Virginia Teacher Certification
How to Become a Teacher in Virginia
In order to teach in Virginia, individuals must possess one very important piece of paper: a Virginia teacher certification. Like all of the states, Virginia has established specific requirements that must be fulfilled in order for an individual to earn a Virginia teaching certificate. These requirements include completing an approved education program, passing state-determined assessments, and completing the application process.
- I want to be a teacher in Virginia, 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 Virginia’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.
- MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
- MA in Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers Grades 5-12)
Virginia Teacher Education Requirements
The initial step toward becoming a teacher in Virginia is to complete the state’s educational requirements. First, a bachelor’s degree must be earned at an accredited academic institution. In addition, a state-approved teacher preparation program is required. In some cases, a state-approved alternative program may be completed instead.
Profiles of Well Known Schools
Virginia Tech: The School of Education at Virginia Tech offers educationally curious students with several degree and career pathways that lead to rewarding and fruitful careers in education at all levels. Students who are current teachers as well as those who hope to become educators will find the atmosphere accommodating, challenging, and enlightening. The curriculum within the degree programs at the school combine best practices in education as well as dynamic coursework that challenges the status quo and pushes boundaries. This provides students with a historical framework as well as the ability to think outside of the norm to help students learn and achieve whether it’s in an elementary classroom, high school classroom or college lecture hall. Students can choose from one of many bachelor’s and graduate degrees depending on their goals.
At the beginning of 2012, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded Virginia’s unemployment rate at 6.0%, well below the national average of 8.5%. The Occupational Supply and Demand System projects 7,801 annual job openings in education and library related fields in Virginia through 2018. In fall 2008 and 2007 respectively, the National Center for Education Statistics listed 71,415 public school and 12,920 private school teachers employed throughout the state. The National Education Association reports the average starting teaching salary in Virginia as $36,634 and the average overall teaching salary as $48,761, the 30th highest average among US states. The NEA also notes that the education job market is ‘open’ in most urban and suburban areas, particularly for special education, math and science teachers. The US Department of Education reports additional teacher shortages in Virginia in elementary education (PreK-6), foreign languages (PreK-12), and health and physical education (PreK-12). Please visit the Virginia Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association, for updates on education policy, budget allocation and local employment opportunity across the state. For more information regarding state certification please contact local education and teaching schools and programs.
Virginia Teacher Testing Requirements
Once the educational requirements for becoming a teacher in Virginia have been met, teacher candidates must pass the prescribed examinations as determined by the Virginia Board of Education. Three assessments are used for initial licensure in Virginia, depending upon the teaching area that has been chosen. The first is the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment, which is required for teachers in all subject areas. Next, the Praxis II assessment evaluates the teacher candidate’s knowledge of his or her content area. Finally, the Reading Assessment is required for those pursuing the following endorsements: Reading Specialist, Early/Primary preK-3, Elementary Education preK-6, or a variety of Special Education areas.
Those who hold a valid teaching license in another state and who have taught for at least three years are exempt from taking the above tests. In addition, individuals who have completed the requirements for certification and have received employment in Virginia but have not passed the required tests may be eligible for a nonrenewable provisional license that is valid for three years. This license must be requested by the hiring school district.
Virginia Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Elementary School Teachers||36,550||$58,980|
|Middle School Teachers||16,500||$58,310|
|Secondary School Teachers||24,330||$59,900|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011.
Virginia Teacher Interview
Interview with Mimi Hager, Virginia Fifth Grade Teacher
School Programs for Becoming a Teacher in Virginia
Request free information from the following schools to learn more about your options for choosing a teacher degree program. We recommend you: Request information from one or more of these schools
- Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Math
- Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Literacy
- M.A. in Education/Early Childhood Ed.
- M.A. in Education/Secondary Teacher Education
- B.S. in Education / Elementary Education
- A.A. in Elementary Education
- And more...
- Early Childhood Education (Certification Only)
- Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
- MA in Teaching: Advanced Studies in Secondary Education- National Board Preparation
- Superintendent Letter of Eligibility (SLE)
- And more...
- Teacher Aide
- B.S. in Early Childhood Education (Birth - 5 Years)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education
- Special Education (Early Childhood/Elementary)
- Educational Administration: (EDD)
- And more...
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Virginia
Question: What is the requirement to become a special education teacher in Virginia?
Answer: In order to become a special education teacher in Virginia you must complete a course of study at a state approved program that offers approved special education teacher preparation programs.
Question: How do you become a substitute teacher in Virginia?
Answer: To become a substitute teacher in Virginia, you must apply to individual districts. Each district has its own requirements for substitutes. At the state level, substitute teachers must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
Schools with Teaching Degree Programs in Virginia
420 W Main St
Danville, VA 24541
3000 College Dr
Bluefield, VA 24605
402 E College St
Bridgewater, VA 22812-1599
Christopher Newport University
1 University Place
Newport News, VA 23606
Eastern Mennonite University
1200 Park Rd
Harrisonburg, VA 22802-2462
Emory and Henry College
1 Garnand Drive
Emory, VA 24327-0947
George Mason University
4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
Hampton, VA 23668-0099
7916 Williamson Rd NW
Roanoke, VA 24020
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
1651 E Parham Road
Richmond, VA 23228
James Madison University
800 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
John Tyler Community College
13101 Jefferson Davis Hwy
Chester, VA 23831-5316
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24502
1501 Lakeside Dr
Lynchburg, VA 24501-3199
2807 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22207-4299
Norfolk State University
700 Park Ave
Norfolk, VA 23504-8000
Northern Virginia Community College
4001 Wakefield Chapel Road,
Annandale, VA 22003-3796
Old Dominion University
5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
Patrick Henry Community College
645 Patriot Avenue
Martinsville, VA 24112-5311
East Main Street
Radford, VA 24141-0672
1000 Regent University Dr
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
1460 University Dr
Winchester, VA 22601-5195
Sweet Briar College
134 Chapel Drive
Sweet Briar, VA 24595-9998
University of Mary Washington
1301 College Ave
Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5300
University of Richmond
28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
Virginia Commonwealth University
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23284-2512
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0131
Virginia State University
One Hayden Drive
Petersburg, VA 23806
Virginia Union University
1500 N Lombardy St
Richmond, VA 23220
Virginia Wesleyan College
1584 Wesleyan Dr
Norfolk, VA 23502-5599
Page edited by Charles Sipe.