Becoming a Teacher in West Virginia, WV
West Virginia, ranking 37th in population, has 281,215 public students. There are 820 public schools, broken down into 479 elementary, 128 middle, and 157 high schools. West Virginia ranks 43rd in average combined SAT and ACT scores (the two most common national standardized tests), with an average SAT score of 932 and ACT score of 20.0. West Virginia has a graduation rate of 77.3% which is about the national average.
West Virginia Certification Requirements for Teaching:
- Initial Teaching Certificate (valid for 3 years)
- Bachelors Degree from an accredited college or university
- Complete an approved West Virginia Teacher Preparation Program
- Complete internship program (minimum 12 weeks)
- 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.
West Virginia Teaching Employment Outlook:
West Virginia, like it’s neighbor Virginia, has one of the best funded educational systems in the nation. This has allowed West Virginia to continue hiring new teachers. Like most states, West Virginia has been 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. West 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. Not only does receiving higher certification make your resume look better, but also allows for a higher salary expectation. 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.
West Virginia Teaching Salary Expectation:
West Virginia is ranked 39th in the nation when it comes to teacher salaries, the average salary being $43,613 in 2009-2010 (according to bls.gov). In the last three years teachers in West Virginia have seen an average 6.25% wage increase. Teachers in West Virginia make above the average state income and have seen good budget additions the last few years.