The West Virginia Teaching and Certification Resource
Those interested in becoming teachers in West Virginia must obtain teacher certification before working in the state’s K-12 public education system. The West Virginia Department of Education oversees the certification process, which is outlined below for those seeking more information on how to become a teacher in West Virginia.
How to Become a Teacher in West Virginia
Like most states, West Virginia requires that teachers hold a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved teacher preparation program, and pass the required content exams. Those who have a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program may be eligible for alternative teacher certification in West Virginia.
West Virginia uses a tiered system of teacher licensure. First-time teachers who complete all licensure requirements are issued an Initial Professional Teaching Certificate. After completing an induction program and continuing education in public school subjects, teachers may receive a Professional Five-Year Teaching Certificate. Teachers may advance to the Permanent Professional Teaching Certificate by earning a Professional Certificate and completing five years of successful teaching and earning a master’s degree.
- I want to be a teacher in West 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 West 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.
Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in West Virginia
Projected Job Growth
Growth in Teaching Jobs in WV through 20242
One of the most important steps towards becoming a certified teacher in West Virginia is completing a state-approved teacher certification program in an accredited school. You can find a current list of approved teacher preparation programs through the TeachWV website.
Schools located out-of-state or that provide online teacher preparation must be accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies which are overseen by the US Department of Education. All aspiring teachers working towards a teaching certification in West Virginia should confirm that their school of choice is in good standing with a recognized regional accreditation agency and has state approval for the preparation of teachers.
Additionally, many schools look for accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Although CAEP accreditation is not mandatory, it is a highly-regarded symbol of excellence in terms of curriculum and process.
See our list of CAEP accredited schools in West Virginia.
WorkForce West Virginia projects 69 average annual job openings due to growth and 160 average annual job openings due to replacements for elementary school teachers, 47 average annual job openings due to growth and 107 average annual job openings due to replacements for middle school teachers, and 12 average annual job openings due to growth and 114 average annual job openings due to replacements for secondary school teachers through 2022.3 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 13,870 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in West Virginia, excluding teachers working in special education.4 West Virginia elementary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $46,010, while middle school teachers in the state earn an average annual salary of $45,870 and secondary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $44,550.4 The West Virginia Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association, is a good resource for information on state education policy changes and local employment opportunities.
West Virginia Teacher Education Requirements
West Virginia teacher certification candidates must earn a bachelor’s degree through a regionally accredited academic institution and complete a state-approved educator preparation program and be recommended for certification through that program. Candidates for West Virginia teacher licensure must maintain a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or have a minimum overall graduate GPA of at least 3.0.
West Virginia Teacher Testing Requirements
In addition to educational requirements, prospective West Virginia educators must pass three Praxis Series tests: the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT), and the appropriate Praxis Subject Assessments for each endorsement area.
Additional West Virginia Teacher Certification Requirements
Prospective teachers in West Virginia must undergo a criminal history background check by both the West Virginia State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Fingerprinting for the background check can be processed at a LiveScan location or via fingerprint cards provided by the West Virginia Department of Education and processed at local law enforcement offices.
West Virginia Teachers Licensing Application Process
Once all steps towards West Virginia teacher certification have been completed, applications should be sent to the state’s Department of Education. The average processing time is 90 days and the required documentation is as follows:
- Criminal background check clearance.
- Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited school.
- Proof of teacher program completion at an approved teacher preparation school.
- Passing scores on the required examinations.
- Completed application for teaching certification in West Virginia.
- Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee.
Completed application materials may be sent to:
West Virginia Department of Education
1900 Kanawha Blvd E
Building 6, Room 304
Charleston, WV 25305
Visit the Department of Education for further details on West Virginia teacher certification.
West Virginia Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Preschool Teachers, Special Education||Not available||Not available|
|Elementary School Teachers||7,140||$46,010|
|Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School||2,360||$41,530|
|Middle School Teachers||3,340||$45,870|
|Middle School Teachers, Special Education||1,010||$41,760|
|Secondary School Teachers||3,390||$44,550|
|Secondary School Teachers, Special Education||760||$45,030|
|Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||580||$47,340|
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.4
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in West Virginia
Question: How do I become a high school teacher in West Virginia?
Answer: To become a West Virginia high school teacher, you must earn your professional teaching certificate through the state. This requires earning a bachelor’s degree and completing a teacher preparation program. You must also pass the required Praxis exams and a background check.
Teaching and Education Programs
1. West Virginia State Department of Education: http://wvde.state.wv.us/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. WorkForce West Virginia: http://lmi.workforcewv.org/LTprojections/LTProjMenu.html
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, West Virginia: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wv.htm