How to Become a Teacher in Columbus
Columbus, the capital city of Ohio, is home to the state’s largest public school district, Columbus City Schools (CCS). This district oversees 109 schools and over 51,000 children each year.1 To become a teacher in the Columbus public school system, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree, a teacher preparation program, and the Ohio Assessment for Educators and apply to the Ohio Department of Education to become an Ohio certified teacher. Certain private and charter schools in Columbus might not require certification. Continue reading to find out more about Columbus teaching jobs and resources.
Columbus Teacher Certification Requirements
Columbus teachers must meet the statewide requirements for teaching certification. You will need to complete a bachelor’s degree and a teacher preparation program, although these may be combined if you do not already have a bachelor’s degree. Both options require in-class teaching experience to help you transition to a teaching career upon graduation. Once you have finished the educational requirements, you will need to pass the Ohio Assessment for Educators to earn an initial license. As you gain more experience, you may be eligible for an advanced license. See our Ohio certification page for more information.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree and choose to complete an alternative teaching certification program, you may be able to earn a salary while you complete your teaching requirements through a flexible internship-type program. See our Ohio alternative certification page to learn more. If you are an out-of-state teacher, you may be eligible for reciprocity if you already hold certification from another state.
Teacher Certification Programs in Columbus
The colleges and universities below offer teacher preparation programs that can prepare you for first-time teacher certification as well as additional endorsements. You can read more about teaching programs in the state on our Ohio schools page.
- Ohio State University
- Ohio Dominican University
Columbus School District Steps for Becoming a Teacher
Hiring for K-12 public school teaching positions in Columbus is overseen by the Columbus City Schools (CCS). CCS has established the following steps for prospective teachers in the city’s public schools.
Step 1: Complete the online application.
To apply to jobs in the Columbus City Schools district, search for opportunities in the online job bank and complete an online application through the TeacherMatch system. You will need to apply for each position you wish to be considered for separately.
Step 2: Attend an interview with a school leader or panel.
Each school reviews applications individually to fill open positions. If your application is successful, you will likely be invited to attend an interview with the school administration. You may need to bring additional documents or prepare sample lesson plans. The school will tell you of any additional steps required.
Step 3: Complete the hiring process.
If the school would like to hire you, you will receive an offer and will likely need to complete administrative paperwork before beginning to teach. The school will advise you on the exact requirements including any required orientation events or documents.
270 E State St
Columbus, OH 43215
How to Become a Substitute Teacher with the Columbus School District
Candidates for substitute teaching positions in Columbus must have a bachelor’s degree and pass a background check to be eligible and you will likely be invited to an interview before being approved. Teaching certification is not required but may be an asset. You can apply online for substitute teaching positions.
Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in Columbus
Sometimes private and charter schools have different hiring requirements than public schools. While having a teaching certificate will never harm your application, it might not be a requirement for working in a private or charter school, especially if you have relevant experience or expertise. Look for jobs in these schools online or through professional networks and be prepared to submit your resume and cover letter. You may also be asked to send additional documents, such as references, transcripts, or lesson plans. Private and charter schools will likely contact you to set up an interview before you are given a job offer. Private and charter schools teach children all over Columbus and employ many teachers each year.
The Largest K-12 Schools in Columbus
The following table will help you compare the largest public, private, and charter schools in Columbus based on various factors.
|School||Type||Grade Level||# Students||Student-Teacher |
|Starling STEM PreK-8||Public||PK-8||632||20:1|
|Liberty Elementary School||Public||PK-5||549||22:1|
|Olde Orchard Elementary School||Public||K-5||545||24:1|
|Woodward Park Middle School||Public||6-8||866||23:1|
|Dominion Middle School||Public||6-8||618||18:1|
|Ridgeview Middle School||Public||6-8||573||18:1|
|Northland High School||Public||9-12||1,001||17:1|
|South High School||Public||7-12||973||17:1|
|Briggs High School||Public||9-12||964||19:1|
|KIPP Journey Academy||Charter||K-10||1,194||36:1|
|Columbus Preparatory Academy||Charter||K-11||744||16:1|
|Imagine Great Western Academy||Charter||K-8||721||21:1|
|Bishop Watterson High School||Private||9-12||1,033||17:1|
|St. Francis DeSales High School||Private||9-12||811||11:1|
|Bishop Hartley High School||Private||9-12||673||16:1|
See Table Notes and References at bottom of page.
Columbus Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook
The average annual Columbus teacher salary is in line with or slightly above state and national averages according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Elementary school teachers in Columbus reportedly earn the highest annual salary at an average of $64,000, followed by secondary school teachers ($63,460), middle school teachers ($62,350), and kindergarten teachers ($57,270).2 These salaries fall roughly in line with statewide averages.3 Looking even wider, Columbus and Ohio salary averages for K-12 teachers are also similar to national averages.4
Growth for teachers in the Columbus metropolitan statistical area is expected to be positive through 2026 according to projections from the Ohio Department of Labor. Elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers are all expected to see job growth of roughly 14.6% to 14.9% over this time period.5 Job growth for special education teachers in these grade levels is projected at similarly positive levels.5 Job growth for substitute teachers is expected to reach 19%, while preschool teachers are expected to see job growth of 20%.5 In addition to openings from growth, there will also be openings due to exits from the workforce and transfers to other positions.
Columbus Teacher Shortage Areas
The US Department of Education bases some student loan forgiveness programs on teacher shortage areas, meaning that your chances of qualifying for loan forgiveness may be stronger if you are teaching a subject that has been formally identified as a shortage area. You may also qualify for other funding opportunities or a more competitive salary based on your endorsement(s). Note that shortage areas may change from year to year, so you should be sure to check with state education agencies, your selected education program, and your student loan providers about funding options. For the 2017-2018 school year, the following subject areas were recognized as shortage areas in Ohio (statewide):6
- English/Language Arts
- Foreign Languages
- Social Studies
- Special Education
- Speech/Language Pathology
- Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Columbus Teaching Jobs Boards
Check online job boards like those below frequently to find new job postings throughout the year. You can also search our jobs board to find teaching jobs in the Columbus area.
- Catholic Diocese of Columbus: Teaching Vacancies
- Columbus City Schools Job Board
- Ohio Department of Education Jobs
- Central Ohio Association of Catholic Educators (COACE): Promotes Catholic education and represents diocesan teachers across the Central Ohio area.
- Columbus Education Association (CEA Ohio): Works to improve conditions and benefits for teachers in Columbus and the surrounding communities.
- Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE): The statewide union for public school teachers and other eligible educators, representing over 34,000 members in 480 local unions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is the starting Columbus city schools teacher salary?
Answer: For the 2019-2020 school year, first-year teachers with a bachelor’s degree began at a salary of $42,981 plus benefits.7 First-year teachers with a master’s degree entered at a higher salary level, at $47,666 per year.7 First-year teachers with a doctoral degree entered at the highest step, at $51,677 per year.7 At all levels, Columbus city school teachers earn annual cost-of-living pay increases from year to year.7
Question: What is the substitute teacher pay in Columbus?
Answer: Substitute teacher pay in Columbus is on a daily rate. The daily rate is determined based on 75% of what the individual substitute’s annual salary would be if he or she were a regular classroom teacher, pro-rated by the number of workdays in the school year.8
Question: Where can I find out more about Columbus teacher job fairs?
Answer: Information about teacher job fairs in Columbus is posted on the Columbus City Schools website.
Table Notes and References:
1. Niche, Largest Schools in Columbus: https://www.niche.com/k12/search/largest-schools/t/columbus-franklin-oh/
1. Columbus City Schools: About Us: https://www.ccsoh.us/domain/154
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Columbus, OH: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_18140.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Ohio: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_oh.htm
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, United States: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm
5. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Job Outlook: https://ohiolmi.com/_docs/PROJ/Ohio/Ohio_Job_Outlook_2018-2028.pdf
6. US Department of Education, Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/bteachershortageareasreport201718.pdf
7. Columbus City Schools Teacher Salary Schedule 2019-2020: https://www.ccsoh.us/cms/lib/OH01913306/Centricity/Domain/223/Teacher%20Salary%20Schedules%20SY2019%202020.pdf
8. Columbus City Schools and Columbus Education Association 2021-2023 Agreement: https://www.ccsoh.us/cms/lib/OH01913306/Centricity/Domain/223/2021-2023%20OAPSE%20Agreement.pdf