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Become a Teacher in Iowa

Iowa Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $53,710
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $54,490
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

 

 

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. CertificationMap.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 08/10/2018

This page is sponsored by our partner 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 Iowa.

To become a certified teacher in Iowa, you will need to fulfill these requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor's degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit an Iowa teaching credential application.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating CertificationMap.com with new information on a regular basis.

Step One: Iowa 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. Here are Iowa’s undergraduate prerequisites for each endorsement area.

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Master’s Requirements

Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.

The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.

Click to learn more about getting your MAT online with our partner USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: Iowa Teacher Preparation

Teacher preparation includes the completion of an accredited teacher education program.

Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often include instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (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 onscholarships for teachers. For more scholarships for teachers exclusive to the state of Iowa, visit our Iowa State Scholarships pages.

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 for information about Alternative Certification in Iowa.

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Step Three: Iowa Required Tests

Basic Skills Assessment

Iowa does not require teaching candidates to take a Basic Skills Assessment.

Praxis II

In order to become a certified teacher, the Iowa Department of Education requires that all teaching candidates take one test in pedagogy and one test in content. Those pursuing special education certification have separate test requirements.

Praxis II: Pedagogy

Iowa Required Tests in Praxis II: Pedagogy
Qualifying Score Test Requirement(s) Certification Area
159 Principles of Teaching & Learning: Early Childhood Early Childhood Certifications
159 
167 
166 
166
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Early Childhood, or
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades K-6, or
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 5-9, or
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 7-12
K-12 or B-21 (Birth to 21) Certifications
168 Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades K-6 All K-6 or K-8 Certifications
166 
166
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 5-9, or
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 7-12
All 5-12 Certifications
166 
166
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 5-9, or
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 7-12
All 9-12 Certifications

Praxis II: Content Area(s)

Iowa Required Tests in Praxis II: Content Area(s)
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification Areas
152 Early Childhood: Content Knowledge Early Childhood Teacher, PreK-K
152 Early Childhood: Content Knowledge PreK – Grade 3 Teacher, PreK-3
172 Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education PreK – Grade 3, Including Special Education
151  Elementary Education: Content Knowledge Elementary Classroom Teacher K-6
See Iowa’s Requirements for specific test information Early Adolescence, K-8
See Iowa’s Requirements for specific test information Secondary Education, 5-12

Special Education (“Stand Alone”) Endorsement: Test requirements for candidates who are certified only in special education and not other content area(s).

Iowa Required Tests in Special Education
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification Area
161 
159
Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Education of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students
Deaf or Hard of Hearing (Birth-21)

152

165

Early Childhood: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood
Early Childhood Special Education
161 
171 
155
Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Teaching Students with Behavioral Disorders/Emotional Disturbances
–OR–
Special Education: Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities
Instructional Strategist II: BD/LD K-12
161
170
Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Core Knowledge and Severe to Profound Applications
Instructional Strategist II: MD K-12
161
164
Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications
Instructional Strategist II: Physically Handicapped K-12
161
157
Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Visually Impaired B-21 (Birth to 21)

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Step Four: Iowa Application Requirements

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners requires the following for all candidates seeking an Iowa teaching licensure:

  • Proof of Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university
  • Completion of state and/or regionally approved teacher preparation program
  • Completion of approved human relations course component
  • Completion of teaching endorsement requirements
  • Completion and passing of mandated tests in which the candidate is currently licensed, or completion of Iowa mandated tests
  • Meets recency requirement: teaching experience of 6 college credits within the past 5 years

Background Clearance

All candidates pursuing their Iowa teaching license must pass a background check and fingerprint clearance in order to be deemed eligible for employment within the Iowa public school system. Please visit the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners to find out how to order a background check.

Teach Iowa

TeachIowa.gov is a statewide job posting database managed by the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. Teach Iowa’s system allows potential teachers to register and apply for job openings within the Iowa public school system, education agencies, and participating non-public schools.

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Iowa Certification Reciprocity

Iowa will accept some teaching credentials from some states. Contact the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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Iowa Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Iowa provides no support for teachers teaching in high-needs schools but has differential pay for teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Iowa has strong induction policies in place
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $53,710
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $54,490
  • Average Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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Iowa Certification Resources & Links

400 East 14th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
(515) 281-5294

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