How to Become a Teacher in Hawaii

Hawaii is the only state that boasts a single, unified school district throughout all of its islands. With a student population of approximately 182,000, this district has more than 13,000 educators and and support staff to serve the needs of its vast student community, according to the Hawaii State Department of Education. Before seeking employment as an educator on one of the islands that makes up the state of Hawaii, a prospective teacher must receive the proper training and qualify for specific credentials, including a Hawaii teaching license. To learn more about becoming a Hawaii certified teacher, check out the information below.

Education Requirements

Becoming a teacher in Hawaii involves obtaining the appropriate education and certification credentials. Prospective teachers must first complete a State Approved Teacher Education Program (SATEP) from an accredited institution or online teaching schools in Hawaii, according to the Hawaii Teachers Standards Board. Applicants must also hold a Hawaii teaching license, which involves passing appropriate licensing examinations for the state.

The state offers three different categories of a Hawaii teaching license. A provisional license must be renewed every three years and is for those who have completed their education and examinations, but do not yet hold a license in the state. The five-year license is the standard for Hawaii teacher certification and offers various guidelines depending on whether the teacher currently holds a license in another state or has yet to obtain a license in any state. An advanced 10-year license is also available for teachers with the proper amount of experience.

Teachers who received their education from an accredited program in another state may also apply for a teaching license in Hawaii. If the educator completed a SATEP and currently holds a teaching license from another state, a Hawaii teaching license can be applied for directly. Those who have not completed a SATEP will also need to submit a Verification of Qualifying Experience form, showing a minimum of three years of practical teaching experience and passing scores for the Hawaii licensure examinations.

Any teaching applicant who completed a SATEP outside the U.S. will be required to submit a foreign transcript provided by an approved transcript evaluation company. A list of companies can be found at the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, or NACES webiste. The evaluation form, which includes areas of study and verification that the SATEP was completed, should be submitted along with the licensing application. In addition, all teaching applicants will need to submit the application fee for state licensure along with the licensing application.

Hawaii Teaching Certification

Hawaii refers to teaching certification as licensure. Candidates for standard or provisional licensure must complete a state-approved teacher education program and meet basic skills and expertise competence competency.

Required Tests

Candidates for licensure are required by the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board (HTSB) to pass the Hawaii Praxis I and Principles of Learning and Teaching tests as well as any other Praxis tests required for specific licensure areas.

State Certification Reciprocity

Out-of-state candidates can apply for Hawaii teaching licensure if they hold a teaching license issued by another state. If an out-of-state candidate is licensed, but did not complete a state-approved teacher educator program, the candidate can instead provide verification of qualifying experience. Complete requirements for teaching licensure for out-of-state candidates are available on the HTSB website.

Helpful Resources

Brigham Young University-Hawaii

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55-220 Kulanui Street
Laie, HI 96762-1294
(808) 675-3211

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors

Accrediting Agency:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities

Hawaii Pacific University

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1164 Bishop Street, Suite 800
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 544-0200

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Honolulu Community College

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874 Dillingham Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96817-4598
(808) 845-9211

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 2-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Certificate

Accrediting Agency:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
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