In Washington State, you’ll find that there are a number of different ways to complete teaching certificate requirements. Washington offers an option to complete education with a regionally accredited teaching program, join as a teacher from outside of the state, or follow an alternative pathway.

Washington teachers who will follow a traditional route will be required to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. In addition to this education, you will need to complete a state approved teacher preparation program either at the same educational institution or another that is regionally accredited. Applicants from outside of the state of Washington will be required to pass a basic skills test (WEST-B) within 12 months of receiving a temporary permit. Additionally, you’ll need to pass an endorsement content knowledge test (WEST-E) during that same period of time. If you prefer, Washington also offers alternative pathway teacher preparation programs. To qualify for this program, you will be required to have at least 3 years of qualified teaching experience outside of Washington and hold a regular certificate from another state. You can find institutions of higher learning that offer these programs here. You may also find that a Limited Teaching Certificate is right for you. These are issued to those who do not qualify for a regular teaching certificate, but are needed to meet the needs of schools in the state.

Washington’s largest school district is Seattle Public Schools, which is also one of the largest school districts in the United States. You can generally find employment in Seattle and other large cities like Spokane, Tacoma, and Vancouver. The Superintendent of Public Instruction’s web site offers links to a number of job resources in Washington, including WaTeach, which offers an online recruitment system for Washington teachers.

Teachers in Washington must complete a specific amount of clock hours each five years to maintain the validity of their teaching certificate. For most teachers, this requirement will be 150 approved clock hours, which can be completed through continuing education study or equivalent academic credit.

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