Teachers across Oregon work with children of all backgrounds and ages. Educators provide basic instruction in reading and writing and teach advanced topics, such as science, technology, and art. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Oregon's elementary and secondary teachers earn an average of about $65,000 a year.
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Teaching requires a significant educational commitment before entering the classroom. Educators must earn a bachelor's degree, which typically requires four years of coursework. Current or aspiring teachers may pursue a master's degree to advance their career opportunities and increase their salaries. Oregon's K-12 teachers must also complete the state's licensure process.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Oregon's elementary and secondary teachers earn an average of about $65,000 a year.
Many prospective teachers benefit from the flexibility and accessibility of an online teaching program. Online degrees meet the same educational standards as other degrees and allow students to arrange school around work and family obligations. Most online teaching programs permit candidates to complete student teaching requirements locally.
Each state determines its own requirements for issuing teaching licenses. Before enrolling in a teaching program, students must consider Oregon's process. For example, graduates from out-of-state teacher preparation programs must first earn a license in that state before they can apply for an Oregon license. By understanding the process, prospective Oregon teachers can adequately prepare for licensing.
How Do I Become a Teacher in Oregon?
Oregon's licensure process ensures that all teachers complete appropriate training before entering the classroom. To get a K-12 teaching certificate in Oregon, the state requires a mix of educational experience and tests. Each state sets its own requirements for teacher licensure, and state licenses do not automatically transfer across state lines.
Teachers licensed in other states can apply for an Oregon reciprocal license, which is valid for one year, during which time educators will complete the teaching requirements in Oregon. Similarly, graduates from non-Oregon teaching programs must first obtain licensure from the state where they earned their teaching degree before applying for the reciprocal license. Because of this requirement, graduates from approved Oregon teaching programs undergo an easier licensure process. Licensed Oregon teachers considering moving to another state should check the reciprocity requirements for their new location.
To earn a teaching license in Oregon, elementary and secondary teachers must complete a teacher preparation program and earn a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Oregon approves in-state teaching programs that meet the educational guidelines, and graduates from these programs undergo a simple licensure process. Graduates from out-of-state programs must first earn a license in their institution's state before applying for an Oregon reciprocal license.
A bachelor's in teaching typically includes coursework in instructional methods, assessment, and teaching theories. Nearly all programs incorporate significant student teaching experience. Most bachelor's programs require 120 credits of coursework, which can be completed with four years of full-time study. Many teachers go on to earn a master's degree. Secondary teachers may pursue a major in a subject area such as science or mathematics, as long as they also complete educator preparation requirements.
Most bachelor's programs require 120 credits of coursework, which can be completed with four years of full-time study.
Prospective teachers who do not hold a degree in teaching may qualify for Oregon's limited teaching license or a career and technical education license. Both options require at least an associate degree and significant professional experience in the endorsement area. These teachers must also complete the civil rights exam and pass a background check. These licenses may require a sponsor from the employing school district.
Graduates with only an associate degree in teaching do not meet the qualifications for a teaching license in Oregon, but they can still work in education as a preschool teacher, a daycare or child care center worker, or as a paraprofessional. An online associate degree in teaching prepares graduates to transfer into a bachelor's program and may meet general education requirements.
Common Courses for Teaching Degrees in Oregon
Associate Degree in Teaching
|Introduction to Education||Students learn about the foundations of education, including the history of the teaching profession, current issues and trends in education, and theoretical approaches to teaching. Students may also participate in field observations.|
|Early Childhood Education||Many associate degree holders work in early childhood education. This class covers caregiving approaches for children from birth to age five. The course also addresses developmentally appropriate practices. Students may conduct observations.|
|Language and Literacy||This class covers literacy skills development for children and adolescents. Topics may include language and literacy development, educational activities, and reading methods.|
Bachelor's Degree in Teaching
|Perspectives in Education||Students study the historical, philosophical, social, and political foundations of education in the U.S. The class may incorporate analysis of current educational issues and trends in education. Students may conduct field observations.|
|Multicultural Issues in Education||Teachers work with students from all ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds. Classes in multicultural issues in education examine diverse learning cultures, learners from different cultures, and the best practices for working with multicultural student bodies.|
|Learning Styles||This course examines the learning styles and needs of different children. The class also examines how teachers can adjust instruction to incorporate several learning styles for diverse learners.|
Master's Degree in Teaching
|Assessment for Learning||This class analyzes formative assessment practices for different stages of the learning cycle. Students examine practices that promote higher order thinking and achieve better learning outcomes.|
|Classroom Management||Students examine techniques and approaches to cultivating a positive learning environment and managing the classroom. Coursework incorporates research literature and observation of learning environments.|
|Teacher Leadership||Teachers act as leaders both within the classroom and outside of it. This class discusses effective strategies for teacher leadership and the influence of teachers on local educational policies and programs.|
How to Get a Teaching Certificate in Oregon
To receive a teaching certificate, Oregon teachers must meet all state licensure requirements. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, complete a teacher preparation program, pass the required examinations, and undergo a background check. The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) provides information about Oregon teaching license requirements.
Recent graduates from Oregon teaching programs apply for a preliminary license. Applicants must submit official transcripts from their bachelor's program, provide evidence of successful completion of a teacher training program, pass any required endorsement area tests, and complete a background check. In Oregon, three testing companies offer the required subject mastery exams, as well as the required protecting student and civil rights in the educational environment exam.
Preliminary license holders can earn a professional license with four years of full-time teaching experience and an advanced education program such as a master's degree, an endorsement program, or National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification.
Teachers licensed in other states and graduates from out-of-state teaching programs must apply for Oregon's reciprocal license. The license, which is valid for one year, requires teachers to pass the Oregon subject-matter test or receive a waiver. Teachers can use Pearson or Praxis subject matter tests to meet the endorsement area testing requirements. Before the reciprocal license expires, teachers must apply for the preliminary or professional teaching license.
Oregon's guidelines state that graduates from out-of-state teaching programs must hold a valid teaching license in the state where they earned a teaching degree before they can teach in Oregon. This added step may slow the process of obtaining a teaching job in Oregon.
The reciprocal teacher license costs $190, while the preliminary and professional teaching licenses cost $140. Preliminary licenses are valid for three years. Teachers can renew their licenses by completing 75 professional development units.
Choosing a Degree Program in Oregon
Prospective teachers face an important choice early in their educational careers: choosing the right teaching program. With so many online teaching programs available, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. However, by researching key factors such as cost, location, program length, and specializations, future teachers can find the program that best fits their interests and career goals.
Licensed Oregon teachers must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
For many students, tuition is the most important factor in choosing a college. Scholarships, grants, and discounts may significantly affect the cost of a teaching program. Public schools may offer discounts to residents, while many institutions provide a discount for online students. Location can affect access to support resources and placement for student teaching. Location also affects the licensure process; graduates from out-of-state teacher education programs have a more difficult time obtaining an Oregon license.
Each program sets its own graduation requirements, including student teaching experience and number of credits. Certain specializations may require additional credits, while transfer credits or an associate degree can significantly shorten the time needed to earn a bachelor's degree. Many students, particularly current teachers earning an advanced degree, prefer the flexibility and accessibility of an online teaching program.
Can You Earn a Teaching Degree Online in Oregon?
Licensed Oregon teachers must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. The TSPC has approved programs from 22 institutions in the state, many of which offer online programs. Online students receive the same diplomas and transcripts as on-campus students. Graduates from an online teaching program complete the same licensure process as those enrolled in a traditional teaching program.
Accreditation is an important marker of academic excellence. Many states, including Oregon, require teachers to earn a degree from a regionally accredited institution. When evaluating online teaching programs, prospective students should always check accreditation status. An institution without regional accreditation will not meet Oregon's licensure requirements, even if the school holds national accreditation.
Directory of Teaching Schools in Oregon
Paying for Your Teaching Degree in Oregon
Earning a bachelor's degree is the first step to becoming an elementary or secondary teacher in Oregon. Many current teachers expand their career opportunities and increase their salary potential by earning a master's degree. Regardless of level, all students need a plan to pay for their teaching degree. Oregon teaching students benefit from several financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, loans, loan forgiveness programs, and tuition reimbursement programs.
Scholarships and grants can reward thousands of dollars. Some may require certain work requirements after graduation, while others carry no stipulations. Many students rely on loans to cover college costs; filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) qualifies students for several federal loan programs such as direct loans, Stafford loans, and Perkins loans. All of these loans may be eliminated through federal loan forgiveness programs.
In addition to scholarships, grants, and loans, teaching students may receive financial aid through their college or university. Working teachers and other professionals may also qualify for tuition reimbursement programs through their school district or employer. With so many options, teaching students can craft a plan to pay for their degree even before they enroll in a program.
Loan Forgiveness for Oregon Teachers
A loan forgiveness program discharges all or part of a graduate's student loans based on their professional contributions. Teachers may qualify for several student loan programs, particularly if they teach at a low-income school or in a high-need field. However, most loan forgiveness programs carry teaching obligations that must be met before the loan is discharged. By researching loan forgiveness programs, prospective teachers can make a plan to repay loans at minimal cost.
At the federal level, teachers can use the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program and the Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation Program to discharge their student loans. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program provides up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness for subsidized and unsubsidized direct loans and Stafford loans. To qualify, teachers must work for five consecutive years in a low-income school. The Perkins program discharges up to 100% of federal Perkins loans for teachers who work in low-income schools, special education, or an area with a teacher shortage.
Oregon maintains a list of schools that meet the low-income guidelines for loan forgiveness programs. The Federal Student Aid Office also publishes a teacher cancellation low-income directory for qualifying schools.
Scholarships for Oregon Teaching Students
Oregon teaching students can benefit from a variety of scholarship opportunities, including several options through the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion. While some scholarships carry teaching obligations after graduation, others do not. Below, are several scholarship options for candidates seeking a teaching license in Oregon.
Nettie Hanselman Jaynes Memorial Scholarship Varies
TEACH Grants $4,000
Mary Elizabeth Guest Scholarship Varies
James Carlson Memorial Scholarship Varies
Oregon PTA Teacher Education Scholarship $500
Family Child Care Scholarship $300
Job Outlook and Salary for Teachers in Oregon
|Location||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
With over 100,000 working teachers in Oregon, education is a major segment of the workforce. According to the BLS, Oregon's teachers earn an average salary of $57,450 a year, which is higher than the national average of $54,520. Teacher salaries vary based on job title, teacher education and experience, and location.
Oregon's preschool teachers earn the lowest average salary, at just over $30,000 a year. However, preschool teachers do not need to hold a bachelor's degree or earn an Oregon teaching license like elementary and secondary teachers. At the elementary level, kindergarten and elementary teachers earn just over $63,000 on average, while middle school and high school teachers make an average of over $66,000.
Many school districts create salary schedules that benefit teachers with multiple years of classroom experience or graduate degrees. As in other states, Oregon teachers with a master's degree earn more than teachers with only a bachelor's degree. Teachers earn higher salaries in Oregon's metropolitan areas and lower salaries in the state's rural areas.
|Elementary School Teachers||$63,390|
|Middle School Teachers||$63,390|
|Secondary School Teachers||$66,010|
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching in Oregon
How do I get a teaching license in Oregon?
How much does a teacher make a year in Oregon?
How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in Oregon?
Is a master's degree required to teach in Oregon?
Resources for Teachers in Oregon
- Oregon Department of Education (ODE) The ODE issues teaching licenses and processes renewal applications. The department also provides educator resources such as professional development materials, state teaching standards, teaching material, and content resources. The department confers teacher recognition awards to outstanding educators.
- Oregon Education Association (OEA) OEA, a state affiliate of the National Education Association, acts as a union for 44,000 educators teaching in pre-K-12 teaching positions, as well as community college educators. The organization also provides professional development resources, networking opportunities, and legal assistance.
- Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children (ORAEYC) ORAEYC, an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, promotes high-quality early learning for children from birth through age eight. Member benefits include specialized workshops, events, professional development resources, and early childhood education scholarships.
- Oregon Parent Teacher Association (PTA) The Oregon PTA promotes children's education by connecting teachers, parents, organizations, and community members. The Oregon PTA organizes events, confers awards, and offers teacher education scholarships.
- National Education Association (NEA) Since 1857, NEA has promoted quality education through advocacy and research. NEA, the nation's largest professional employee organization, represents 3 million educators. Members benefit from the organization's research, publications, and professional development resources.