Washington's resource for teaching and certification (2023)

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Anyone who wants to become a teacher in Washington must first obtain state teacher certification. TheOffice of the Superintendent of Public InstructionThe state Department of Education oversees the process, which is detailed below.

How to become a teacher in Washington

All Washington public school teachers must have a bachelor's degree, complete an accredited Washington teacher preparation program, and pass the required content exams. There are alsoAlternative paths to certificationAvailable to those who have a bachelor's degree but have not completed a traditional Washington teacher preparation program.

Washington uses a multiple system for teacher certification. Those who follow the traditional path earn a Residency Certificate, the first teaching certificate for new teachers who have completed the traditional path to licensure in Washington. The residency permit is valid until the teacher successfully completes two years of teaching in Washington, and can then be reissued for a five-year period.

The second level of teaching in Washington is the Professional Certificate. This license is awarded to individuals who possess proof of residency and complete the ProTeach portfolio, become certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), or have a comparable combination of education and experience. Professionally certified teachers must complete two successful years of teaching and complete courses in identifying and supporting victims of abuse.

Quick start guide

  • I want to be a teacher in Washington, but I don't have a degree:Earn onelevel of education
  • I want to be a teacher and have a degree, but not in pedagogy:LearnWashington's alternative certification process and programs
  • I have an apprenticeship degree and am interested in further training:LearnMaster courses,Educational specialist programs, ordoctoral training programs
  • I want to explore replacement classes:LearnOpportunities for substitute teachers
  • I am already certified and would like to teach in another state:LearnReciprocity of teacher certification

Washington's resource for teaching and certification (1)

(Video) Overview to Washington State Teacher Certification

Search for accredited teacher training programs in Washington

Expected employment growth

18,4 %

Apprenticeship places growth in WA to 20262

One of the most important steps toward becoming a teacher in Washington is completing a state-approved teacher preparation program at an accredited school. When evaluating potential programs, it is highly recommended to ensure that the programs being considered are approved by the governmentWashington Professional Educator Standards Board, as non-endorsed programs do not qualify graduates for certification. You can use to compare key metrics for these state-approved teacher preparation programssorting tableon our Washington schools page.

Anyone considering an online or out-of-state teacher preparation program should verify that the school is accredited by the appropriate regional authority and state board of education. The Washington Professional Educator Standards Board seeks accreditation from one of thesix regional accreditation agenciesrecognized by the US Department of Education. Without this accreditation, graduates of such programs are unlikely to qualify for Washington certification.

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In addition to regional accreditation, schools can also have accreditationCouncil on Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (CAEP). Although CAEP accreditation is not mandatory, it is considered a mark of high quality in terms of curriculum and processes in the field of teacher education.

Washington Teacher Training Requirements

Teachers in Washington must earn a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. In addition, a teacher preparation program in Washington approved by the Professional Teacher Standards Board must be completed. There are currently 30 schools in Washington that have done thisstate-recognized traditional teacher education programs.

Exam requirements for teachers in Washington

Washington's resource for teaching and certification (3)In addition to earning a bachelor's degree and completing a teacher preparation program, those who want to become teachers in Washington must pass a basic competency test and a content area test. The basic competency test is called the Washington Educator Skills Test – Basic (WEST-B) and it assesses reading, writing and math skills. Applicants with high SAT or ACT scores may waive the WEST B test requirement. The content area test required in Washington is called the WEST-E. Teacher candidates must pass this test or an acceptable equivalent test in their chosen subject areas to be endorsed on their certificates.

Washington's resource for teaching and certification (4)

Additional requirements for Washington teacher certification

Similar to most US states, Washington state requires every teacher candidate to complete a state and federal background check. Applicants may complete a fingerprint check at an Educational Services District (ESD), a law enforcement agency, or a private fingerprinting service. For specific instructions on how to complete this requirement, seeOffice for professional practice.

Application process for Washington teaching license

Once all prerequisites have been met, applicants must apply for a license from the state's department of teacher licensing. Application documents should contain the following:

  • Proof of background check eligibility.
  • Official certificates with proof of bachelor's degree.
  • Evidence of completion of a teacher training program at an accredited teacher training school.
  • Passing the necessary exam results.
  • Completed Washington Teacher Certification Application.
  • Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee.

Most initial certifications can be processed through state agenciesPortal for e-certification. To visitWashington Professional Educator Standards BoardFor more information on teacher certification in Washington, click here.

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Washington Teacher Jobs, Salary, and Outlook

In the 2016-2017 school year. there were 2,436 K-12 public schools in Washington with an estimated enrollment of just over 1.1 million students.3With about 58,815 teachers, Washington's student-teacher ratio was 19:1.3

By 2026, Washington is projected to have an average of 2,920 annual openings for elementary teachers, 1,000 average annual openings for middle school teachers, and 1,510 average annual openings for high school teachers.2The average annual salary for elementary school teachers in Washington is $65,180, while middle school teachers earn an annual average of $65,630 and high school teachers earn an annual average of $67,550.4TheWashington Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association, is a good resource for new and experienced teachers interested in working in Washington state.

TipNumber of employeesAverage annual salary
teacher of preschool children11.05032,960 dollars
Educator, special education teacher66063,400 dollars
kindergarten teachers7.87062,330 dollars
primary school teacher26.90065,180 dollars
Defectologists, kindergarten and primary school4.57065,400 dollars
high school teacher9.07065,630 dollars
High school teacher, special education teacher1.21064,220 dollars
high school teacher14.56067,550 dollars
High school teacher, defective2.12066,400 dollars
High school teacher, professional/technical education2.84068,170 dollars

Date of the Institute for Labor Statistics, Stand May 2018.4

Teacher shortage in Washington

According to the U.S. Department of Education's 2021-2022 Teacher Shortage Report, the top shortages in Washington are:5:

  • Art and music education (art, music), preschool-12
  • Vocational and technical education (agriculture and natural resources, business, marketing and information technology (BMIT), family and consumer sciences, professional technology), preschool and elementary education
  • Computer Science, Pre-K-12
  • Basic subjects (primary education), preschool-12
  • English as a Second Language (Bilingual Education), Pre-K-12
  • Health and Physical Fitness (General), Pre-K-12
  • Language arts (general, reading), preschool-12
  • Mathematics (general), preschool-12
  • Science (General), Pre-K-12
  • Social Studies (General), Pre-K-12
  • Special Education (all exceptions), Pre-K-12
  • Support staff (counseling, nurse, psychologist, speech pathologist/audiologist), pre-K-12
  • World Languages ​​(Spanish), Pre-K-12

Interview for a teacher in Washington

  • teacher,Rebecca Ross

Washington's resource for teaching and certification (5)

Frequently asked questions

Ask: How to become a substitute teacher in Washington?

Answer: Unlike many states, Washington requires its substitute teachers to meet the same licensing standards as regular classroom teachers and to apply for certification. Therefore, the minimum requirements are a completed bachelor's degree and a state-recognized teacher preparation program, as well as passing state exams. Applicants holding a regular certificate in another state with at least three years of K-12 teaching experience may also qualify. Washington also offers an emergency replacement license that the school must apply for.

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Ask: How much do teachers make in Washington State?

Answer: Teachers in Washington K-12 (excluding special education and vocational/technical education) earn average annual salaries of more than $66,000.4Teacher salaries can be affected by factors such as the school district, the teacher's qualifications, and the grade they teach.

Ask: Is there a teacher shortage in Washington state?

Answer: According to the US Department of Education's Teacher Shortage Report, Washington reports teacher shortages in areas such as English as a Second Language (ESL), language arts, science, social studies, special education, art and music education, as well as health/ physical fitness, Spanish, vocational/technical education and mathematics.5Teachers who specialize in one of these fields may find more employment opportunities in the state.

Washington's resource for teaching and certification (6)

1. Washington State Department of Education:https://www.k12.wa.us/certification/teacher-certificate
2. Central, long-term career forecasts:https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
3. National Center for Education Statistics, Data from the Government's Non-Fiscal Survey of Public Primary/Secondary Education, 2016-2017:https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/stnfis.asp
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, State Estimates of Employment and Wages May 2018, Washington:https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wa.htm
5. US Department of Education, Teacher Shortage Areas:https://tsa.ed.gov/


How do I get a Washington teacher certificate? ›

What would I have to do to obtain a teaching certificate? Washington requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree and a state-approved teacher preparation program. Since you already have a bachelor's degree, you could enroll in a 'cert only' or master's program.

Do you need a teaching credential to teach in Washington state? ›

All educators must receive a residency teacher certificate to teach in Washington State. There are several paths to receiving certification, depending on your personal experience. Certification is the first step to teaching in Washington.

How do I verify my Washington state teacher certification? ›

May contact via telephone 360-725-6400 or via online form.

What is a Washington certificate? ›

A Washington Certificate of Existence is a document that shows that your Washington business is active and is up-to-date with annual reporting requirements with the Washington Secretary of State.

How long does it take to become a teacher in Washington state? ›

It usually takes approximately four years to become a teacher in Washington. This is the length of time needed to complete a bachelor's degree and complete the certificate requirements. The testing and application usually only takes about two months to complete and process.

How much do elementary teachers make in Washington state? ›

Salaries by years of experience in Washington State
Years of experiencePer hour
1 to 2 years$19.90
3 to 5 years-
6 to 9 years$23.25
More than 10 years$27.78
1 more row

What is required to teach in WA? ›

To teach in a Western Australian public school, including relief teaching, you must have a recognised tertiary teaching degree. a relevant 3-year bachelor's degree, followed by a completed initial teacher education program such as a Graduate Diploma in Education or a 2-year Master of Teaching.

What disqualifies you from becoming a teacher in Washington state? ›

Prospective teachers who are applying for certification and current educators applying to renew their licenses will likely be disqualified if they have serious felony convictions on their records such as the following: Manslaughter. Murder. Grand theft.

Can you teach in Washington state with a California teaching credential? ›

In Washington, educators must obtain a Washington certificate in order to serve in the public schools. Certificates or licenses from another state or jurisdiction do not cover employment in Washington.

What is a PGP for teachers? ›

A Professional Growth Plan (PGP) is one method to renew a professional educator license. A PGP is the record of one's professional growth/development.

How do I become a substitute teacher in Washington state? ›

The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction requires substitute teachers to undergo the same level of preparation as regular teachers. Substitute teachers must hold bachelor's degrees from accredited colleges or universities, as well as complete approved teacher preparation programs.

How to become a special education teacher in Washington state? ›

General Academic Requirements for Special Education Certification. In order to attain a Residency Teacher Certificate in the area of special education, the prospective educator would need to earn at least a bachelor's degree in an approved teacher education program that is specific to an area of special education.

What is a limited teaching certificate in Washington state? ›

What is a limited certificate? Limited certificates provide flexibility in the Washington state educator certification system. With a limited certificate, educators who have not met full certification requirements may practice in classrooms and schools if certain conditions are met.

Who needs to be licensed in Washington state? ›

You need a license if you meet one or more of the following criteria: Your business requires city and state endorsements. You are doing business using a name other than your full name legal name. You plan to hire employees within the next 90 days.

What is an e certificate? ›

An e-certificate is an authentic digital copy of your university degree certificate in PDF format. It is a digital certificate with an electronic signature and other typical characteristics of a certificate.

What is the salary of a teacher in Washington state? ›

That is approximately $24.06 an hour, $962/week, or $4,169/month. In recent news, President Joe Biden proposed increasing teacher salaries nationally, with U.S. Sen.

What is the hourly rate for teachers in Washington? ›

Salaries by years of experience in Washington State
Years of experiencePer hour
1 to 2 years$18.97
3 to 5 years-
6 to 9 years$22.12
More than 10 years$25.41
1 more row

What is the salary of a beginning teacher in Washington state? ›

How much does an Entry Level Teacher make in Washington? The average Entry Level Teacher salary in Washington is $45,858 as of May 25, 2023, but the range typically falls between $38,295 and $55,926.

What is the highest paying teacher state? ›

1. New York. New York is among the best-paying states for teachers. Reasons include an average annual salary of $92,222 that, although below the state's average income of $107,000, is still more than the salaries paid in other states.

Do Washington state teachers get paid in the summer? ›

We get paid for 188 days of work, and that pay is spread out over 12 months. The only reason we get a paycheck in the summer is that we've already earned the money we are being paid. It's important to dispel this myth of "paid time off" for teachers! EBen Grisby and 728 others like this.

Which state pays elementary teachers the most? ›

New York leads the nation in teacher pay with an average salary of $80,286, according to WalletHub.

Is Washington a good state to teach in? ›

In fact, it's the fifth best state in the country for teachers, in part because of high annual salaries, according to WalletHub. The personal finance website compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia among 24 metrics in two prominent categories: “opportunity & competition” and “academic & work environment.”

How do I become a Level 3 teacher in WA? ›

To be eligible to apply you must: • be an Australian citizen or have a permanent residency visa • have Full Registration with the Teacher Registration Board • be employed by the Department of Education • be working for a minimum of 0.4 FTE (four days a fortnight) in a public school.

How many student teaching hours are required in Washington state? ›

(18) "Student teaching" means the period of clinical practice for individuals enrolled in teacher preparation programs. This period must include at least four hundred fifty hours of supervised planning, instruction, and reflection.

Is Washington state having a teacher shortage? ›

Shortage report (2021)

Given the magnitude of their influence, every student in Washington deserves to have excellent, effective, equity-minded teachers and an education system that fully supports their learning and growth. A persistent statewide shortage of teachers, however, creates challenges to achieving this.

What can get you fired from teaching? ›

Some causes for dismissal include the following:
  • Immoral conduct.
  • Incompetence.
  • Neglect of duty.
  • Substantial noncompliance with school laws.
  • Conviction of a crime.
  • Insubordination.
  • Fraud or misrepresentation.

What is a residency teacher in Washington state? ›

Washington issues the Residency Certificate to most first-time and out-of-state applicants for a regular teaching license. This certificate is valid until the holder is reported as employed by a Washington school district as a teacher with one and a half or more years of teaching experience.

What states have reciprocity with Washington teaching license? ›

Washington Teacher Reciprocity Agreements
ArkansasKentuckyNew Hampshire
CaliforniaLouisianaNew Jersey
ColoradoMaineNew Mexico
7 more rows

What is the cost of living in Washington state? ›

The cost of living in Washington is 15% higher than the national average. Housing is 24% higher than the national average, while utilities are 10% lower. When it comes to basic necessities such as food and clothing, groceries are around 14% higher than in the rest of the country, while clothing costs 14% higher.

How to bypass Cbest? ›

How can I get a CBEST waiver? There are alternative options to the CBEST, including coursework, a qualifying score on SAT or ACT, a score of at least 3 on some AP courses, or a passing score on CSU examinations.

What does PSA mean in teaching? ›

A Pupil Support Assistant (PSA) works closely with teachers in the classroom and their role is to encourage children and young people with learning activities.

What is Tess in education? ›

Teacher Excellence and Support System (TESS)

What is teacher credentialing? ›

A teaching credential allows you to legally become a classroom teacher. It takes into consideration your real-world career experience and degree, significantly reducing the amount of time it would typically take to get a teacher's license versus obtaining another four-year degree in education.

How much do subs get paid in Washington state? ›

The salary range for a Certified Substitute Teacher job is from $38,001 to $50,794 per year in Washington.

How much do substitute teachers make a day in Washington state? ›

Salaries by years of experience in Washington State
Years of experiencePer day
Less than 1 year$149
1 to 2 years$135
3 to 5 years-
6 to 9 years-
1 more row

How do I become an ESL teacher in Washington state? ›

  1. Earn a Degree in TESOL from an Approved Teacher Preparation Program. You must have a bachelor's degree at minimum to become a teacher in Washington. ...
  2. Pass Your Teacher Assessments. ...
  3. Obtain Your License with Your ESL Endorsement. ...
  4. Meet the Requirements to Renew Your Washington License.

How much do master teachers make in Washington state? ›

How much does a Master Teacher make in Washington? As of Jun 4, 2023, the average annual pay for a Master Teacher in Washington is $31,861 a year.

How much do special education teachers get paid near Washington DC? ›

The average salary for a special education teacher in Washington, DC is $62,500 per year.

How much do special education teachers get paid near Seattle WA? ›

How much does a Special Education Teacher make in Seattle, WA? The average Special Education Teacher salary in Seattle, WA is $67,346 as of May 25, 2023, but the range typically falls between $53,090 and $88,201.

How to be an emergency substitute teacher in Washington state? ›

Application Requirements

A school district must send in the application request for you to get an emergency substitute teaching certificate. This means you should contact the school where you're interested in teaching and see if it has jobs available for emergency substitute teachers.

Are there different types of teaching credentials? ›

There are three main types of credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential (elementary school), Single Subject Credential (secondary/middle school), and. Education Specialist Credential (K-22 special education).

How many clock hours is 1 credit hour Washington State? ›

Yes, one quarter credit is equal to 10 clock hours, and one semester credit is equal to 15 clock hours.

Do I need a business license if I have an LLC in Washington State? ›

Corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) If your business structure is a Corporation, Limited Liability Company, Liability Company, or Limited Liability Partnership, you must file with the Washington Secretary of State before completing the Business License Application.

What is a Washington intermediate license? ›

What is an Intermediate License? An intermediate license is issued by the Washington State Department of Licensing to a teen driver under the age of 18.

Who needs a work permit in Washington State? ›

You must have and post a Minor Work Permit for every workplace where you employ one or more people under 18 years of age. You must also have an Industrial Insurance endorsement. Some work duties are prohibited for minors.

What is your education certificate? ›

An academic certificate is a document that certifies that a person has received specific education or has passed a test or series of tests.

Is an online certificate worth anything? ›

If you already have a job, online certificates can boost productivity and growth, which increases your value to your employer. To get the most from listing these certifications in your CV, ensure that they align with the job position you are currently in or aspiring to get.

How do I get an e certificate? ›

Verification of E-certificate is very simple process and safe. There is two ways to get verified the E-certificate: the employer can get reply containing information about genuine/non-genuine through website by Online Reply System which may be mentored by dealing authority concerned institution.

Can I teach in Washington with a California credential? ›

In Washington, educators must obtain a Washington certificate in order to serve in the public schools. Certificates or licenses from another state or jurisdiction do not cover employment in Washington.

How to become a certificated substitute teacher in Washington state? ›

The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction requires substitute teachers to undergo the same level of preparation as regular teachers. Substitute teachers must hold bachelor's degrees from accredited colleges or universities, as well as complete approved teacher preparation programs.

Is Washington a good state for teachers? ›

(The Center Square) – Washington was rated the fifth-most teacher-friendly state in the nation, according to a recent study by WalletHub.

Do student teachers get paid in Washington state? ›

How much does a Student Teacher make in Washington? As of May 30, 2023, the average annual pay for a Student Teacher in Washington is $45,903 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $22.07 an hour. This is the equivalent of $882/week or $3,825/month.

What benefits do teachers get in Washington state? ›

Medical, vision, and dental coverage: Eligible employees and their families are covered by medical, dental, and vision insurance which covers pre-existing conditions. There are various medical plan options to choose from–either managed care plans or preferred provider plans.

How long do you have to live in Washington to be considered a resident? ›

You must live in Washington state for 12 months before the start of the term to be considered a resident of Washington. Previous residency in Washington does not grant current residency if you have taken steps to establish residency in another state.

What is a highly qualified teacher in Washington state? ›

Achieving Highly Qualified Teacher Status

(Teacher Name) holds full state certification and at least a bachelor's degree. (Teacher Name) does not hold full state certification and at least a bachelor's degree.


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