Become a Teacher in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $56,940
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $57,320
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.

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. 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: 08/11/2018

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 Wisconsin.

To become a certified teacher in Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin teaching credential application.

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: Wisconsin Prerequisite Coursework

Generally, states require certified teachers to hold, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas; Wisconsin, however, does not have any such requirements.

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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: Wisconsin Teacher Preparation

The traditional route of teacher preparation in Wisconsin includes 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 various 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 resources exist specifically for teachers. For more information, visit the Certification Map page on scholarships for teachers. For scholarships exclusive to teachers in Wisconsin, visit the Certification Map Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin on Certification Map.

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Step Three: Wisconsin Required Tests

Teachers in Wisconsin are required to successfully complete the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests for admission into an educator preparation program and the relevant Specific Licensure Areas tests as part of the certification process.

Basic Skills Assessment

Basic Skills Assessment
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification


CORE: Reading
CORE: Writing
CORE: Mathematics

Applicants to educator preparation programs.

Content Area Assessment

Content Area Assessment
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification


Elementary Education: Content Knowledge

Early Childhood – Regular Education
Early Childhood – Middle Childhood – Regular Education


Middle School: Content Knowledge

Middle Childhood – Early Adolescence – Regular Education


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


Middle School: Content Knowledge

Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Emotional Behavior Disabilities
Intellectual Disabilities
Specific Learning Disabilities
Visual Impairment


Elementary Education: Content Knowledge

Early Childhood Special Education


Speech-Language Pathology

Speech & Language Pathologist


Early Adolescence – Adolescence Certification
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Early Adolescence – Adolescence Certification


General Science: Content Knowledge

Broad Field Science
Earth & Space Sciences
Life & Environmental Science
Physical Science


English Language, Literature, and Composition: Content Knowledge

Broad Field Language Arts
English Literature & Composition
Speech Communication


Social Studies: Content Knowledge

Broad Field Social Studies
Political Science & Citizenship


Mathematics: Content Knowledge


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

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Step Four: Wisconsin Application Requirements

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requires candidates pursuing their Initial Teaching Licenses to meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited institution;
  • Complete a state-approved educator preparation program and meet all state testing requirements;
  • Pass background check.

Visit the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Educator Licensing page for more information regarding license types and requirements.

Education K-12 Listings

While the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction does maintain its own list of teaching positions open to the public, it also directs educators searching for work to a number of other online resources. These include: the Job Center of Wisconsin, which hosts a search engine for positions throughout the state; the Wisconsin Education Career Access Network, which features an online application system for certified staff; the Academic Employment Network, a nationwide database of teaching positions; and School-Jobs, another nationwide database.

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Wisconsin Certification Reciprocity

Wisconsin accepts some teaching credentials from other states through interstate reciprocity. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to inquire about your specific situation. Please see the Certification Map interstate certification reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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Wisconsin Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Wisconsin provides loan forgiveness for teachers working in high-needs fields and low-income areas.
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Although Wisconsin requires induction support, it stipulates no minimum length, according to the New Teacher Center.
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $56,940
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $57,320
  • 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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Wisconsin Certification Resources & Links

125 S. Webster Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7841
(800) 266-3390

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