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The Utah Teaching and Certification Resource

For aspiring teachers looking to become a teacher in Utah, there are various pathways to certification. Depending on previous teaching experience and education, future teachers can follow the traditional pathway or the available alternative options offered. The state’s Office of Education oversees the Utah teacher certification process, which is outlined below.

How to Become a Teacher in Utah

Prospective teachers in Utah must meet the state’s requirements in order to receive Utah teacher certification. Like most US states, Utah requires all educators to hold a bachelor’s degree, complete a Utah teachers certification program and pass the required content exams.

There are three levels of licensure in Utah. A Level 1 license is the initial certificate that teachers receive after completing a teacher preparation program and passing the Praxis II assessment. Teacher candidates must be recommended for licensure by an accredited institution before a Level 1 certificate is issued. Those who complete an alternative route to teaching certification or who are eligible for reciprocity from another state will also be granted a Level 1 license.

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Popular Programs:

  • MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
  • MA in Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers Grades 5-12)

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While teaching with a Level 1 license, educators in Utah complete the Entry Years Enhancement (EYE) program, which provides support for beginning teachers as they begin their careers. The program must be completed within the first three years of teaching. After an educator completes the EYE, the school district may recommend the employee for a Level 2 certificate. A Level 3 certificate is also available for those with a Ph.D. or National Board Certification. Individuals must already have a Utah Level 2 certificate in order to be eligible to upgrade to the Level 3 license.

For experienced teachers with out of state certifications, reciprocity in Utah is possible provided applicants fulfill all other requirements for Utah educator certification. For more information on reciprocity or information on the steps to Utah teacher certification renewal, contact the state’s Office of Education.

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Utah

Perhaps the most important step in becoming a teacher in Utah is completing a Utah teachers certification program at an accredited school. The Utah Office of Education only issues certification if applicants prove they have attended an accredited school.

The US Department of education oversees six regional accreditation agencies that accredit schools in the US. The Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) is responsible for accrediting Utah schools. Therefore, teaching applicants should confirm that their school of choice is NWAC accredited. For anyone considering online teaching certification programs, schools offering distance programs must also be accredited by the regional accreditation agency that corresponds with the school’s headquartered state.

Additionally, Utah may look for an accreditation from the national accreditation organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness or CAEP. CAEP was recently formed due to the merger between TEAC and NCATE, two highly-regarded accreditation agencies. Under the new name, CAEP will continue to serve as a distinguished marker of rigorous standards when it comes to accrediting schools.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Utah.

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Utah Teacher Education Requirements

In order to ensure that educators are thoroughly prepared for the demands of teaching, Utah’s State Board of Education evaluates and approves teacher preparation programs at institutions within the state. These programs must also be nationally accredited. After an individual completes a bachelor’s degree and an approved teacher preparation program in Utah, he or she should check with the institution from which the degree was granted in order to determine if a copy of the license is available online to print or if a copy will be mailed by the State Office of Education.

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Utah Teacher Outlook as of 2012
The Occupational Supply and Demand System projects 2,926 annual job openings in education and library related fields through 2018. The National Center for Education Statistics reported 23,657 public school and 1,720 private school teachers employed in Utah in fall 2008 and 2007, respectively. The average beginning teaching salary in the state is $32,393 and the average overall teaching salary in the state is $47,033, the 11th lowest average among US states. The NEA notes a significant teacher shortage in all grades and subjects in urban areas. With the existing shortage and the retirement rate expected to increase, there should be many opportunities for newly certified teachers. Additionally, the NEA reports shortages in special education and science throughout the state. The Utah Education Association has current updates on education policy, budget allocation and local employment opportunities for teachers interested in working in Utah.

Utah Teacher Testing Requirements

Utah state sealUtah has adopted the Praxis Series of tests to evaluate teacher candidates who apply for teaching certification in Utah. Some educational institutions require that students pass the Praxis I test before being accepted into a teacher preparation program. All future educators in Utah must pass the Praxis II test in the content area that they would like to teach before receiving certification. In addition, those who are completing the EYE to upgrade from a Level 1 to a Level 2 teaching license are often required to pass at least one of the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching tests.

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Additional Utah Teacher Certification Requirements

Utah requires anyone applying for teacher certification in Utah to submit to a state and federal background check through fingerprinting clearance. To begin the process, applicants should go to the state’s Educator Licensing Online to complete the “Live Scan” process.

Utah Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once all of the steps towards Utah teacher certification have been completed, applicants should send in their applications to the State Office of Education. Processing time can vary, but average between four and six weeks. Therefore, its recommended to send in applications with ample time before the year/semester begins. The following documentation is necessary:

  1. A crimal background check clearance
  2. Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree
  3. Proof of teacher program completion at an accredited teacher preparation school
  4. Passing score on the Utah Educator Proficiency Assessments
  5. Completed application for teaching certification in Utah
  6. Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee

Utah State Office of Education
250 East 500 South
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200
Phone: (801) 538-7740
Fax: (801) 538-7973

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

Utah Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 1,340 $24,620
Kindergarten Teachers 630 $39,650
Elementary School Teachers 15,730 $49,440
Middle School Teachers 4,290 $51,510
Secondary School Teachers 5,300 $51,070

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

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Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Utah

Question: How do I become a high school teacher in Utah?

Answer: To become a high school teacher in Utah, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree and complete a teacher preparation program. You also must pass the Praxis exams and a criminal background check. When the requirements are met, you can apply for a teaching certificate with high school endorsements.

Teaching and Education Programs

Popular Programs:

  • Master of Arts in Education/Curriculum and Instruction
  • B.S. in Education / Elementary Education
  • M.A. in Education/Elementary Teacher Education
  • M.A. in Education/Secondary Teacher Education
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Popular Programs:

  • Education, MS - Teaching and Learning (Online)
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Popular Programs:

  • M.Ed. Teaching & Learning: History
  • AA in Education (Non-Licensure)
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Popular Programs:

  • MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
  • MA in Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers Grades 5-12)

Popular Programs:

  • MS - K-12 Studies in Education
  • PhD - K-12 Studies in Education
  • EdD - Curriculum and Instruction
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References:
1. Utah State Department of Education: http://www.schools.utah.gov/
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.

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