The Ohio Teaching and Certification Resource
To work as a teacher in Ohio, aspiring educators must obtain Ohio teacher certification. The Ohio Department of Education oversees the licensing process, which is outlined below for those looking to learn how to become a teacher in Ohio.
How to Become a Teacher in Ohio
For the traditional pathway to licensure, Ohio requires all teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree, complete an Ohio teacher preparation program, and pass the required examinations. In Ohio, the examinations for licensure include the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) and, if teaching foreign languages, the ACTFL/LTI World Languages Examinations. Specialists in school audiology, speech pathology, and psychology also must take the Praxis Series.
The state of Ohio utilizes a tiered teacher licensing structure, which means that educators can move from an initial license to advanced licenses. In addition to the traditional pathway to licensure, Ohio also offers alternative teacher certification routes. For information about becoming a teacher in Ohio’s capital, Columbus, visit our How to Become a Teacher in Columbus page.
- I want to be a teacher in Ohio, 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 Ohio’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 Ohio
Projected Job Growth
Growth in Teaching Jobs in OH through 20242
For anyone pursuing teaching certification in Ohio, one of the most important steps is finding a state-approved teacher education program at an accredited school. To be eligible for licensure, teaching candidates must complete a teacher preparation program that has been approved by the state Board of Education. You can find a list of approved programs on the Ohio Department of Higher Education website.
In addition to state-level approval, programs should also be regionally accredited, especially if a licensure candidate chooses to attend school online or out of state. There are six regional accreditation agencies that accredit schools throughout the US, which are overseen by the US Department of Education. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) accredits Ohio schools. Candidates should confirm that their chosen program is appropriately approved and accredited.
Additionally, most teacher preparation programs seek to earn Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accreditation. While CAEP accreditation may not be mandatory for state approval of teacher education programs, it is considered a marker of rigorous standards in terms of curriculum and process within the teacher education sector.
See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services projects 632 average annual new job openings and 559 average annual replacement openings for elementary school teachers, 345 average new annual job openings and 575 average annual replacement openings for middle school teachers, and 248 average new annual job openings and 1,071 average annual replacement openings for secondary school teachers in Ohio through 2022.3 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 126,760 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Ohio, excluding special education.4 Ohio elementary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $58,540, while middle school teachers earn an average annual salary of $58,130 and secondary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $59,660.4 For further information on Ohio education policy and job opportunities, visit the Ohio Education Association, the largest active teachers union in Ohio.
Ohio Teacher Education Requirements
All candidates for teaching licenses in Ohio must complete an approved teacher preparation program. Those following the traditional route to licensure will typically complete the teacher preparation program as part of their bachelor’s degree. The coursework required depends on the type of initial license sought. For example, for early childhood licensure, applicants need 12 semester hours of coursework on teaching reading. For most categories of licensure, candidates must also complete a minimum of 12 weeks of student teaching. For more information on program requirements by certification type, check with the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
Ohio Teacher Testing Requirements
To become a teacher in Ohio, prospective teachers must obtain a passing score on the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) series of tests. The Praxis tests are only required for select specialties in education.
The OAE exams are completed in two parts, pedagogical (teaching skills) knowledge and content area knowledge. Teachers may earn endorsements in several content areas by taking the assigned exams for each area but only must pass the pedagogical section of the OAE once for each grade level endorsement. Candidates wishing to teach a foreign language must also pass the Tests in World Languages provided by ACTFL, including the Oral Proficiency Interview and the Written Proficiency Test.
Additional Ohio Teacher Certification Requirements
Similar to most US states, Ohio requires anyone applying for Ohio educator certification to submit to a state and federal background check. Applicants must complete the fingerprinting process through WebCheck; locations are provided on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.
Ohio Teachers Licensing Application Process
Once all steps to Ohio teacher certification have been completed, applicants must send an application for licensure with all required documentation to the Office of Educator Licensure. The process can take up to three months, which means candidates should send applications as soon as possible before the school year begins. The documents required are as follows:
- Clearance of background check.
- Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree.
- Proof of teacher preparation program completion at an approved school.
- Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee.
- Passing scores on the required examinations.
- Completed application for teaching certification in Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Education requests that candidates use its online system, the Security Application for Enterprise (SAFE) web portal, for all new applications. Visit the state’s Department of Education for further details on Ohio teacher certification.
Ohio Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Preschool Teachers, Special Education||1,170||$52,540|
|Elementary School Teachers||52,020||$58,540|
|Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School||8,590||$57,100|
|Middle School Teachers||31,430||$58,130|
|Middle School Teachers, Special Education||5,670||$57,990|
|Secondary School Teachers||43,310||$59,660|
|Secondary School Teachers, Special Education||6,810||$56,390|
|Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||5,100||$63,440|
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.4
Ohio Teacher Interview
- Megan Wheeler, Ohio First Grade Teacher
Ohio School District Requirements
If you would like to become a teacher in Columbus, Ohio, you can read more on our Columbus city page. This page describes the steps you must go through to become a teacher in Columbus, provides contact information for the Columbus city school district, and lists well-known private and charter schools in the area.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Teacher in Ohio
Question: How do I become a substitute teacher in Ohio?
Answer: Substitute teachers in Ohio must be licensed. To be eligible for a substitute license, you must have a bachelor’s degree with the appropriate course credit for the grade levels and subjects you wish to teach on a substitute basis. You must then apply directly to the school districts in which you hope to work and complete the employment process before applying for a license.
Question: What are the requirements to become a high school teacher in Ohio?
Answer: To be a high school teacher in Ohio, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a major in a teachable subject and complete an approved teacher preparation program, which includes participation in student teaching. You must also pass the state examinations for licensing.
Teaching and Education Programs
1. Ohio State Department of Education: http://education.ohio.gov/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm
3. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: http://ohiolmi.com/proj/projections.htm
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Ohio: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_oh.htm