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The Utah Teaching and Certification Resource

There are various pathways to certification for aspiring teachers in Utah. The Utah State Office of Education oversees the certification process, which is outlined below for those looking to learn how to become a teacher in Utah.

How to Become a Teacher in Utah

Prospective educators must meet the state’s requirements to earn Utah teacher certification. Like most US states, Utah requires all educators to hold a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved teacher preparation 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 Subject Assessments. Teacher candidates must be recommended for licensure by an accredited institution before a Level 1 certificate can be 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. This program must be completed within the first three years of teaching. After an educator completes the EYE, the school district may recommend him or her for a Level 2 certificate. A Level 3 certificate is also available for those with a doctorate or certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Individuals must already have a Utah Level 2 certificate to be eligible to upgrade to the Level 3 license.

Quick Guide

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Utah

Projected Job Growth

20.7%

Growth in Teaching Jobs in UT through 20242

Perhaps the most important step to becoming a teacher in Utah is completing a Utah teacher preparation program at an approved school. The Utah Office of Education only issues initial teaching licenses to those who complete an in-state teacher preparation program that is on the approved programs list.

Additionally, schools may hold accreditation from the national accreditation organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP was formed by the merger of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), two highly-regarded accreditation agencies. Under the new name, CAEP will continue to serve as a distinguished marker of rigorous standards in teacher preparation.

Prospective teachers evaluating institutions out-of-state or online should confirm that their school of choice is nationally accredited by CAEP, NCATE, or TEAC. These are the only accreditations recognized by the Utah State Office of Education for out-of-state educator preparation programs.

Note that candidates who choose to attend a teacher preparation program that is not located in Utah must first apply for a license in the state where the preparation program is located, and then apply to Utah for certification by reciprocity. For more information, see the Utah State Office of Education.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Utah.

Utah Teacher Outlook
The Utah Department of Workforce Services projects 620 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 210 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 360 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Utah through 2024.3 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 28,440 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Utah, excluding special education teachers.4 Elementary school teachers in the state earn an annual average salary of $53,730, middle school teachers earn an annual average salary of $53,930, and secondary school teachers earn an annual average salary of $57,020.4 The Utah Education Association provides updates on education policy and local employment opportunities for teachers interested in working in Utah.

Utah Teacher Education Requirements

In order to ensure that educators are thoroughly prepared for the demands of teaching, Utah’s State Office of Education approves teacher preparation programs at institutions headquartered within the state. These programs must also be nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness (CAEP), the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), or the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Utah Teacher Testing Requirements

Utah state sealUtah has adopted the Praxis Series of tests to evaluate candidates who apply for teaching certification in Utah. Some educational institutions require that students pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam before being accepted into a teacher preparation program. All future educators in Utah must pass the Praxis Subject Assessments 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 Principles of Learning and Teaching tests.

Additional Utah Teacher Certification Requirements

Utah requires anyone applying for teacher certification to submit to a state and federal background check through fingerprinting. To begin the process, applicants should go to the state’s Educator Licensing Online system.

Utah Teachers Licensing Application Process

Traditional route candidates for Utah teacher certification do not typically apply for their teaching license. Instead, the teacher preparation program completed will apply for a license on the graduate’s behalf. Candidates who graduated from teacher preparation programs located out of state should follow the instructions provided for out-of-state license candidates. For more information, contact the Office of Education.

Utah Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 1,370 $25,450
Preschool Teachers, Special Education Not available Not available
Kindergarten Teachers 590 $46,290
Elementary School Teachers 15,930 $53,730
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 1,790 $44,160
Middle School Teachers 4,990 $53,930
Middle School Teachers, Special Education 570 $40,710
Secondary School Teachers 7,520 $57,020
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education 820 $44,140
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education 330 $45,660

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.4

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 state-approved 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

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References:
1. Utah State Department of Education: http://www.schools.utah.gov/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. Utah Department of Workforce Services: https://jobs.utah.gov/wi/pubs/outlooks/state/
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Utah: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ut.htm