The Indiana Teaching and Certification Resource

For new and experienced teachers, Indiana is a great state to work as an educator. The state has a solid education system that encourages quality teaching skills through a strict certification program. The certification process is overseen by the state’s Office of Educator Licensing and Development (also known as the Division of Professional Standards). Although there are a few different pathways that lead to becoming a teacher in the state, the traditional Indiana teacher certification process is outlined below.

How to Become a Teacher in Indiana

In order to be eligible for Indiana teachers licensing, teaching applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved teacher education program and pass the state-required tests. For those applicants with bachelor’s degree in non-education majors, Indiana has approved a new (and fairly controversial) rule known as REPA II that requires additional teacher training in order to begin working in Indiana K-12 schools.

Indiana has two levels of teaching licensure: Initial Practitioner and Proficient Practitioner. The Initial Practitioner is a renewable two-year license for first time teachers or anyone with an out-of-state certificate. The Proficient Practitioner license is a renewable five-year license issued to working teachers who have successfully completed a two-year Beginning Teacher Residency Program. Normally, this program involves working with a mentor for the first two years of employment.

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Although these two levels of licenses are representative of Indiana educator certification process, there are also alternative ways to become a teacher in Indiana.

For experienced teachers with out-of-state teacher certification, reciprocity in Indiana may be possible. States that have reciprocity with Indiana include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Ohio. Out-of-state applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited school and meet Indiana education requirements. In order to apply for a license, applicants must submit the application form to Indiana’s Licensing Verification and Information System, show passing scores on the required tests, certifications and submit an official copy of existing state license. For more information, contact the Indiana Office of Educator Licensing and Development.

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Indiana

For anyone looking for an Indiana teacher certification, the highest priority should be completing an approved teacher education program in an accredited school. Indiana requires all of its teachers to have a certification from an accredited institution and therefore, this step is of the utmost importance.

In order to find an approved teacher education program in Indiana, applicants must confirm that it is in good standing with the regional accreditation agency assigned to the state. There are six regional accreditation bodies in the US, which are overseen by the US Department of Education. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) accredits schools in Indiana.

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Additionally, the Indiana Office of Educator Licensing and Development looks for accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness or CAEP. This organization, which is the result of the recent consolidation of NCATE and TEAC, is a distinguished marker of teacher education excellence and is recognized by the US Department of Education.

For new teachers, receiving proper training is essential and for that reason, all aspiring Indiana teachers should confirm that any Indiana teachers certification program is certified by both of the organizations mentioned above. Additionally, online schools must also be certified in the institution’s headquartered state of operation.

Quick Guide

Indiana Teacher Education Requirements

Indiana State SealIndiana teacher certification can be acquired through completing the required hours at a teacher preparation program at an accredited university. This program may be campus-based or an online program, but must be accredited by Indiana as an approved institution. Those completing an online teaching certification program must participate in a classroom field experience (such as student teaching or an internship).

Indiana Teacher Outlook as of 2014
The Occupational Supply & Demand System projects 750 average annual job openings in Indiana for elementary school teachers, 320 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 590 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers through 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 52,230 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Indiana, excluding special education teachers (2013). The average annual salary for elementary school teachers in the state is $51,150, for middle school teachers $52,240, and for secondary school teachers $51,700 (BLS 2013). For more information regarding the current job market and certification requirements visit the Indiana State Teachers Association.

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Indiana Teacher Testing Requirements

After completing an approved Indiana teachers education program, teacher candidates must pass a basic skills test in order to become certified. In the past, Indiana used the standard Praxis exams for teacher certification process. However, as of July 2013, the state is transitioning away from the Praxis I for the new test, Core Academic Skills Assessment (CASA). Passing the basic skills assessment of math, reading and writing is required for all teaching applicants.

Teachers who hold a license in another state may be exempt from the required exams when obtaining an Indiana teacher certification. If applicants already hold a valid license that is equivalent to the one for which they are applying and have a letter on school letterhead written by an administrator verifying that they have taught for at least three years full-time at an accredited out-of-state school, they may be able to waive the testing requirements.

Additional Indiana Teacher Certification Requirements

Like all US states, becoming a certified teacher in Indiana requires applicants to submit to a state and federal background check. The fingerprint-based check must go through L-1 Identity Solutions and the Indiana State Police before the certification application is submitted to the Department of Licensure.

Additionally, Indiana is unique in that it requires all teachers to hold a valid certification in CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver and automated external defibrillator use. These certifications must be issued by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association or other providers approved by the department.

Effective July 2013, teaching applicants must also prove that they have successfully completed education and training on child suicide prevention and recognition of suicidal warning signs in students.

Indiana Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once applicants have completed all of the requirements as stipulated by the Indiana Department of Education, the application must be sent in via the online Licensing Verification and Information System (LVIS). The Teacher Certification Office gets a lot of applications in the summer months, so it’s recommended to send in all information at least three months in advance of desired employment date.

  1. Proof of successful completion of an Indiana educator certificate program.
  2. Proof of successful completion of written examinations (CASA).
  3. Proof of successful completion of CPR and Heimlich courses and suicide prevention training.
  4. Submit application to he Office of Educator Licensing and Development (OELD).
  5. Payment of non-refundable licensure fee.

South Tower, Suite 600
115 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Visit the Indiana Department of Education for further details on the process of teaching certification in Indiana.

Teacher Quote “Don’t let anyone tell you it’s an easy job because I can promise you, it isn’t. I’ve yet to have one of those magnificent ‘summers off’ I keep hearing about. And honestly, the pay isn’t great but the rewards of teaching more than make up for it.” -Christi Fultz, Indiana Third Grade Teacher

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Indiana Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 4,820 $26,050
Kindergarten Teachers 3,100 $49,150
Elementary School Teachers 24,180 $51,670
Middle School Teachers 11,350 $51,980
Secondary School Teachers 17,510 $51,930

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

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Indiana Teacher Interview

Interview with Christi Fultz, Indiana Third Grade Teacher

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Indiana

Question: How do you become a substitute teacher in Indiana

Answer: Substitute teachers in Indiana must have completed at least two years of college coursework. It does not need to be related to education. If you meet this requirement, you can apply to the state Department of Education for a substitute teacher permit, and then look for work in individual districts.

Teaching and Education Programs

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1. Indiana Department of Education: http://www.doe.in.gov/
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.