additional training and certification.

Washington Teachers Salary Expectation:

Washington is up from 13h to 12th ranked nationally in salary with the average teacher making $54,033 in 2009-2010 (according to Student enrollment in Washington has remained fairly consistent, with the obvious fluctuation due to a growing state population. The potential to make above the average teacher salary is there as well, Washington state does give salary bonuses to those who obtain a National Board Certification, which does cost $2,500 to apply for but is certainly worth it in the long run.