From Boise to the panhandle, Idaho teachers work with students of all abilities and backgrounds. Teachers help elementary students learn basic skills such as reading and math, and they also teach secondary-level content areas like social studies, science, and foreign languages. Teaching is an exciting profession with new challenges every day, and teaching in Idaho can be a rewarding career path.
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Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average salary for Idaho teachers is lower than the national average, Idaho teaching salaries vary depending on job title, the teacher's education level, and job location. While prospective teachers can enter the profession with a bachelor's degree, current Idaho teachers increase their salary potential and job opportunities by earning an advanced degree.
Current Idaho teachers increase their salary potential and job opportunities by earning an advanced degree.
The Idaho State Board of Education provides straightforward guidelines on becoming a teacher in Idaho. Prospective teachers can meet the Idaho teaching requirements by earning a bachelor's degree in teaching and applying for a teaching certificate. Online teaching programs provide more flexibility than on-campus programs, which may help current teachers or professionals changing careers complete the educational requirements. The state also makes it easy for graduates from out-of-state online teaching programs to earn the Idaho teaching certification.
Teachers can also concentrate in fields such as special education, early childhood education, or literacy education. While becoming a teacher requires several years of commitment to complete the degree requirements and earn the teaching certificate, Idaho teachers can enjoy rewarding and lifelong careers.
How to Become a Teacher in Idaho
Each state determines its own requirements for teaching at the K-12 level. In Idaho, teachers must graduate from a bachelor's program, complete a teacher preparation program with student teaching experience, and pass a background check. While associate degree holders can work at the pre-K level or as paraprofessionals, elementary and secondary teachers in Idaho must hold a valid teaching certification, which requires a bachelor's.
Because states set their own teaching requirements, licenses do not automatically transfer from one state to another. However, Idaho is a member of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement, designed to simplify the process of transferring a teaching license between states. Idaho accepts out-of-state degrees from accredited programs as well as out-of-state Praxis II or equivalent test scores. Licensed Idaho teachers considering moving to another state should research the license transfer process in the state where they plan to work.
Idaho teachers must meet certain educational requirements. Teachers at the K-12 level need to hold a bachelor's degree to earn the state teaching certification, which is administered by the Idaho State Department of Education (SDE). While Idaho does not offer teaching license reciprocity with other states, it does provide a simple process for out-of-state teaching program graduates to earn an Idaho license.
Earning a bachelor's degree typically requires 120 credits and four years of full-time study. Students with an associate degree or previous college transfer credits can complete the degree requirements in less time. Idaho bachelor's-level teaching programs meet the state's teacher preparation requirements, and current students may be able to apply for a certificate directly through their college of education. Teachers with a master's degree, which can be earned in two years, command higher salaries and may qualify for specialized positions that require advanced degrees.
Idaho's state guidelines require a minimum number of credits in particular competency areas. Elementary education teachers must have 24 credits in their field, with at least six each in developmental reading and elementary student teaching. Secondary education teachers must have 20 credits in instructional technology and their professional subject matter, including three credits of reading in their content area and six credits in secondary student teaching. In addition, secondary teachers must demonstrate two fields of teaching preparation, with 30 credits in the primary field and 20 credits in the secondary field.
Teachers with a master's degree, which can be earned in two years, command higher salaries and may qualify for specialized positions that require advanced degrees.
Because the state guidelines require student teaching experience, students attending an out-of-state teaching program need to ensure that they meet Idaho's requirement. The Idaho Department of Education provides a certification for out-of-state teachers with a transcript review process.
An online associate degree in teaching prepares graduates to work as preschool teachers, daycare or childcare center workers, or as paraprofessional educators. Graduates can also transfer into a bachelor's program in order to pursue the Idaho teaching credential.
Common Courses for Teaching Degrees in Idaho
Associate Degree in Teaching
|Introduction to Teaching||Students learn the fundamentals of the teaching profession, including best practices in teaching, challenges facing educators, and teaching specializations.|
|Childhood Development||Many associate degree holders work with young children, and coursework on childhood development covers teaching preschool and pre-K materials.|
|Curriculum and Instruction||Courses on curriculum and instruction allow students to analyze curriculum design and instructional strategies, and may require a final project that includes designing original teaching materials.|
Bachelor's Degree in Teaching
|Education in the U.S||This course covers the development of the U.S. educational system, including historical, sociological, and political issues related to public education.|
|Instructional Technology||Technology is a growing tool in education, and this course covers the content, strategies, and methods for integrating technology into school curricula.|
|ESL Methods||Many teachers work with students whose primary language is not English, and this course covers language assessment, lesson planning, and course delivery at the K-12 level.|
Master's Degree in Teaching
|Developmental Literacy||Teachers at all levels work on literacy skills, and coursework may include strategies for reading, language development, and comprehension assessment.|
|Contemporary Issues in Education||Coursework provides an analysis of contemporary debates in education as well as trends in pedagogical theories and practices.|
|Theories of Learning||Master's students analyze the theories behind how people learn and the best practices for instructional practice, including designing effective curricula.|
Certification and Licensing Needed to Become a Teacher in Idaho
Every state sets its own requirements for earning a teaching license. In Idaho, SDE manages the certification process, and the state provides multiple options for applicants to obtain a teaching certificate. While preschool teachers do not need an educator certificate, teachers at the K-12 level must hold a valid teaching certificate to work in Idaho.
Graduates with a bachelor's degree from an Idaho teacher preparation program can apply for an initial certificate. Applicants must submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, complete a fingerprint card, submit an institutional recommendation form, and provide Praxis II assessment scores. The state application fee is $75, and the Praxis test fees are typically around $100. After five years, teachers must renew the certificate and show six credits of professional development.
Earning an Idaho teaching certificate with an out-of-state degree requires a few extra steps. Graduates from a program accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), or Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP) who earned their degree within the past two years can receive an Idaho certificate after submitting their transcripts for review along with any out-of-state teaching licenses. Out-of-state applicants must also provide Praxis II scores or equivalent content testing and pass a background check.
Idaho provides alternative authorization options, including certificates for content area specialists without a teaching degree and interim certifications for nontraditional candidates. Idaho state teaching certification does not automatically transfer to other states, but the state has signed on to the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement, which simplifies the process of transferring an out-of-state license. Teachers must renew their certificate on a regular basis, which is typically five years for standard educator certificates, three years for interim certificates, and as short as one year for some alternative certificates.
Choosing a Teaching Degree Program in Idaho
Finding the right teaching degree can shape a teacher's career path. Luckily, future teachers have multiple options when it comes to teaching programs. Prospective students can evaluate teaching programs based on cost, location, length, and teaching specializations. By carefully considering each factor, prospective teachers can find the program that best fits their interests and career goals.
Cost and location are top considerations for many students. Online teaching programs provide a significant advantage over traditional programs, because students are not limited to local schools. Many online programs also offer discounts for online students or provide in-state tuition rates for non-residents. When evaluating costs, it's important to consider not just the per-credit tuition charge, but also the total number of required credits, program length, and any discounts available for online students.
Each teaching program offers specializations, such as elementary education, secondary education, and special education. Some specializations may add additional time to the degree, and the student teaching requirements may also vary by program. Most online teaching programs let students complete their student teaching requirements locally. Idaho requires an institutional recommendation form for many teaching certificates, and online programs can easily meet the state's licensing requirements.
Can You Earn a Teaching Degree Online in Idaho?
Idaho teachers at the elementary and secondary level must hold a bachelor's degree in order to earn the state teacher certification. The SDE, which processes educator certification applications, sets the teacher certification requirements. Graduates from programs that hold NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP accreditation meet the state's educational requirements, including graduates from accredited online programs.
Attending an online program does not affect the applicant's licensing requirements, as long as the program holds accreditation.
Graduates with an online teaching degree complete the certification process in the same way as graduates with traditional degrees. They submit their college transcripts, supply passing Praxis II exam scores, complete a background check, and submit an institutional recommendation form from their degree-granting institution. Attending an online program does not affect the applicant's licensing requirements, as long as the program holds accreditation.
However, when evaluating online teaching programs, prospective teachers must check the institution's accreditation status. Idaho sets restrictions on which programs meet its educational requirements based on the teaching program's accreditation. Recently, NCATE and TEAC -- the two major education accreditation agencies -- merged to form CAEP, and Idaho requires that teaching certification applicants hold a degree from a program accredited by one of those three organizations.
Directory of Teaching Schools in Idaho
Paying for Your Teaching Degree in Idaho
Earning a degree is the first step to becoming a teacher, but paying for a teaching degree can feel like a challenge. Prospective Idaho teachers have several options when it comes to paying for a teaching degree, including scholarships, grants, loans, and tuition reimbursement programs. Scholarships and grants have an obvious benefit -- graduates don't have to pay them back. However, some programs, like the TEACH Grant, require recipients to meet teaching obligations after graduation, which may include a minimum number of years working in a low-income school.
In addition to scholarships and grants, teaching students can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal loans and work study opportunities. While loans -- including federal programs like direct loans, Stafford loans, and Perkins loans -- must be repaid, teachers often benefit from loan forgiveness or repayment programs. Teachers who receive Perkins loans, for example, can use the teacher loan cancellation program to discharge their full loan amount.
Some employers, including some school districts, also offer tuition reimbursement programs. In addition to researching state and federal funding options, teaching students can seek funding opportunities through their university or department.
Loan Forgiveness for Idaho Teachers
Loan forgiveness programs cancel all or a portion of a student loan based on the graduate's professional contributions. Teachers, particularly those working with low-income or high-needs populations, qualify for several loan forgiveness programs. Those eligible for loan forgiveness programs often need to meet teaching requirements, such as a certain number of years working at a low-income school or teaching in a field facing teacher shortages.
Teachers with federal loans can benefit from several loan forgiveness options. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, operated by the Federal Student Aid Office, provides up to $17,500 of loan forgiveness. This program applies to direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans and federal Stafford loans. In order to qualify, teachers must have five consecutive years of full-time work experience in a low-income school or a qualifying educational agency.
The federal government also offers a loan cancellation program for Perkins loans. The Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation program cancels up to 100% of a federal Perkins loan for teachers working with low-income students, special education teachers, and teachers in fields with a shortage of qualified teachers. Eligible teachers may also qualify for loan deferment while they meet the program's teaching obligations.
Idaho does not offer any statewide teacher loan forgiveness or repayment programs, though some Idaho state representatives supported a 2018 bill that would provide loan repayment for rural teachers.
Scholarships for Idaho Teaching Students
With opportunities at the federal, state, and local levels, scholarships help Idaho teaching students pay for their degrees. While there are a number of scholarships open to teaching majors, some carry requirements such as teaching for a certain number of years in Idaho, and others are only available to students at certain institutions.
TEACH Grants $4,000
Northwest Professional Educators Teacher Scholarships $500
Bette R. Joy Teacher Scholarship Varies
Job Outlook and Salary for Teachers in Idaho
|Location||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
Idaho employs over 40,000 teachers, according to the BLS, and on average Idaho teachers earn $42,010 per year. Teacher salaries in Idaho are below the national mean wage for teachers, which is currently $54,520. However, the cost of living in Idaho -- including in Boise, the state's largest city -- is lower than the national average, according to PayScale.
Idaho teacher salaries vary based on several factors, including job title, education level, and location. Preschool teachers earn the lowest wages compared to other Idaho teachers, with an average of $23,200 each year, but they can teach with an associate degree and are not required to hold a teaching certificate in Idaho. Kindergarten, elementary, and secondary school teachers average just under $50,000, while Idaho's middle school teachers are the state's highest paid with average wages over $52,000 per year.
Education level also affects teacher salaries. As with many other states, Idaho teachers who have a master's degree make more than teachers with a bachelor's degree. Finally, salary levels often differ from district to district, including variations between Idaho's metropolitan areas of Boise, Twin Falls, and Pocatello. Prospective Idaho teachers can research salary scale information for specific Idaho school districts.
|Elementary School Teachers||$47,140|
|Middle School Teachers||$52,390|
|Secondary School Teachers||$46,730|
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching in Idaho
How do I become a teacher in Idaho?
What is the Idaho ranking in education?
How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in Idaho?
How much do teachers make in Idaho?
Resources for Teachers in Idaho
- Idaho State Department of Education (SDE) SDE runs the teacher certification program, operates programs for the state's public schools, and provides a job board to help educators find teaching positions in the state.
- Idaho Education Association (IEA) The state's largest professional employee organization, the IEA is the state branch of the National Education Association. Members include elementary and secondary teachers, education support professionals, retired educators, administrators, and students. Members receive professional support, discounted insurance, and legal resources.
- Idaho Federation of Teachers (IFT) The IFT is the state-wide organization of Idaho teachers unions, which are affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. The union advocates on behalf of members, produces reports and position papers, and provides grievance procedures for teachers.
- Northwest Professional Educators (NWPE) NWPE provides support for teachers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho through liability insurance, legal services, and classroom support. As a nonunion teacher association partnered with the Association of American Educators, NWPE also provides professional resources, scholarships, and grants.
- National Education Association (NEA) Made up of more than three million members, NEA advocates for public education at the federal, state, and local levels. Members receive resources, teaching information, and discounted legal services.