The Connecticut Teaching and Certification Resource

There are several ways to obtain a Connecticut teacher certification depending on previous experience and education level. Anyone looking to become a certified teacher in the state must fulfill the requirements stipulated by the Connecticut Department of Education, which oversees the Connecticut Teachers Licensing process. Whether you’re an experienced teacher or an aspiring educator just starting out in the field, there are specific pathways to teaching certification in Connecticut, which we outline in detail below.

How to Become a Teacher in Connecticut

Like all states, aspiring teachers must have a Connecticut educator certificate, which requires every teacher to hold a bachelor’s degree. Specifically, depending on what the applicant wishes to teach, he or she should hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in early childhood, elementary, secondary or special education. Educators who have not completed a Connecticut teachers certification program but have at least two years of teaching experience may also be eligible for certification based on teaching experience. In this case, it is recommended to pursue alternative options for obtaining a teaching certification in Connecticut.

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In addition to a required bachelor’s degree, Connecticut has additional requirements that are based on the desired teaching grade or subject matter. For experienced teachers, prior teaching experience must be aligned with the specific grade level and subject endorsement they are seeking.

  • For elementary teachers, 30 credit hours of elementary-related coursework are required for certification.
  • For middle school teachers, 30 credit hours of middle grade subjects must be completed. Additionally, teachers are required to have a major in one subject, which can be one among many such as English, mathematics, physics, chemistry, social sciences, etc.
  • For secondary school teachers, a major or at least 30 hours of specific area of study is required plus a minimum of 18 hours of secondary school subject coursework.

In addition to these individual requirements based on subject matter, an aspiring teacher must complete a Connecticut teachers certification program at an accredited, state-approved school and pass both the Praxis I and Praxis II exams.

Once all requirements are met, first time teachers will be awarded the Initial Teaching Certificate, which is valid for three years. Upon receiving the initial teaching license, new teachers are required to take part in the TEAM Mentoring program, a two year induction program meant to develop individualized growth plans with an experienced mentor.

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Connecticut

Anyone looking for a Connecticut teacher certification must complete the mandatory hours in a teaching institution accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies in the US. These six agencies are overseen by the US Department of Education and operate by grouping states by region. For Connecticut teaching accreditation, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) oversees the process state-wide. Anyone looking to enroll in a teacher preparatory school in Connecticut, must confirm that it is accredited by the NEASC.

Additionally, on a state level, the Connecticut Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification approves teaching schools that have been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation(CAEP). While a CAEP accreditation may not be mandatory for most teacher preparation institutes, most schools apply for the accrediation as it is seen as a very distinguished marker of high quality educational operations that have met rigorous standards.

See our list of accredited schools in Connecticut.

Perhaps the most important part of the process of becoming a certified teacher in Connecticu is finding an accredited institution so it’s imperative to find a teaching institution and confirm that they are indeed in good standing with the organizations listed above.

Additionally, anyone looking into an online teaching certification program must also confirm that it is an accredited by one of the six regional agencies, even if the school is headquartered in another state.

Quick Guide

Connecticut Teacher Education Requirements

To be eligible for Connecticut teacher certification under the program preparation requirements, the applicant must complete a teacher preparation program at a regionally accredited institution as stated above.

Concerning reciprocity, Connecticut does not accept out-of-state teaching certificates without further requirements being met, meaning that all first time and experienced teachers in Connecticut must be certified to teach by an accredited Connecticut school. However, although reciprocity does not exist in the state, Connecticut is a participating member of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement (NIA). The NIA facilitates equivalent teacher certification agreements between the 50 states and Canadian providences. This system is based on an agreement between members to stipulate exactly which out of state certifications or teaching experience will be accepted. It is not a 2-way agreement of reciprocal acceptance, but rather, recognition of prior experience that may count towards a teacher certification in Connecticut as long as the other requirements are fulfilled as well.

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Connecticut Teacher Outlook as of 2014
The Occupational Supply & Demand System has projected 540 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 340 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 460 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Connecticut during the decade 2012-2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that excluding special education there are about 40,150 elementary, middle, and secondary teachers in Connecticut (2013). In this state, elementary school teachers make an average annual salary of $68,580, middle school teachers make an average annual salary of $69,660, and secondary school teachers make an average annual salary of $69,290 (BLS 2013). The Connecticut Education Association provides further news and information about teaching careers and areas of demand in Connecticut.

Connecticut Teacher Testing Requirements

Connecticut State SealTo meet the testing requirements set forth by the Connecticut State Board of Education, a prospective teacher must pass both the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) and the Praxis II Subject-Knowledge Tests. Candidates who hold an out-of-state license may be eligible for a testing waiver provided they have at least three years of teaching experience in the same state and school district or official transcripts from an accredited university and a signed statement providing evidence of teaching experience.

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Additional Connecticut Teacher Certification Requirements

All Connecticut employees working in a school (teacher, administrator, special service staff member, teacher’s aide, custodian, cafeteria employee, etc.) must submit a state and national criminal background check within the first 30 days of employment. All applicants must submit fingerprints to the Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification and the F.B.I.

Connecticut Teachers Licensing Application Process

To obtain a Connecticut educator certification based on program preparation, applicants must:

  1. Successfully complete a state-approved planned program of general academic and professional education at a regionally accredited college or university;
  2. Pass Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST) or present official evidence of meeting waiver requirements;
  3. Pass subject-specific tests, if applicable to the endorsement requested;
  4. Submit all required documents with non-refundable application fee to the Connecticut Department of Education

Connecticut State Department of Education
Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification
PO Box 150471 Room 243
Hartford, CT 06115-0471

Visit the Connecticut Department of Education for further details on Connecticut teacher certification.

Connecticut Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 6,110 $32,220
Kindergarten Teachers 1,940 $67,770
Elementary School Teachers 16,150 $67,070
Middle School Teachers 9,940 $68,190
Secondary School Teachers 14,230 $67,370

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Connecticut

Question: How do I become an elementary teacher in Connecticut?

Answer: To be certified as an elementary school teacher in Connecticut, you must complete a bachelor’s degree and an approved education program. You must also pass the Praxis I and II tests. If you have taught for two years, you may be able to waive the teacher education program from an approved university.

Teaching and Education Programs

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1. Connecticut State Department of Education: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/site/default.asp
2. US Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg6.html
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm#25-0000

Page edited by Charles Sipe.