Teacher Certification Made Simple!

Become a Teacher
in Colorado
Colorado Teacher Certification



logo Become a Teacher in ColoradoThis page is sponsored by Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in Colorado.

 

To become a certified teacher in Colorado, you will need to fulfill all prerequisite coursework, teacher preparation, and testing requirements.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating the site with new information on a regular basis. To stay up-to-date with the latest in teacher certification, please complete the form in the right sidebar.

Certification Requirements

The Colorado Department of Education mandates that those pursuing an initial teaching license meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited college/university
  • Complete an approved teacher preparation program at an accredited college/university
  • Submit a completed licensure application, including official transcript(s), mandated feeds and additional documentation
  • Demonstrate professional competence in appropriate subject area(s) through the completion of 24 semester hours of course credit and/or passage of the Colorado State Board of Education content assessment

To begin your licensing application, create an Educator Account with CDE’s eLicensing database.

Colorado Teacher Prerequisite Coursework

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Colorado, however, does not have any undergraduate credit hour requirements.

Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork involved in an accredited teacher preparation program. The curricula often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching and an internship.

While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For scholarships specific to the State of Colorado visit our Colorado Teacher Scholarships page.

Colorado Teacher Preparation

Colorado requires prospective teachers to complete an approved teacher education program.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Click here to learn about obtaining your alternative teacher certification in Colorado.

Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship. While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For more scholarships for teachers specific to the State of Colorado  visit our Colorado Teacher Scholarships page.

Colorado Required Tests

The Colorado Department of Education accepts the content knowledge test via PLACE (Program for Licensing Assessments for Colorado Educators) and the Praxis II exam. The PLACE exam was developed for Colorado state educators. The Praxis II exam is a nationwide test accepted throughout the majority of the United States. Both tests are designed to assess the knowledge and skills necessary to become a qualified educator in the state of Colorado.

Accepted Praxis II Exams in Colorado

PLACE Educator Content Assessments

Audiology
Elementary Education
English Language, Lit., and Composition
Mathematics
School Psychology
General Science
Social Studies
Speech-Language Pathology

Early Childhood Education
Elementary Education
Special Education (General; Severe Needs)
Early Childhood Special Education
Content Specific Subjects

Visit the Colorado Department of Education for more information on state testing requirements

Colorado Certification Reciprocity

Colorado will accept some teaching credentials from the following states. Contact the Colorado Department of Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Kansas

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Colorado Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Colorado provides differential pay and loan forgiveness for teachers teaching in high needs schools but provides no support for teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Colorado has strong induction policies in place
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: The average elementary school teacher in Colorado makes $49,150
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: The average secondary teacher in Colorado makes $50,920
  • Teacher Salary vs. State Average Salary: The average teacher in Colorado makes 114% of the salary of the average worker in Colorado
  • Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: The average teacher in Colorado receives 15 weeks of vacation per year

Applying for Certification

How to Apply

Fingerprinting

In order to obtain an initial teaching license in the state of Colorado, the state Department of Education requires candidates to submit fingerprint clearance as part of a mandatory state and nationwide background clearance. Submitted fingerprints are sent to both the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.

Please view the Colorado Department of Education’s Fingerprint Information Sheet for step-by-step directions.

How to Apply Online

Teachers-Teachers: Colorado

Teachers-Teachers.com is an online database designed to allow certified teachers to search for Colorado teaching jobs within their desired school district(s). Individuals are allowed to publicly search for teaching opportunities, but must register with the website in order to gain full access to district information.

Colorado Substitute Teacher Requirements

Please click here to learn more about how to become a substitute teacher in Colorado.

Contact Information

      Colorado Department of Education
      Office of Professional Services and Educator License
      6000 E. Evans Avenue
      Building #2 Suite 100
      Denver, Colorado 80222
      (303) 866-6628 – Email

Additional links