How to Become a Teacher in Washington

As with every other state in the Union, teaching in Washington requires certification and licensure. This is because teachers bear a great responsibility in preparing children to take their place as members of adult society, both academically and interpersonally.

In Washington, certification is overseen and administered by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction under the state Department of Education. Learn how to become a teacher in Washington, the skills, requirements and credentials you’ll need, and the responsibilities you will have once you enter this challenging career path.

Washington Teacher Certification Requirements

Washington Teacher Certification Types

As with many other states there are several tiers for certification in Washington. The initial license is the Residency Certificate, after which the second level is called the Professional Certificate.

Washington Teacher Education

A Bachelor’s degree and completing a valid and approved program for teacher preparation is the minimum education required.

Master’s Degree Program

Master’s degrees aren’t required but can be very helpful and can improve your chances not just for employment but higher licensure and better earnings.

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Washington Teacher Certification Exam

Washington has its own tests and does not use the Praxis exams. You’ll need to pass the Basic Washington Educator Skills Test (WEST-B) and a content exam called (WEST-E). For Professional level licensure you’ll need to complete the ProTeach Assessment exam, or you will need to become NBPTS certified. Alternately, holding a Continuing Teaching License and completing substance abuse coursework can allow Professional level certification.

Teacher Experience

In order to gain a Professional Certificate you’ll need two years of teaching experience as a Residency Certified instructor.

Background Check

Background checks are mandatory to ensure you have no criminal convictions and are qualified to work with children.

Alternative Certification and Other Requirements

  • Washington Alternative Teacher Certification: There are four alternate routes to certification in Washington. These include para-educators who wish to transfer an associate’s degree, an emergency certification pathway, a career-change pathway and transferal of a conditional or emergency certificate.
  • Teacher Certification Renewal: Your Residency License is good for two years and may be renewed once, for a two-year period. After this, applicants must pursue the Professional Certificate.
  • Washington Substitute Teaching: Washington does license substitute teachers, but these licenses are lifelong and allow teaching up to 30 school days consecutively.
  • Reciprocity: Washington rarely recognizes NASDTEC reciprocity, but will evaluate each out of state license on a case-by-case basis for transfer.

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Washington Teacher Certification

What Does a Teacher Do in Washington?

Teachers are responsible for maintaining their classrooms, for offering instruction in both lecture-based and hands-on activity form, for evaluating student work and assessing student benchmarks for learning. They build lesson plans, deliver curricula, grade papers and assignments, work with students in need of help, and help to oversee clubs and extracurricular activities. When needed they intervene on behalf of students who need special services and refer them to the appropriate authorities. They meet with parents and administration, and most possess deep empathy and sensitivity as well as have compassion and dedication to the well-being of their students.

Washington Teacher Salary

Washington should, according to the US BLS, see a whopping 17.3% growth in the profession by 2024. Teachers in this state can expect to earn an average of around $61,260 every year.

Washington Teacher Certification Links

Teacher Certification Programs in Washington

Teacher Certification Programs in Washington

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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!