The Ohio Teaching and Certification Resource

To work as a teacher in Ohio, aspiring teachers must obtain an Ohio teacher certification beforehand. There are several pathways that teaching applicants can follow, depending on their education and experience. The Office of Educator Licensure within the state’s Department of Education oversees the certification process, which is outlined in detail below.

How to Become a Teacher in Ohio

The state of Ohio utilizes a four-tier teacher licensure structure, from an initial license to advanced licenses. For the traditional pathway to all of these licenses, Ohio requires all teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree, complete an Ohio teachers certification program and pass the required content examinations.

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For experienced teachers with out-of-state certifications, Ohio reciprocity is possible provided applicants fulfill the additional certification requirements. For more information on reciprocity or about the Ohio teacher certification renewal process, please contact the Office of Educator Licensure.

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Ohio

For anyone pursuing a teaching certification in Ohio, one of the most important steps is finding a state-approved teacher education program at an accredited school.

There are six regional accreditation agencies that accredit schools throughout the US and are overseen by the US Department of Education. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) accredits Ohio schools. Therefore, applicants should confirm that their chosen program is offered by a NCA-accredited school. For those considering an online teacher education program, distance schools should also be accredited by the corresponding accreditation agency that serves their headquartered state.

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Additionally, most states will look for a nationally recognized CAEP accreditation. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness was recently formed by the merger of TEAC and NCATE, two highly respected accreditation organizations recognized by the US Department of Education. While this accreditation may not be mandatory for state approval of teacher education programs and schools, it is considered to be a very distinguished marker of rigorous standards in terms of curriculum and process within the teacher education sector.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Ohio.

Quick Guide

Ohio Teacher Education Requirements

The initial license is called a resident educator license. For that license, a candidate must complete a bachelor’s degree that includes the completion of an approved teacher education program. For early childhood, middle childhood, and intervention specialist certification, applicants need 12 semester hours of coursework on teaching reading. After four years with a resident educator license, a teacher may apply for a professional educator license (the second tier). The third tier (Senior Professional Educator License) and fourth tier (Lead Professional Educator License) require a master’s degree or higher, and at least nine years of teaching experience, in addition to other requirements.

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Ohio Teacher Outlook as of 2014
The Occupational Supply & Demand System projects 1,690 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 920 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 1,320 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Ohio through 2022. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 119,970 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Ohio, excluding special education (2013). Ohio elementary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $57,970, while middle school teachers earn an average annual salary of $59,770 and secondary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $59,100 (BLS 2013). For information on state budget allocation and Ohio education policy, please visit the Ohio Education Association, the largest active teachers union in Ohio.

Ohio Teacher Testing Requirements

Ohio State SealTo become a teacher in Ohio, prospective teachers must obtain a passing score on the Praxis series of tests. Praxis I is a general knowledge test, and is used by most Ohio colleges and universities as a requirement for entry into teacher education. In those cases, each university sets its own qualifying scores for the Praxis I. Praxis II is made up of a Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) assessment, which assesses a candidate’s professional and pedagogical knowledge. The Praxis II Subject Assessment tests are related specifically to the content area in which certification is sought.

Candidates wishing to teach a foreign language must 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 state, Ohio requires anyone applying for an Ohio educator certification to submit to a state and federal background check through issuance of fingerprints. Applicants should apply for a fingerprint card from the state’s Department of Education prior to sending in their teaching application.

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Ohio Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once all steps to Ohio teacher certification have been completed, applicants should send in required documentation to the Office of Educator Licensure. Typically, the process can take up to three months so it’s recommended to send in applications with ample time before the upcoming semester begins. The documents required are as follows:

  1. Clearance of background check
  2. Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree
  3. Proof of teacher program completion at an accredited teacher preparation school
  4. Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee
  5. Passing score on the required examinations
  6. Completed application for teaching certification in Ohio

Ohio Department of Education
25 S Front St,
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 466-3593
Fax: (614) 466-1999

Visit the state’s Department of Education for further details on Ohio teacher certification.

Teacher Quote: “Teaching is the best job in the world! I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. It isn’t always easy, but it’s exciting and keeps you on your toes.” -Megan Wheeler, Ohio First Grade Teacher

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Ohio Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 16,700 $25,060
Kindergarten Teachers 5,720 $54,960
Elementary School Teachers 49,760 $58,470
Middle School Teachers 27,330 $59,570
Secondary School Teachers 41,250 $58,590

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

Ohio Teacher Interview

Interview with Megan Wheeler, Ohio First Grade Teacher

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Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Teacher in Ohio

Question: How do I become a substitute teacher in Ohio?

Answer: To be a substitute teacher in Ohio, you must have a college degree and pass a criminal background check. Individual school districts may have other requirements. To find a position, you must apply directly to the school districts in which you hope to work.

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 the state’s adolescence to young adult license. You must have a bachelor’s degree with a major in a teachable subject, take the required education courses, and participate in student teaching. You must also pass the state tests for licensing.

Teaching and Education Programs

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1. Ohio State Department of Education: http://www.ode.state.oh.us/
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.