The Oklahoma Teaching and Certification Resource
How to Become a Teacher in Oklahoma
There are multiple options available for prospective teachers seeking Oklahoma teacher certification. Traditionally, eligible candidates will have completed a teacher preparation program from an approved institute of higher education and pass the required tests administered by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation. Alternatively, those candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in an approved subject area may be eligible for certification provided they work to complete the remaining certification requirements during their first years of teaching in Oklahoma public schools. Furthermore, all applicants for teaching certification in Oklahoma will be required to submit their fingerprints and undergo a background check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
- I want to be a teacher in Oklahoma, 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 Oklahoma’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.
- Global Training and Development - EdS
- E-Learning - EdS
- General Education - Doctor of Education
- Curriculum and Teaching - EdS
- And more...
Oklahoma Teacher Education Requirements
In order to obtain an Oklahoma teaching license via the traditional route to certification, candidates must have completed a teacher education program at an accredited university approved by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP). Prospective teachers who have not met this requirement but wish to become certified via the alternative route to teacher certification may still be eligible provided they hold at least a bachelor’s degree in their content area.
In January 2012, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Oklahoma’s unemployment rate at 6.4%, significantly below the national average of 8.5%. The Occupational Supply & Demand System projects 2,791 annual job openings in education and library related fields in Oklahoma through 2018. In fall 2008 and 2007, the National Center for Education Statistics listed 46,571 public school and 3,900 private school teachers employed in Oklahoma. The average beginning teaching salary in Oklahoma is $31,661 and the average overall teaching salary is $44,343, the 3rd lowest average among US states according to the National Education Association. The low average wages reported by the NEA are reflective of a relatively low cost of living state wide and should be considered within that context. The NEA also notes a moderate teacher shortage statewide, especially in special education and high school math and science. For information on state budget allocation and education policy in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma Education Association, a localized branch of the NEA. For more details regarding state certification, please contact local education and teaching schools for free information.
Oklahoma Teacher Testing Requirements
Candidates for Oklahoma teaching certification must take and pass three assessments administered by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP): the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET), the Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT), and the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE). These tests are designed to assess the candidates’ propensity for higher order thinking skills, basic knowledge in areas such as the sciences and liberal arts, expert subject-area knowledge, and competency in the areas of effective teaching and learning principles.
Oklahoma Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Elementary School Teachers||16,640||$41,980|
|Middle School Teachers||7,910||$42,160|
|Secondary School Teachers||12,260||$43,320|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011.
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Oklahoma
Question: What are the requirements to become a high school teacher in Oklahoma?
Answer: The requirement for being a high school teacher in Oklahoma is to have a certificate issued by the state. For the certificate, requirements include a bachelor’s degree and a course of study in education. You must also have at least two secondary student teaching experiences, and pass a background check.
Page edited by Charles Sipe.