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Become a Teacher in Virginia

Virginia Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $63,330
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $65,010
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15
Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

 

 

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: 12/18/2016

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 Virginia.

To become a certified teacher in Virginia, 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 a Virginia 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.

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Step One: Prerequisite Coursework

The first step in becoming a certified teacher is choosing a specialization and/or grade level preference and earning your bachelor's degree. Here are Virginia’s undergraduate prerequisites for some of the most popular specialty areas:

Elementary Education

Individuals seeking licensure with endorsements in early/primary education, elementary education and middle education may meet requirements through the completion of an approved program or, if employed by a Virginia public or nonpublic school, through an alternate route to licensure. Components of the licensure program include a degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the liberal arts and sciences (or equivalent), professional teacher’s assessments requirement prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education, specific endorsement requirements and professional studies requirements.

Secondary English/Language Arts

Endorsement requirements:

  1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in English, or completed a major in English; OR
  2. A minimum of 36 semester hours of coursework distributed in the following areas:
    • Literature: 12 semester hours. Courses must include: (1) Survey of British literature; (2) Survey of American literature; (3) World literature; and (4) Literary theory/criticism.
    • Language: 6 semester hours. Experiences shall include: (1) The development and nature of the English language, including attention to comparative English grammar; and (2) A grammar course integrating grammar and writing.
    • Composition: 6 semester hours. Experiences shall include: (1) The teaching of writing, based on current knowledge and most effective practices, including the use of technology for this purpose; and (2) An advanced composition course – expository and informational writing.
    • Oral language: 3 semester hours. Experiences shall include the teaching of oral language in groups, as well as attention to oral language as used in both formal and informal presentations. Electives from the areas listed above: 9 semester hours.

Secondary Mathematics

Endorsement requirements:

  1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in mathematics, OR
  2. Completed a major in mathematics or 36 semester hours of coursework distributed in each of the following areas:
    • Algebra – Experience shall include linear (matrices, vectors, and linear transformations) and abstract algebra (ring, group, and field theory). A college or university may integrate the competencies within specified coursework and document the completion of these competencies;
    • Geometry – Experience shall include Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries;
    • Analytic geometry;
    • Probability and statistics;
    • Discrete mathematics – Experience shall include the study of mathematical properties of finite sets and systems and linear programming;
    • Computer science – Experience shall include computer programming; and
    • Calculus – Experience shall include multivariable calculus.

Secondary History/Social Science:

Endorsement requirements:

  1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in history and social sciences; OR
  2. Completed 51 semester hours of coursework distributed in the following areas:
    • History: a major in history or 18 semester hours in history (must include coursework in American history, Virginia history, and world history);
    • Political science: a major in political science or 18 semester hours in political science to include coursework in American government (state and local government);
    • Geography: 9 semester hours; and
    • Economics: 6 semester hours.

Secondary Science

Biology endorsement requirements:

  1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in biology;
  2. Completed a major in biology or 32 semester hours in biology, including genetics/molecular biology, botany, zoology, anatomy/physiology, ecology and other preparation consistent with the competencies for the endorsement; or
  3. Earned an endorsement in another science discipline and at least 18 credits in biology, including preparation in each of the following areas: genetics/molecular biology, botany, zoology, anatomy/physiology, and ecology.

Chemistry endorsement requirements: 

  1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in chemistry;
  2. Completed a major in chemistry or 32 semester hours in chemistry, including inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and analytical chemistry and other preparation consistent with the competencies required for the endorsement; or
  3. Earned an endorsement in another science discipline and at least 18 credits in chemistry, including preparation in each of the following areas: inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and analytical chemistry.

Earth science endorsement requirements: 

  1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in Earth science;
  2. Completed a major in geology or environmental science with at least one course in each of the following: oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy, and a course in geology for environmental science majors, or 32 semester hours in Earth sciences, including geology (18 semester hours), oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy and other preparation consistent with the competencies required for the endorsement; or
  3. Earned an endorsement in another science discipline and at least 18 credits in Earth sciences, including preparation in each of the following areas: geology, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy.

Physics endorsement requirements: 

  1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in physics;
  2. Completed a major in physics or 32 semester hours in physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and optics and other preparation consistent with the competencies required for the endorsement; or
  3. Earned an endorsement in another science discipline and at least 18 credits in physics, including preparation in each of the following areas: mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and optics.
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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 USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: Teacher Preparation

Next, you'll need to complete an approved teacher preparation program. Visit the Virginia Department of Education website to find a state-approved teacher preparation program in Virginia. After, make sure to fill out an approved program verification form to verify the completion of an approved program.

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 techniques in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include onsite observations, student teaching, and internships.

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. The Virginia Department of Education publishes a list of approved certification programs (scroll down the page). To learn more about earning your alternative teaching certification in Virginia, visit Certification Map's alternative teaching page.

While beginning an education program may seem financially daunting,  there are a  number of financial resources specifically for teachers that exist around the country. For more information on financial aid options, visit our scholarships for teachers page. To learn more about scholarships for  Virginia teachers visit our Virginia Teacher Scholarships page.

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Step Three: Required Tests

Next, you'll need to complete the Praxis Series tests, Basic Skills Assessment (CORE) and any required content area assessments. Visit the Virginia Department of Education for more information on state testing requirements and registration dates.

Basic Skills Assessment 

Basic Skills Assessment
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification

156 
162 
150

CORE: Reading
CORE: Writing
CORE: Mathematics

Required for entry into any state-approved teacher preparation program.

As of January 2014, Praxis I tests will no longer be accepted.

 


Content Area Assessment  

Content Area Assessment
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Early Childhood & Elementary Certification

143

Elementary Education: Content Knowledge

Early/Primary Education (PreK-3)

157

Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary & Special Education

Elementary Education (PreK-6)

  

Middle School Education (6-8) Certification
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Middle School Education (6-8) Certification

164

Middle School English Language Arts

English Language

163

Middle School Mathematics

Mathematics

150

Middle School Science

Science

160

Middle School Social Studies

Social Studies

  

Secondary Education (7-12) Certification
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Secondary Education (7-12) Certification

155

Biology: Content Knowledge

Biology

157

Business Education: Content Knowledge

Business Information & Technology

153

Chemistry: Content Knowledge

Chemistry

156

Earth & Space Sciences: Content Knowledge

Earth Science

TBD

172

English Language Arts: Content Knowledge
or
English Language, Literature, & Composition: Content Knowledge

English

153

Family and Consumer Sciences

Family and Consumer Sciences

147

Marketing Education

Marketing Education

147

Mathematics: Content Knowledge

Mathematics

147

Physics: Content Knowledge

Physics

161

Social Studies: Content Knowledge

Social Studies

162

Technology Education

Technology Education

  

Special Education Certification
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Special Education Certification

157

Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary & Special Education

General Curriculum

157

Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary & Special Education

Hearing Impairments

157
157

Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary & Special Education
Braille Proficiency

Visual Impairments  

 

Visit Virginia’s Praxis Requirements for a complete list of available assessments.

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Step Four: Application Requirements

In Virginia, it’s necessary to submit an application in the licensure process. To begin your licensure application, go to the Virginia Department of Education. Once you’ve  completed the application, return all  information in a single packet to:


Virginia Department of Education
Division of Teacher Education and Licensure
P. O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218-2120

Please make sure you have all of your supporting documents. Here's a complete checklist of items first-time applicants will need  to submit along with your their license application:

  • Nonrefundable Application Fee: Attach a certified check, cashier’s check, money order, or personal check made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia. The in-state fee is $50 and the out-of-state fee is $75.
  • College Verification Form: Include a copy of this form with your completed application packet. Send this form to the certification/licensure officer of the college or university where you completed a state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Report on Experience: Include a copy of this form with your completed application packet. Request the completion of this form by the appropriate official(s) at a public school division or accredited nonpublic school if you have completed at least one year of full-time contractual teaching or other school professional experience in early childhood special education or pre-kindergarten through grade 12 at a public or accredited non-public school.
  • Professional Teacher’s Assessment Scores: Please submit a copy of your scores for the licensure assessments required.
  • Official Student Transcripts: Include official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended in your application packet.
  • Certification of Child Abuse Recognition and Intervention Training: Include a copy of this certificate with your completed application. Effective July 1, 2004, the Code of Virginia requires that individuals seeking initial licensure or license renewal must complete study in child abuse recognition and intervention in accordance with curriculum guidelines approved by the Board of Education. Individuals must complete the Child Abuse Recognition and Intervention Training requirement prior to becoming licensed. 
  • Emergency First Aid, CPR, and AED Training or Certification: Include documentation verifying this requirement has been met with your application packet. The 2013 General Assembly amended the Code of Virginia to require that every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license shall provide evidence of completion of certification or training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). The following must be included on official documentation submitted to the licensure office by an individual: 
    • Individual’s full name (matching the name on licensure forms and the individual’s license, if applicable).
    • Title or description of training or certification completed that clearly indicates that all three components were included: 1) emergency first aid, 2) CPR, and 3) use of AEDs.
    • Date the training or certification was completed.
    • Signature and title of the individual providing the training or certification or a printed certificate from the organization or group that provided the training or certification. Legible copies of wallet-sized certification cards or other sized certifications, containing the above information.

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Virginia Certification Reciprocity

Virginia will accept certain teaching credentials from all but the following states: Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, and Minnesota. Contact the Virginia Department of Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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Virginia Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Virginia provides differential pay support for teachers teaching in high needs schools and differential pay and loan forgiveness for teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Virginia has strong induction policies in place
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $63,330
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $65,010
  • Average Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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Certification Resources & Links

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