The Delaware Teaching and Certification Resource
Prospective educators looking to start a career in Delaware are required to complete the teaching certification process set by the Delaware Department of Education. The process to initial licensure is outlined below to help you learn more about how to become a teacher in Delaware.
How to Become a Teacher in Delaware
Delaware requires all teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree and complete an acceptable teacher preparation program. Additionally, Delaware teachers must have passing scores on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam as well as the Praxis Subject Assessment(s) aligning with the subject(s) and grade level(s) to be taught.
Candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree but did not complete a teacher preparation program may be interested in alternative teacher certification in Delaware.
Delaware has adopted a three-tiered licensure system for educators. New teachers who meet all requirements are issued an Initial license, which is valid for three years. Educators who have successfully completed three years of teaching with no more than one unsatisfactory annual evaluation may advance to the next tier, the Continuing license, which is valid for five years and can be renewed. Teachers may pursue the highest level of Delaware teacher licensure, the Advanced license, by earning certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
- I want to be a teacher in Delaware, but don’t have a degree: Earn an Education Degree
- I want to be a teacher and have a degree, but not in education: Learn about Delaware’s Alternative Certification Process and Programs
- I have a teaching degree and am interested in more education: Learn about Master’s Degree Education Programs or Doctorate Education Programs and Information.
Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Delaware
Projected Job Growth
Growth in Teaching Jobs in DE through 20242
To earn Delaware teacher certification, applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree and a teacher preparation program that satisfies the following requirements:
- The program must be at a regionally accredited four-year college or university.
- The program must be accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) or the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC).
- The program must be an initial educator program leading to a bachelor’s degree; master’s degrees programs may not qualify.
- The program must lead to certification in an endorsement area recognized by the State of Delaware.
Additionally, many schools look for accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP was formed from the merger between the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). CAEP accreditation is a well-respected marker of excellence in teacher preparation standards.
See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Delaware.
The Delaware Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information has projected 39 average annual job openings due to growth and 98 average annual job openings due to replacements in Delaware for elementary school teachers, 18 average annual job openings due to growth and 45 average annual job openings due to replacements for middle school teachers, and 28 average annual job openings due to growth and 78 average annual job openings due to replacements for secondary school teachers through 2024.3 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 9,600 elementary, middle, and secondary teachers in Delaware, excluding special education.4 The average annual salary for elementary school teachers in Delaware is $60,250, for middle school teachers $59,460, and for secondary school teachers $58,870.3 For more information on education opportunities in Delaware, visit the Delaware State Education Association.
Delaware Teacher Education Requirements
Completing a bachelor’s degree and an acceptable teacher preparation program is required for teacher licensure in Delaware. As noted above, teacher preparation programs must meet the state’s requirements in order to qualify graduates for licensure. The curriculum of the program must reflect and focus on the 14 professional teaching standards established by the state. The program must also include a segment of student teaching.
Delaware Teacher Testing Requirements
To ensure that all teachers are highly qualified, Delaware has adopted a series of exams required for all educators. The first necessary test to pass to qualify for teaching certification in Delaware is the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, which establishes proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics. Candidates must also earn passing scores on the Praxis Subject Assessments for each endorsement area sought.
Additional Delaware Teacher Certification Requirements
Delaware state law requires teachers to submit to a state and federal criminal background check and a child protection registry check before being placed in a school. This process is usually first completed for student teaching during the teacher preparation program completed. Candidates may need to complete a second background check to comply with school regulations upon receiving an offer of employment as an initially licensed teacher. However, a background check is not usually required for licensure unless a candidate has previously been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense.
Delaware Teachers Licensing Application Process
Once candidates have completed the requirements for a teaching license in Delaware, an application for an Initial teaching license must be submitted with the following documentation:
- Official transcripts demonstrating completion of a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program;
- Verification of teaching experience submitted through the online Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS);
- Passing scores on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators and Praxis II content area assessments;
- Submission of completed application and payment of non-refundable application fees
Delaware Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Preschool Teachers, Special Education||Not available||Not available|
|Elementary School Teachers||4,360||$60,250|
|Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School||1,320||$63,710|
|Middle School Teachers||2,650||$59,460|
|Middle School Teachers, Special Education||Not available||Not available|
|Secondary School Teachers||2,590||$58,870|
|Secondary School Teachers, Special Education||290||$62,200|
|Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||Not available||Not available|
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.4
Delaware Teacher Interview
Interview with Krista Wallden, Delaware Third Grade Teacher
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Delaware
Question: How do I become an elementary teacher in Delaware?
Answer: To become an elementary teacher in Delaware, you must earn an initial certificate from the state. To qualify, you must have a bachelor’s degree and complete a teacher preparation program. You must also pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators and Praxis Subject Assessments for elementary education.
Teaching and Education Programs
1. Delaware Department of Education: https://deeds.doe.k12.de.us/default.aspx
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. Delaware Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information: http://lmi.delawareworks.com/
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Delaware: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_de.htm