The Wisconsin Teaching and Certification Resource
How to Become a Teacher in Wisconsin
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) offers two levels of Wisconsin teacher certification: an initial educator license and a professional educator license. The Department of Public Instruction issues an initial educator license to those who have completed a teacher preparation program; it is valid for up to five years. To obtain a professional educator license a teacher is required to show at least three years of full year employment in the license category and successfully complete their professional development plan.
- I want to be a teacher in Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin’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.
- Global Training and Development - EdS
- E-Learning - EdS
- General Education - Doctor of Education
- Curriculum and Teaching - EdS
- And more...
Wisconsin Teacher Education Requirements
As with most states, the most direct route to Wisconsin teaching certification is the traditional one: graduation from a state-approved teacher education program in Wisconsin. However, when the DPI issues a license, they can do so “with stipulations”, which most often includes continuing education requirements. To be eligible for a license without stipulations, the applicant simply has to complete the required coursework within the 5-year time that the license is valid, and then he or she can be issued a new license.
One educational requirement for moving from an initial license to a professional educator license is the professional development plan (PDP). This process ensures that teachers continue to grow and develop as professionals, and the renewal (and upgrade) of their teaching certificate is based on the completion of the PDP, and an evaluation of it by the state.
In January in 2012, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wisconsin’s unemployment rate at 7.6%, slightly below the national average of 8.5%. The Occupational Supply and Demand System projects 3,380 annual job openings in library and education related fields in Wisconsin through 2018. In fall 2008 and 2007, the National Center of Education Statistics listed 59,401 public school and 9,910 private school teachers employed throughout the state. The average beginning teacher salary in Wisconsin is $32,643 and the average overall teaching salary is $54,195, the 18th highest average among US states according to the National Education Association. The NEA also notes teacher shortages in urban areas, such as Milwaukee, especially in special education, math, and science. The US Department of Education additionally notes slight shortages across the state in career and technical education, English and foreign languages. The Wisconsin Education Association Council, an affiliate of the National Education Association, has current information on education policy, budget allocation and local employment and working conditions. For more information on state certification please contact local education and teaching schools and programs.
Wisconsin Teacher Testing Requirements
To obtain teacher certification in Wisconsin, applicants have to show their basic skills in reading, writing, and math through the Praxis I exam. After that, applicants must show their competence in teaching by taking the Praxis II exam. Applicants should take the Praxis II Subject Assessment, an exam in the content area in which they seeking certification. This exam primarily assesses an applicant’s knowledge of content in their proposed certification area, as well as some teaching pedagogy.
Wisconsin Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Elementary School Teachers||27,800||$55,790|
|Middle School Teachers||12,090||$53,100|
|Secondary School Teachers||17,810||$53,260|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011.
Wisconsin Teacher Interview
Interview with Heather Mathews, Wisconsin Fourth Grade Teacher
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Wisconsin
Question: How can I become a substitute teacher in Wisconsin?
Answer: To work as a substitute teacher in Wisconsin, you need to get a permit from the state Department of Public Instruction. To get the permit, you must have a college degree from an accredited institution, have a school district sponsor you, and take an appropriate substitute training class.
Question: How do I become a high school teacher in Wisconsin?
Answer: To be a high school teacher in Wisconsin, you must be licensed through the state. To get a license, you need to have completed a bachelor degree program and an approved teacher preparation program. You must also pass a background check.
Page edited by Charles Sipe.