The Oregon Teaching and Certification Resource

For those interested in working in the education system, there are many pathways that lead to Oregon teacher certification. Depending on various factors such as education and experience, these pathways can be different. The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) within the state’s Department of Education oversees the teacher certification process, 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.

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The state of Oregon offers several different licensure options for candidates wishing to earn an Oregon teacher certification and teach in Oregon. Those 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 Basic Teaching, Standard, Teaching, and Continuing Teaching. Eligible applicants who seek certification through an alternative route may receive an Emergency Teaching certificate, a Restricted Transitional Teaching license, a Limited certificate, a Three-Year Career and Technical Education Teaching License, or a 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 additional 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

Anyone pursuing teaching certification in Oregon must complete a state approved teacher certification program in an accredited school. Therefore, applicants should look for the official accreditation from one of the six regional accreditation agencies that operate under the US Department of Education.

The Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) is responsible for accrediting Oregon schools and when evaluating teacher education programs, applicants should confirm the school is in good standing with the NWAC. And for those looking for online teaching certification programs, all schools offering distance program should also be accredited by their corresponding regional agency in their headquartered state.

Additionally, most states look for an accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness (CAEP). This new organization was recently formed through the merger of TEAC and NCATE, two highly respected accreditation agencies. Through CAEP, the accreditation system will continue to be a symbol of rigorous standards in the teacher education sector. Although a CAEP accreditation may not be mandatory for approval by Oregon State, most schools will apply for its accreditation due to its distinguished reputation.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Oregon.

Oregon Teacher Outlook as of 2014
The Occupational Supply & Demand System projects 470 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 230 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 420 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Oregon through 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are about 26,590 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Oregon (2013). Excluding special education, elementary school teachers in the state earn an average annual salary of $55,200, middle school teachers an average annual salary of $55,920, and secondary school teachers an average annual salary of $55,820 (BLS 2013). 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 teachers interested in Oregon.

Oregon Teacher Education Requirements

Eligible 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 institute of higher learning. Certain levels of certification such as the Standard Teaching designation require that the candidate hold a master’s degree or higher. Candidates who have not completed an Oregon teachers certification program but have at least a bachelor’s degree may qualify for alternative certification.

Additionally, all Oregon teachers must pass the Oregon Civil Rights Knowledge Requirements (Protecting Students and Civil Rights in the Education Environment test). This licensure test is used to measure applicants’ knowledge and skills in relation to Oregon educational standards. In some cases, out of state teachers seeking an Oregon educator certificate may be able to waive this step.

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Oregon Teacher Testing Requirements

Oregon State SealOregon is 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 the teaching candidate’s propensity for higher order thinking skills, pedagogical knowledge and subject-area expertise. The tests use the latest in assessment technology to allow candidates the option of taking their tests online and seeing the results right away. This new series of tests will replace the Praxis series as the state’s teacher-certification assessment requirement.

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Additional Oregon Teacher Certification Requirements

Similar to most states, Oregon requires anyone applying for an Oregon educator certificate to submit to a full state and federal background check by providing fingerprinting cards. This process can be started by requesting a fingerprinting card through the state’s Department of Human Services.

Oregon Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once all the above steps towards Oregon teacher certification are completed, applicants must send in all required information to the state’s DOE. Processing time can take up to three months, so it’s recommended to send in the documents in ample time before the start of the semester/year.

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

Oregon’s T S P C
250 Division St. NE
Salem, OR 97301-1012

Visit the Arizona Department of Education for further details on teaching certification in Oregon.

Oregon Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 5,800 $25,900
Kindergarten Teachers 1,550 $51,940
Elementary School Teachers 11,980 $54,990
Middle School Teachers 5,590 $54,550
Secondary School Teachers 8,570 $54,950

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

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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 certificate through the state with a high school authorization level. The requirements for certification are completion of a baccalaureate program and an education program. The latter includes a student teaching experience.

Teaching and Education Programs

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1. Oregon State Teacher Standards and Practices Commission: http://www.oregon.gov/TSPC/Pages/index.aspx
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