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.
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.
- I want to be a teacher in Utah, 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 Utah’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.
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.
The Occupational Supply & Demand System projects 770 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 240 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 340 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Utah through 2022. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 26,070 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Utah excluding special education teachers (2013). Elementary school teachers in the state earn an annual average salary of $51,300, middle school teachers earn an annual average salary of $52,580, and secondary school teachers earn an annual average salary of $53,700 (BLS 2013). 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 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.
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:
- A crimal background check clearance
- Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree
- Proof of teacher program completion at an accredited teacher preparation school
- Passing score on the Utah Educator Proficiency Assessments
- Completed application for teaching certification in Utah
- 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|
|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.
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
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.