3 Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Washington

Want to become a teacher in the great state of Washington? If so, you have come to the right place. Below you will find a short article that lists the steps to becoming a teacher in Washington.

Step 1: Complete an Approved Teacher Preparation Program

Washington requires that certified educators have, at a minimum, an undergraduate degree. In the State of Washington, potential educators must complete a state-approved teacher education program at an accredited college or university, or they must graduate from a state-approved alternative certification program. A list of state-approved teacher education programs can be found on the Washington Student Achievement Council website. 

Although some U.S. states have undergraduate semester-hour requirements for certification in specialty areas, Washington does not list specific course or semester-hour requirements. However, every college or university teacher education program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher education program or the Department of Education for more information.

Teacher education programs usually are comprised of a combination of curriculum and field experiences. The field experiences component can include observations, student teaching, and an internship. 

Step 2: Complete the Required Exams

To become a licensed teacher in Washington, you must complete the Basic Skill Test and any Subject Area Competence assessments required for your area of instruction. Find out about Washington’s testing requirements on State’s Professional Educator Standards Board website.

The Basic Skills Test can be completed with the:

The Subject Area Competence is assessed by the:

New educators in Washington State start out with a Residency Certificate and move to a Professional certificate by completing a Professional Licensure Program at a Washington college or university and submitting a ProTeach Portfolio of professional development activities. To receive your Washington state teaching credential, you must complete required courses, field experiences, and standardized exam requirements. If you currently have a teaching credential from another state, you may be eligible for interstate credential reciprocity. Go to the State of Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction site for more on earning your Washington teaching credential.

Step 3: Submit a Washington Teaching Credential Application

Educator candidates must fulfill all requirements before applying for educator certification in Washington. Most first-time applicants must meet the standards set in the Residency Certificate. Candidates must complete the Washington Teacher Certification Application, announcing which certification they are interested in obtaining. First-time applicants should request the Residency Certificate. Candidates must send application forms and information listed in the Application Checklist to local certification offices found here.

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