Washington Teacher Certification:
Residency, professional, and limited teaching certificates

Washington teacher certification means access to the thriving Pacific North West. With a growing economy and great public schools, Washington offers top careers for teachers.

Washington offers three types of teaching certificate.

For a residency certificate the requirements are a bachelor's degree or higher and completion of an approved teacher preparation program.

If you've completed your degree, but not your accredited teacher prep program, you may still qualify through an alternative pathway.

Alternative pathways to teaching certificates are hard to define. States are never eager to share information on how to make an end run around their approved certification programs.

In Washington, out-of-state teachers with three years experience may be eligible.

A professional certificate is issued to experienced teachers who hold a residency certificate and have taught in Washington. Most Washington teachers eventually earn this certification.

Last, there are limited teaching certificates, which allow schools to hire qualified teachers who have not yet earned Washington teacher certification.

To some degree, here is the loop hole for prospective teachers who lack a current teaching license.

Especially in high-need areas, such as math, science and foreign languages, and especially in more rural districts, talented and dedicated applicants may find jobs in public schools.

The other catch is that these limited licenses are for up to two years only. Credits in education may be earned during that time to meet residency certification requirements.

In addition to earning credits in education, new teachers must also pass two professional exams. One is a basic skills test, the other a content knowledge test.

For older applicants who bring professional experience and life experience to a new career in teaching, Washington offers some wonderful opportunities.

You just have to do your research ahead of time to take advantage of alternative pathways to teaching.

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