How to Become a Teacher in Illinois

The road to becoming a certified teacher takes time and dedication, but the satisfaction gained from teaching young minds is invaluable. Illinois has high standards for its teachers, and it shows in their pay and the quality of their educational system. Let’s learn a bit more about how to become a teacher in the state of Illinois.

Illinois Teacher Certification Requirements

Illinois Teacher Certification Types

Illinois offers four types of certificates. The Provisional Certificate is valid for two years and allows you to complete the requirements for the Initial Certificate during that time. The Initial Certificate is valid for four years and is the certificate you will receive after completing your Bachelor’s degree and the state-approved teacher preparation program. The Standard Certificate, valid for five years, is administered after you have at least four years of experience teaching with the Initial Certificate. The Master Certificate, valid for ten years, is issued to teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Illinois Teacher Education

Illinois requires its teachers to hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree and have completed a state-approved teacher preparation program.

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Illinois Teacher Certification Exam

To become a certified teacher in Illinois, you must pass the ICTS (Illinois Certification Testing System) Basic Skills Exam, the ICTS Content Area Exam and the Assessment of Professional Training test.

Teacher Experience

You are required to complete the state-approved Illinois teacher preparation program, which includes a student teaching experience, the length of which varies depending on the area you wish to teach.

Background Check

Illinois does not require a background check as part of the certification process, but you will need to undergo a background check when you are hired by the school system.

Illinois Teacher Certification

Alternative Certification and Other Requirements

  • Illinois Alternative Teacher Certification: You can become an Illinois teacher via three alternate routes — the Alternative Route to Teacher Certification, the Alternative Teacher Certification or the Resident Teacher Certification Programs.
  • Teacher Certification Renewal: Rather than renewing your Initial Certificate after four years, you can apply for your Standard Certificate. After you’ve had your Standard Certificate for five years, you can then apply for renewal.
  • Illinois Substitute Teaching: Illinois issues Substitute Teaching Certificates that are valid for four years to those holding a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Reciprocity: Illinois offers teaching certification through reciprocity to teachers holding a valid certification from another state or to those who have completed an approved teacher education program.

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What Does a Teacher Do in Illinois?

The primary role of a teacher is to instruct their students and teach them the assigned materials that they need in order to proceed to the next grade level. However, the responsibilities of teachers extend far beyond just the classroom setting. Teachers are expected to interact with students one-on-one and, if necessary, create lesson plans, collaborate with other teachers and administrators, and communicate and engage with the students’ families.

Illinois Teacher Salary

Salaries differ depending on what grade level you teach. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides salary information for teachers in Illinois. Elementary school teachers make approximately $60,760 per year. Middle school teachers earn an average of $69,700 per year. High school teachers in Illinois make around $70,130 a year.

Illinois Teacher Certification Links

Teacher Certification Programs in Illinois

Teacher Certification Programs in Illinois

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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!