To become a certified teacher in Washington, 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.
Important Note: Education licensure requirements and salary statistics (for teachers and administrators) 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: 1/06/2015
Candidates seeking their initial teaching licensure in Washington State must meet the following requirements:
Washington state requires fingerprint clearance and background checks for all applicants seeking a Washington state teaching certificate. Contact your local ESD (educational service district) for more information about how to submit your fingerprints.
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. Washington, however, does not have any undergraduate credit hour requirements.
The State of Washington requires prospective teachers either to complete a state-approved teacher preparation program at an accredited college or university, or to complete a state-approved alternative certification program.
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. Information about alternative certification in Washington can be found here!
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 exclusive to the State of Washington, visit our Washington Teacher Scholarships page.
The Professional Educator Standards Board of Washington requires that all teaching candidates successfully complete a Basic Skills assessment and any required Content Area assessments before obtaining their Washington state teaching certification.
Applicants must successfully complete each WEST-B subtest for reading, writing and mathematics in order to obtain their Washington state teaching certification. Candidates from outside of Washington state may submit the following test scores in lieu of taking the WEST-B:
Applicants are required to complete the WEST-E assessments for their certification/endorsement area(s). The following endorsement areas require the WEST-E tests.
Washington will accept some teaching credentials from all but the following states: Alaska, Idaho, and Iowa. Contact the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.
The Washington State Board of Education provides teachers with a number of resources when applying for K-12 teaching jobs within its public school system. Visit WA’s Job Board for links to online databases and job banks.
Washington Substitute Teacher Requirements
Please click here to learn more about how to become a substitute teacher in Washington.
Washington State Board of Education
Office of Public Instruction and Professional Certification
Old Capitol Building, P.O. Box 47200
Olympia, Washington 98504