What are the Requirements to Become a Teacher in California?


Become a Teacher in California

All teachers in California are required to earn a bachelor’s degree. They then must pass an exam and earn certification in the area in which they decide to teach: elementary, high school or special education.

It’s a rigorous process to become a teacher in California, the nation’s largest state, but it has its rewards. The state has the second highest mean annual wage for secondary school teachers in the country at $80,510, according to numbers from May 2018 provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS also reports that California has one of the highest mean annual salaries for kindergarten teachers, at $69,690, and elementary school teachers, at $80,100. Those are impressive numbers but they can be improved upon for teachers who expand their knowledge base by earning continuing education credits.

Becoming a teacher in California involves the following steps according to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Elementary School

Education students who want to teach in California at the elementary school level must earn a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Prospective teachers can accomplish this goal through:

  • A college or university
  • A college or university internship program
  • A school district internship program
  • Experience teaching at a private school
  • The Early Completion Intern Option
  • Peace Corps experience

The Early Completion Intern Option essentially allows prospective teachers in a state-approved internship program “an opportunity to challenge the course work portion of a Multiple or Single Subject Intern Program and demonstrate pedagogical skills through a performance assessment while in a commission-approved intern program,” according to the state.

High School

If teaching in high school is your goal, then you will need to earn a Single Subject Teaching Credential. The same options exist for earning this credential as with the multiple subject credential. However, the Peace Corps option is not included.

Special Education

Educators who want to work with children in a special education setting must earn the Education Specialist Instruction Credential. The three pathways to earn this credential are through a college or university, through a college or university internship program or through a public school district internship program.

Continuing Education

Many school districts in California also require teachers to earn education credits beyond their college degree program through professional development courses. These courses better position teachers to earn a higher salary and promotion to the best teaching jobs.

Becoming a teacher in California is a worthwhile pursuit. With better pay, a high-quality education system and opportunities for advancement, the Golden State is one of the best states for teachers to work. 








Related Articles

A teacher assists his students with the latest technology. He benefits from professional development courses focusing on technology training for teachers.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Technology Training for Teachers with Online PD Courses from Fresno Pacific University

Technology training for teachers is an ideal way to maintain professional development credits and stay current with technology tools and software.
A teacher uses her data-driven decisions making skills as she develops her class material.
Thursday, December 24, 2020

Earn PD Units with a Data-Driven Decision Making Course

The data-driven decision making course offering from FPU help teachers improve how they teach in the classroom.
Monday, November 30, 2020

Join Us for the 2020 Advent Devotional 🕊️

Celebration is upon us! Fresno Pacific University invites you to embrace the holiday spirit and join Dr. Joseph Jones and the President's Cabinet for the 2020 Advent devotional.