How to Become a Teacher in Denver
To work as a teacher in Denver, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree and approved teacher preparation program to earn Colorado teacher certification. The Colorado teacher licensing system has tiers that allow you to progress as you gain experience. The public school board in Denver is Denver Public Schools, which is responsible for over 91,000 students in 199 schools across the city.1 Private and charter schools in the Denver area may not require certification and may have different hiring requirements. Denver teachers earn a competitive salary compared to other teachers across Colorado and new positions, particularly in elementary and secondary schools, are projected in the coming years.2
Denver School District Steps for Becoming a Teacher
Earning a Colorado teaching certificate is the first step toward becoming a teacher in Denver. You can complete a traditional bachelor’s program with an approved teacher preparation component or an alternative teacher preparation program if you already have a bachelor’s degree. See the Certification section for more detailed information. Once you have been certified, you can follow these steps to look for a job in the Denver Public Schools district.
Step 1: Complete the pre-screening process.
First, submit a General Teaching application online. You will be asked to provide your teaching history, license information, a resume, and an essay and have the option to upload references, a cover letter, and other supporting documents. Your application will be reviewed by human resources within seven days and then you will be scheduled for a 20-minute phone interview with the human resources team to complete the pre-screening process.
Step 2: Apply to specific positions online.
After passing the pre-screening process, you will be able to apply for specific open positions on the Denver Public Schools Job Board. Eligible candidates may be contacted for an interview by the school. If you have not provided them already, bring the following to the interview: official college transcripts, a copy of a valid teaching certificate and/or license, a sample lesson plan, and three professional references.
Step 3: Complete the hiring process.
If you are offered a position with the school system, you will need to complete the hiring process with a human resources department or other district hiring authority. This may include a background check or a basic health check before your first day. The school will inform you of next steps at the time of hiring.
How to Become a Substitute Teacher with the Denver School District
Prospective substitute teachers with Denver Public Schools must have at least a bachelor’s degree and appropriate state certification. Candidates who do not have a teaching certificate may be eligible for the state’s three-year or five-year substitute authorization. The three-year authorization is open to candidates with a bachelor’s degree while the five-year authorization is open to candidates with a current or expired Colorado teaching certificate. Once you have your certification, you can apply to the substitute teaching pool. If your application is successful, you will be invited for an interview and be able to accept open assignments. Substitutes must be able to work at least five days per month.
Denver Teacher Certification Requirements
Teachers in Denver must first earn certification from the Colorado Department of Education to be eligible to teach in the state. The traditional path to certification requires prospective teachers to complete a bachelor’s degree and approved teacher preparation program and successfully pass the appropriate exams for the certification sought. For traditional route candidates, the preparation program can be completed as part of the bachelor’s degree. Read our Colorado teacher certification guide to learn more.
Aspiring teachers who already have a bachelor’s degree may be eligible for Colorado alternative teacher certification, which involves completing an approved teacher preparation program and passing the required exams depending on the subjects and ages you plan to teach. Learn more about the alternative path through our guide to alternative teacher certification in Colorado.
1860 Lincoln St
Denver, CO 80203
Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in Denver
Private and charter schools in Denver may have different requirements for teaching positions than those of Denver Public Schools. While state teaching certification is not generally required in private schools, candidates must have at least a bachelor’s degree. In some cases, private and charter schools may require candidates to hold a master’s degree or have demonstrated experience in the subject matter. It is best to read individual job postings to ensure you meet the requirements.
Private and Charter Schools
Private schools operate outside of the public school system while charter schools are still within the authority of the public school system but operate with individualized charter agreements. Both types of schools may have special areas of expertise. Here are some well-known schools in the Denver area.
Private Schools in Denver
- The Denver Waldorf School
- Denver Academy
- Graland Country Day School
- Mullen High School
- Cambridge School of Denver
Charter Schools in Denver
- Highline Academy Charter School
- Pinnacle Charter School
- Pioneer Charter School of Science
- Wyatt Academy
- Lincoln Charter: Denver Campus
Denver Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area earned an average annual salary between $51,670 and $56,700 in 2015, with kindergarten teachers earning the lowest of the range and secondary school teachers earning the highest of the range.3 This range was $2,600 to $4,050 more than the average salaries earned by all teacher groups across the state, but $2,840 to $4,830 less than national average teacher salaries.4,5
Long-term projections for teachers in the Denver-Aurora area estimate a rate of growth of 20.67% for all education occupations through 2025.2 The greatest number of positions will become available for elementary school teachers with 3,349 new jobs projected and secondary school teachers with 2,141 new jobs projected, followed by middle school teachers with 1,675 new jobs projected.2
Denver Teaching Jobs Boards
Look for teaching jobs in Denver online by searching job boards found at the sites listed below.
Check out our Jobs Board to search for teaching jobs in Denver now.
Additional Resources for Teaching in Denver
1. Denver Public Schools – Facts and Figures: https://www.dpsk12.org/about-dps/facts-figures/
2. Colorado LMI Gateway – https://www.colmigateway.com/vosnet/Default.aspx
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metropolitan Division: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_19740.htm#25-0000
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Colorado: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_co.htm#25-0000
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, United States: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#25-0000