The South Dakota Teaching and Certification Resource
How to Become a Teacher in South Dakota
In order to teach in South Dakota, a candidate must obtain a South Dakota teacher certification by fulfilling the state requirements. South Dakota offers certification in areas similar to other states – elementary education (which covers grades K-8), secondary education (which covers grades 7-12), special education, and K-12 areas (e.g., art, music, foreign language).
- I want to be a teacher in South Dakota, 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 South Dakota’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...
South Dakota Teacher Education Requirements
Many applicants for a South Dakota teaching certification follow the traditional route to licensure. These applicants have completed an approved teacher education program from an accredited university. If an applicant has completed such a program, completed six credit hours within the last five years, and passed the appropriate Praxis II exam for the desired certificate, he or she can receive an initial teaching certificate. Each time a teacher in South Dakota wishes to renew his or her license, six credit hours of education courses must be earned. South Dakota teacher candidates must complete a human relations course and a course on South Dakota Indians studies.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported South Dakota’s unemployment rate at 4.7% in January 2012, significantly below the national average of 8.5%. The Occupational Supply and Demand System projects 473 annual job openings in education and library related fields through 2018. In fall 2008 and 2007, the National Center of Education Statistics listed 9,244 public school and 930 private school teachers employed in South Dakota. The average beginning teaching salary in South Dakota, as reported by the National Education Association, is $34,061 and the average overall teaching salary in South Dakota is $39,850, the lowest average among US states and over $15,000 below the national average. Note that this ranking is not reflective of variant costs of living among US states and should be considered within that context. The NEA cites teacher shortages across the state and particularly in special education, math and sciences. With retirement rates expected to increase in the next several years, now is a promising time to pursue teacher certification. For more information on state education policy and public employment opportunity please visit the South Dakota Education Association, a local branch of the NEA. For specific certification procedures and requirements, please contact local education and teaching schools and degree programs.
South Dakota Teacher Testing Requirements
Becoming a teacher in South Dakota does not require a basic skills test such as the Praxis I. However, applicants must show that they are competent in their subject area by taking the Praxis II exam in their desired certification area. This exam contains sections on general education knowledge and skills as well as subject-specific topics.
South Dakota Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Elementary School Teachers||4,160||$39,150|
|Middle School Teachers||2,000||$39,740|
|Secondary School Teachers||3,550||$39,680|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011.
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in South Dakota
Question: What are the requirements to become a high school teacher in South Dakota?
Answer: The requirements for being a high school teacher in South Dakota include being certified through the state. A one-year certificate can be earned by having a bachelor’s degree with education coursework. To get a five-year certificate requires the same, but also passing the Praxis II test.
Page edited by Charles Sipe.