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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.

Quick Guide

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in West Virginia

Projected Job Growth

4%

Growth in Teaching Jobs in WV through 202215

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). CAEP was formed from the merger between the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). 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.

West Virginia Teacher Outlook
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 2022.2 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 15,430 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in West Virginia, excluding teachers working in special education.3 West Virginia elementary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $45,730, while middle school teachers in the state earn an average annual salary of $45,070 and secondary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $44,510.3 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

West Virginia State SealIn addition to educational requirements, prospective West Virginia educators must pass three Praxis Series tests: the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Praxis I), the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT), and the appropriate content 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
Building 6, Room 304
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
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 1,170 $29,690
Preschool Teachers, Special Education Not available Not available
Kindergarten Teachers 1,160 $47,040
Elementary School Teachers 6,940 $45,730
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 3,120 $41,160
Middle School Teachers 4,410 $45,070
Middle School Teachers, Special Education 710 $39,750
Secondary School Teachers 4,080 $44,510
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education 860 $43,240
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education 730 $45,660

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2014.

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

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References:
1. West Virginia State Department of Education: http://wvde.state.wv.us/
2. WorkForce West Virginia: http://lmi.workforcewv.org/LTprojections/LTProjMenu.html
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, West Virginia: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wv.htm
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Elementary School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252021.htm
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Middle School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252022.htm
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Secondary School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252031.htm
7. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Preschool Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252011.htm
8. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Preschool: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252051.htm
9. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Kindergarten Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252012.htm
10. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252052.htm
11. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Middle School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252053.htm
12. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252023.htm
13. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Secondary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252054.htm
14. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Career/Technical Education Teachers, Secondary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252032.htm
15. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm