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The Oregon Teaching and Certification Resource

For those interested in learning how to become a teacher in Oregon, there are many pathways that lead to Oregon teacher certification. The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) oversees the teacher certification process in the state, which is outlined in detail below.

How to Become a Teacher in Oregon

No matter what type of Oregon teacher certification applicants seek, the state requires all teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree and complete an Oregon teacher certification program. Additionally, there are a number of examinations to pass as well as a state and federal background check.

The state of Oregon offers several different licensure options for candidates wishing to earn Oregon teacher certification. Candidates following a traditional route to certification will first be issued an Initial Teaching License, after which they can become eligible for more tenured levels of certification such as Career and Technical Education, Distinguished Teaching, and Highly Qualified Teaching. Eligible applicants who seek certification through an alternative route may receive an Emergency Teaching certificate, a Restricted Transitional Teaching license, a Limited certificate, or a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Alternative Route Teaching license, depending upon their qualifications.

For experienced teachers with out-of-state certifications, reciprocity in Oregon may be possible if all requirements are fulfilled. For more detailed information on reciprocity or information on the Oregon teacher certification renewal process, please contact the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.

Quick Guide

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Oregon

Projected Job Growth

13%

Growth in Teaching Jobs in OR through 202215

Anyone pursuing teaching certification in Oregon must complete a state-approved teacher certification program from an accredited school. The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission maintains a list of approved teacher education programs on its website. Out-of-state schools may also be acceptable provided that the program holds regional accreditation.

Additionally, most schools look for accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This organization was formed through the merger of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Although CAEP accreditation may not be mandatory for teacher certification in Oregon, accreditation from CAEP has a distinguished reputation.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Oregon.

Oregon Teacher Outlook
The Economic Development and Employer Planning System projects 470 average annual new job openings for elementary school teachers, 230 average annual new job openings for middle school teachers, and 420 average annual new job openings for secondary school teachers in Oregon through 2022.2 These new job openings do not account for replacement openings, which will add to the opportunities available for new teachers in Oregon. Excluding teachers in special education and career and technical education, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are about 26,280 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Oregon.3 Excluding special education, elementary school teachers in the state earn an average annual salary of $57,020, middle school teachers an average annual salary of $58,460, and secondary school teachers an average annual salary of $57,610.4,5,6 The Oregon Education Association includes updates on job opportunities, policy changes and budget allocation for Oregon educators and is a good resource for newly certified educators interested in teaching in Oregon.

Oregon Teacher Education Requirements

Candidates for Oregon educator certification are traditionally those who have completed an approved teacher preparation program that culminated in a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited school. Certain levels of certification require that the candidate hold a master’s degree or higher. Candidates who have not completed an Oregon teacher certification program but have at least a bachelor’s degree may qualify for alternative certification.

Oregon Teacher Testing Requirements

Oregon State SealOregon was the first state in the nation to adopt a new set of teacher certification tests from Pearson called the National Evaluation Series (NES). This series is designed to assess candidates’ pedagogical knowledge and subject-area expertise. The exams allow candidates the option of testing online and receiving results immediately. This new series of tests will replace the Praxis series as part of the state’s teacher certification assessment requirements.

Additionally, after meeting education requirements, all Oregon teachers must pass the Oregon Civil Rights Exam, Protecting Students and Civil Rights in the Education Environment. The Civil Rights Exam is in addition to the subject matter exams specific to the teaching license and endorsement(s) sought. For more information on tests required for Oregon teacher certification, refer to the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.

Additional Oregon Teacher Certification Requirements

Similar to most states, Oregon requires anyone applying for an Oregon educator’s certificate to submit to a full state and federal background check by providing fingerprint cards. This process should be completed using the TSPC fingerprinting forms.

Oregon Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once the above steps towards Oregon teacher certification are completed, applicants must send all required information to the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. Required supporting documentation for an application for an Oregon teaching license includes:

  • Verification of background clearance
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended
  • Proof of teacher program completion at an accredited teacher preparation school
  • Completed application for teaching certification in Oregon
  • Payment of certification processing fee
  • Verification of passing scores on the required subject and content examinations

Forms should be sent to:

Oregon TSPC
250 Division St. NE
Salem, OR 97301

Visit the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission website for further details on teacher certification in Oregon.

Oregon Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 5,190 $26,370
Preschool Teachers, Special Education Not available $68,220
Kindergarten Teachers 1,370 $56,540
Elementary School Teachers 12,000 $57,020
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 1,100 $59,100
Middle School Teachers 5,680 $51,100
Middle School Teachers, Special Education 5,720 $58,460
Secondary School Teachers 8,600 $57,610
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education 1,030 $59,060
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education 190 $56,480

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2014.

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Oregon

Question: What are the requirements to become a high school teacher in Oregon?

Answer: To become a high school teacher in Oregon, you must get a teaching certificate through the state with endorsements for the subject area(s) and grade level(s) you wish to teach. The basic requirements for certification are completion of a baccalaureate program and/or teacher preparation program. These must include student teaching experience.

Teaching and Education Programs

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References:
1. Oregon State Teacher Standards and Practices Commission: http://www.oregon.gov/TSPC/Pages/index.aspx
2. Economic Development and Employer Planning System: http://www.edeps.org/
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Oregon: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_or.htm
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Elementary School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252021.htm
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Middle School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252022.htm
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Secondary School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252031.htm
7. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Preschool Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252011.htm
8. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Preschool: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252051.htm
9. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Kindergarten Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252012.htm
10. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252052.htm
11. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Middle School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252053.htm
12. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252023.htm
13. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Secondary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252054.htm
14. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Career/Technical Education Teachers, Secondary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252032.htm
15. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm