There are more than 1 million students in public schools in Washington state, and this means that there is a need for thousands of certified teachers to adequately serve these students. Becoming a teacher in Washington requires years of education from an accredited institution as well as passing a few basic skills tests. After receiving an initial residency certificate, those who work as educators and gain experience can gain a professional certificate that provides more stability and additional opportunities. This article contains information on Washington teaching salaries, the education requirements for a Washington certified teacher, and opportunities for those with a Washington teaching license in other states.
Teachers in Washington are certified by the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. To become certified, applicants must have earned a bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university and have completed a teacher education program. A basic skills test and endorsement area tests are also required.
Washington Teaching Certification
The first-level regular certificate that teachers in Washington receive is the Residency Certificate. To qualify for the Residency Certificate, applicants must earn a bachelor’s degree or higher from any regionally accredited college or university, complete any state’s approved teacher preparation program, and pass the required teacher assessments. The advanced-level regular certificate is the Professional Certificate, which is often earned after holding the Residency Certificate and working as a teacher in Washington.
Teachers in Washington must pass the Washington Educator Skills Test Basic, or WEST-B, which tests basic skills in reading, math, and writing. They must also take the relevant Washington Educator Skills Tests Endorsements, or WEST-E, to prove their content knowledge of specific endorsement subjects.
State Certification Reciprocity
Washington accepts certification from all other states if the applicant has a bachelor’s and has completed a teacher preparation program or has at least three years of experience teaching in another state. However, out-of-state applicants must pass the basic skills test and an endorsement content knowledge test within 12 months of receiving a temporary permit.