Among the nation's leading providers of innovative resources for educators, Virginia offers a variety of teaching jobs with salaries above the national average. Today, education and health services ranks among the state's largest economic sectors, growing significantly over the last decade. This growth is due in large part to robust education initiatives, including Head Start programs and the Virginia Higher Education Plan. Earning an online teaching degree in Virginia prepares newly certified educators for jobs in teaching and school leadership. Teaching positions in Virginia may even be filled by retirees who hold experience in critical shortage areas of education.
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Teaching positions in Virginia may even be filled by retirees who hold experience in critical shortage areas of education.
Students pursuing Virginia teaching credentials can take advantage of the state's many career-focused incentive programs. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) offers mentoring programs for beginning teachers, a path to voluntary national board certification, and additional incentives for experienced math teachers in at-risk schools. In addition to the many career possibilities awaiting licensed teachers in Virginia, the state provides several scholarships and grants tailored specifically to educators, especially those in high-need subjects and counties. Aspiring teachers may also opt to pursue an online teaching degree in Virginia; flexible distance programs allow professionals to fulfill work and family obligations while earning their degree.
Students with a teaching license from another state seeking to teach in Virginia must complete a state-approved teacher preparation program at a regionally accredited institution, as well as pass all of the required teacher assessments administered by the VDOE. Candidates who have at least three years of teaching experience on their out-of-state license may be exempted from some of these assessments.
How Do I Become a Teacher in Virginia?
Because each state maintains its own teaching licensure requirements, aspiring educators in a particular state must meet the specific stipulations mandated by that state's department of education. Additionally, due to slight variations from one state to the next, licenses do not automatically or fully transfer. Like many states, Virginia offers multiple pathways to licensure for qualifying candidates.
Virginia teaching certification is granted to graduates who have completed a state-approved teacher preparation program at a four-year institution; teachers holding an out-of-state license who have completed a teacher training program at a regionally accredited school; and individuals who have completed endorsement coursework, experiential learning, or other provisional requirements for special education.
Many accredited colleges and universities offer teacher preparation programs and online teaching degrees in Virginia. Preparation programs typically focus on an individual area of education, such as early childhood education, elementary education, or educational leadership; these programs often represent a portion of the curriculum in a school's bachelor's or master's in education track.
The process of obtaining Virginia teaching credentials also requires students to earn passing scores on the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment and Praxis tests in a student's teaching subject. Individuals with a master's degree who want to pursue master educator certification in a specific endorsement area, including special education, may need to meet additional requirements.
Candidates must earn at least a bachelor's degree to apply for a Virginia teaching license. Some colleges in the state offer associate degrees, which prepare educators and education administrators for non-licensed, entry-level jobs in education. These two-year programs can also act as stepping stones to more advanced degrees. Students must earn their bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Distance learners should also look for programs that prepare graduates to sit for Praxis exams; Virginia teaching requirements include earning passing scores on these assessments.
Students must earn their bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
Online teaching degrees at the bachelor's level in Virginia should require an internship or practicum; this student-teaching experience is needed to assume most Virginia teaching jobs. Learners must have at least one year of verified full-time teaching experience in the classroom to apply for initial licensure in Virginia.
Out-of-state applicants seeking a Virginia teaching certificate can choose one of two pathways to licensure. Candidates who already hold a teaching license in another state may qualify for a Virginia teaching license through an interstate reciprocity agreement, while those applying for licensure for the first time must complete a teacher preparation program at an accredited, state-approved college or university.
Common Courses for Teaching Degrees in Virginia
Associate Degree in Teaching
|Introduction to Child Development||This course introduces aspiring educators to the developmental milestones of childhood, from birth to age eight. Students explore various theories and strategies related to healthy childhood development.|
|Introduction to Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction||This class invites students to explore the connections between instruction, assessment, and curriculum, especially in early childhood classrooms. Prospective teachers explore various curricular approaches, concluding the course by going through a simulated lesson plan.|
|Principles of Education||This course provides an overview of the entire field of education, including its history, philosophy, legal aspects, and current issues facing teachers today. Future teachers also receive an introduction to the terminology used in the field.|
Bachelor's Degree in Teaching
|Educational Assessment||This course covers data-driven methods of evaluation in contemporary classrooms, including scoring, interpretation, and implementation strategies. Aspiring teachers learn to design ethical assessments using technology and other education-oriented analytical tools.|
|Administration of Early Childhood Education Programs||This class teaches participants to implement early childhood education programs in classrooms. Learners explore different materials, budgets, curriculum development techniques, teaching strategies, HR procedures, and state regulations.|
|Issues in Education||This career-focused course covers a variety of important topics, including diversity in the classroom, classroom management, and continuing education requirements. Future educators also complete intensive coursework in academic writing.|
Master's Degree in Teaching
|Psychology for Educators||This course provides a foundation in student-based learning and reflective teaching concepts. Prospective teachers discuss educational technologies, diverse student populations, critical issues in child psychology, and contemporary assessment tools that promote holistic student health.|
|Fundamentals of Diversity, Inclusion, and Exceptional Learners||Individuals taking this course explore different ways of modifying learning methods to meet the needs of students with disabilities, gifted learners, students who speak English as a second language, and learners from culturally diverse backgrounds.|
|Instructional Planning and Presentation||This graduate-level course builds on a student's previous experiences in foundations of curriculum design and implementation for elementary classrooms. Students explore lesson planning, engagement strategies, integrative learning, technology in education, and grouping methods for inclusive education.|
How to Get a Teaching Certificate in Virginia
Students must meet minimum education and experience requirements, as well as pass certain Praxis exams, to earn Virginia teaching credentials. First-time applicants who meet all of the necessary requirements receive an initial license, which is valid for three years. Teachers who hold this initial license must complete professional studies coursework in their teaching subject/endorsement area at a regionally accredited four-year institution (or alternative program) to be eligible for a standard five-year license, which is renewable.
Students must pass the Virginia communication and literacy assessment, as well as additional Praxis tests in a specific content area, to qualify for initial licensure and pursue Virginia teaching jobs. A standard in many states, the Educational Testing Service offers dozens of Praxis tests in as many teaching areas. Fees for these examinations vary depending on the particular content area and how many Praxis assessments a student plans to take. Individuals who already hold an out-of-state license or have at least three years of verified teaching experience at an out-of-state school may waive the state assessment requirement.
Applicants pursuing Virginia teaching credentials may also need to meet additional requirements depending on their specialty and/or subject area, such as elementary education or English as a second language. Virginia teaching jobs that receive specific endorsement in area, including special education, require a master's degree and additional credentials beyond a standard Virginia teaching license.
Choosing a Degree Program in Virginia
Choosing where to pursue a teaching degree in Virginia can feel overwhelming -- so many variables can influence your decision. These include the cost, length of a program, location, and availability of education specializations that match with your career goals (e.g., early childhood development or special education).
In Virginia, aspiring teachers must earn a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution; schools receive this recognition from one of six accrediting bodies overseen by the U.S. Department of Education.
A program's accreditation is also very important, and students should only consider degrees offered by an accredited institution. In Virginia, aspiring teachers must earn a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution; schools receive this recognition from one of six accrediting bodies overseen by the U.S. Department of Education. In Virginia, the regional accreditation agency is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
It is not uncommon for education programs to hold additional accreditation through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. However, this type of programmatic accreditation is not required in Virginia. All approved teaching degrees in Virginia meet the minimum state education requirements for initial licensure. Searching through the directory below can help you determine which teaching program in Virginia is best for your needs.
Can You Earn a Teaching Degree Online in Virginia?
Students unable to attend traditional college classes can pursue a teaching degree online to earn the same Virginia teaching credentials as those provided by on-campus programs. Most online programs also offer significant savings on tuition and fees, even for out-of-state students, while also virtually eliminating transportation costs and helping learners avoid potentially lengthy commutes to and from campus. Additionally, online degrees often feature accelerated format options, delivering the same high-quality content in fewer academic terms. Students who aspire to hold Virginia teaching jobs can find a diverse selection of education specializations through the state's many online programs.
Virginia colleges and universities that host online programs offer state-approved teacher preparation programs. These programs enable students to combine detailed distance coursework with a student-teaching experience, which is typically completed near a student's home. Teaching positions at Virginia public or private schools or childcare centers can help aspiring educators accrue the requisite supervised student-teaching hours needed to qualify for licensure.
Directory of Teaching Schools in Virginia
Paying for Your Teaching Degree in Virginia
Earning Virginia teaching credentials can be quite expensive. To help offset costs, students pursuing online teaching degrees in Virginia should be sure to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form determines a student's eligibility for federal financial aid and/or select scholarships, grants, and loans. Many institutional and private scholarships in Virginia and across the nation are offered specifically to teachers; this is done in an effort to promote educator training programs in high-need areas and provide financial support for early-career teachers.
In addition to scholarships and grants targeting educators, the state also offers mentorship programs, teaching opportunities for retired professionals, and incentives for new and retired teachers to work in critical shortage areas in K-12 classrooms in Virginia. The state also hosts a variety of tuition reimbursement programs. These programs offer to reimburse funds to qualifying students. Most reimbursement programs require individuals to graduate and successfully obtain licensure as a condition of the agreement. Graduates of an educator training program who secure employment in education may also be eligible for student loan forgiveness.
Loan Forgiveness for Virginia Teachers
Qualifying educators in the state of Virginia can access multiple federal loan forgiveness programs. Teachers with at least five complete and consecutive years of full-time experience may qualify for forgiveness of certain direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans, including federal Stafford loans. A teacher in Virginia can earn up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness if they hold full-time employment at an elementary or secondary school and teach reading, writing, or mathematics; another area of elementary education; or a subject relevant to their academic major.
Additionally, loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 may be granted to full-time math or science teachers in secondary schools or full-time special education teachers in elementary or secondary classrooms. To prove their eligibility and qualify for loan forgiveness, applicants must be employed at a Virginia public or private school that is listed in the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory.
Scholarships for Teaching in Virginia
Scholarship opportunities from many different lenders focus on teachers in Virginia. For example, awards like TEACH grants and the Virginia Teaching Scholarships Loan Program serve the unique needs of education students aspiring to hold Virginia teaching jobs.
Virginia Teaching Scholarships Loan Program $10,000
STEM Teachers Scholarships $2,500 to $5,000
Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program $3,708
Two-Year College Transfer Grants Program $1,000 to $2,000
Job Outlook and Salary for Teachers in Virginia
|Location||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
With substantial employment opportunities for teachers and an annual mean wage above the national average, Virginia is a good place for educators. Salaries for Virginia teachers vary depending on their experience, the location of their school, and the size of the service area. Additionally, educators at low-income schools and/or teachers with a speciality in an area of academic shortage may receive additional incentives.
A teacher's average annual income also varies according to their particular area of expertise. In Virginia, secondary school teachers earn the highest average wage, taking home $68,070 annually. This is followed closely by elementary school teachers, who earn an annual mean wage of $66,700. Among the state's most common teaching specialties (listed in the table below), preschool teachers earn the lowest annual salary of $37,420. All of the positions mentioned below demand the same minimum education and experience requirements, including a bachelor's degree and standard Virginia teaching credentials.
|Elementary School Teachers||$66,700|
|Middle School Teachers||$65,430|
|Secondary School Teachers||$68,070|
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching in Virginia
How do I get a teaching license in Virginia?
How much does a teacher make a year in Virginia?
How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in Virginia?
What states can I teach in with a Virginia license?
Resources for Teachers in Virginia
- Virginia Department of Education VDOE is the governing agency for all teacher assessments, education initiatives, and learning programs across the state of Virginia. The department also houses the Virginia Board of Education, which oversees the operation and policies of the state's public elementary and secondary education systems. VDOE grants licensure to Virginia teachers according to regulations established by the state board of education.
- Virginia Education Association (VEA) This association provides support for new teachers as well as aspiring educators seeking professional experience and financial aid. VEA offers workshops and seminars to teachers pursuing national board certification, links members to Virginia teaching jobs, and provides discounts on classroom supplies and materials.
- Virginia Professional Educators (VPE) This non-union organization provides a wealth of resources to Virginia teachers to help enhance their lesson plans and classroom instruction. VPE also offers practical benefits including liability insurance of up to $2 million, Virginia teaching job placement, legal assistance, and professional development opportunities.
- TTAC Online This online community provides resources to teachers, other education professionals, and students with disabilities (and their families). TTAC's comprehensive website provides Virginia educators with information about special needs curriculum, assistive technology, and transition services in classrooms for children and young adults with disabilities.
- Association of American Educators (AAE) AAE is the largest non-union organization of its kind in the United States, connecting professionals throughout the field of education through collaboration and non-partisan advocacy initiatives. The association offers three different levels of membership to students, professionals, and retired educators/supporters. Members at all levels enjoy a variety of perks, including liability and supplemental insurance, legal protection, employment rights coverage, and a member discount program.