Become a Teacher in South Dakota

South Dakota Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $41,570
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $41,980
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 17

Figures regarding teacher salaries are sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics External link  report.

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 South Dakota.

To become a certified teacher in South Dakota, 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 with new information on a regular basis.

Step One: South Dakota Prerequisite Coursework

Generally, states require that certified teachers hold, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. The South Dakota Department of Education requires all teacher preparation programs to include three semester hours in human relations and three semester hours in South Dakota Indian Studies.

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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.

Learn more about getting your MAT online with our partner USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: South Dakota Teacher Preparation

The traditional route of teacher preparation in South Dakota include the completion of an accredited teacher education program. Typically, teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. Coursework often includes instruction on foundational knowledge, skills and pedagogy (the art and science of teaching), as well as preparation in researching, designing and implementing learning experiences in particular fields of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and internships.

While 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 the Certification Map page on Scholarships for Teachers. For scholarships exclusive to the state of South Dakota, visit the Certification Map South Dakota Teacher Scholarships page.

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. Learn more about alternative certification in South Dakota on Certification Map.

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Step Three: South Dakota Required Tests

South Dakota’s Department of Education requires all teaching applicants to successfully complete the Praxis tests relevant to their subject area. A list of exams and corresponding subject areas can be found on the South Dakota Department of Education’s website.

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Step Four: South Dakota Application Requirements

Individuals applying for a South Dakota teaching certificate must complete an Initial Certification application, which is available for applicants who have never held a South Dakota teaching certificate. New teachers may apply for their five-year or one-year certificates.

One-Year Certification Requirements

One-year certification is available for applicants who have completed a state-approved teacher education program, but have not met other requirements for college credits, courses or Praxis II examinations.

Five-Year Certificate Requirements

Five-year certifications is available for applicants who have completed their teacher preparation program, along with six transcripted credits in the past five years, a South Dakota Indian Studies course, and the required Praxis II examinations.

Background Check

South Dakota does not require a fingerprint check or background clearance to obtain a teaching license.

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South Dakota Certification Reciprocity

South Dakota will accept some teaching credentials from other states. Contact the South Dakota Department of Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see the Certification Map interstate certification reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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South Dakota Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: South Dakota provides Federal Perkins Loan cancellations and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants for instructors in teacher shortage areas.
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: According to the New Teacher Center, the South Dakota Department of Education offers new teachers the WoLakota Mentoring Program, a statewide initiative that pairs them with veteran educators for face-to-face and virtual mentoring.
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $41,570
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $41,980
  • Average Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 17

Figures regarding teacher salaries are sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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South Dakota Certification Resources & Links

800 Governors Drive
Pierre, South Dakota 57501

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USC Rossier School of Education

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