How to Become a Teacher in California

California is one of the largest states in the country, which means there are millions of students in California that need high-quality teachers. Becoming a teacher in California is one of the best decisions a person can make when they’re looking for a career that is both extremely important and provides exciting job access.

In California, like in most states, there is a long list of qualifications that you will have to meet before you can become a teacher. Examining these requirements is a good idea when you’re interested in a California teaching career. Read about how you can become a teacher in California and read about your potential salary for this profession.

California Teacher Certification Requirements

California Teacher Certification Types

California offers three teaching credentials. They are a Preliminary Credential, an Elementary Teaching Credential and a Secondary Teaching Credential. You will first earn your Preliminary Credential and then work towards one of the other two depending on where in the California school system you wish to work.

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California Teacher Education

For the Preliminary Credential, you will need a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and to complete a teacher prep program. The Elementary Credential requires a comprehensive reading course, a technology course, and a course in the U.S. Constitution. You will need to complete a subject matter program for the Secondary Subject Credential, as well as completing the Elementary requirements.

California Teacher Certification Exam

Every teacher in California must take a basic competency exam. For the Elementary Credential, you will also need to pass a Reading Instruction Competency Assessment and the California Subject Examinations for Teachers. If you did not complete a subject matter program, you can take the appropriate California Subject Examinations for Teachers to earn your Secondary Subject Credential.

Teacher Experience

California teachers trained in the state must complete a student teaching program during their teacher prep program. If you have three to five years of teaching experience in a private school, you are exempt from this requirement. Those with six years of private school experience are exempt from student teaching and teacher prep programs.

Background Check

Passing a background check is required to work as a teacher in California.

California Teacher Certification

Alternative Certification and Other Requirements

  • California Alternative Teacher Certification: To achieve alternative certification in California you must either have a Bachelor’s degree and complete an Early Completion Internship or have experience teaching with the Peace Corps.
  • Teacher Certification Renewal: Your Preliminary Credential expires after five years and can’t be renewed. The other credentials expire after five years. Renewal depends on completing 150 hours of continuing education.
  • California Substitute Teaching: California offers three substitute teacher permits. They are an Emergency 30-Day Permit, an Emergency Permit for Prospective Teachers and an Emergency Career Substitute Teaching Permit.
  • Reciprocity: You can earn a license in California if you have been previously licensed in another state.

What Does a Teacher Do in California?

Teachers in California are responsible for many different tasks. These tasks help students achieve success and lead to a long teaching career. Some common tasks for California teachers include lesson planning, managing your classroom, providing individual instruction and communicating with school administrators and other teachers.

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California Teacher Salary

The most recent salary information for teachers was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2015. This report indicated that the median pay for elementary school teachers in California was $74,270, the pay for a middle school teacher was $70,100 and the pay for a high school teacher was $74,940.

California Teacher Certification Links

Teacher Certification Programs in California

Teacher Certification Programs in California

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Choose your area of study and receive free information about programs you are interested in. Becoming a teacher is an important decision that requires commitment, dedication, and passion. Teacher certification requirements vary by state. However, there are a number qualifications that every state requires to teach at the public school level. Request information from multiple schools to find the best program and educational opportunity for you!