How to Become a Teacher in Indianapolis

Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is Indiana’s largest public school board and hires many teachers to serve over 30,000 enrolled students.1 To work as a teacher in the school district, you will need to be certified through the Indiana Department of Education, which includes completing a bachelor’s degree, educator training, and certification exams. Private and charter schools may have different requirements, which you can read more about in our private and charter schools in Indianapolis section. Read more below about opportunities for teachers in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Teacher Certification Requirements

Teaching certification is required to teach in the public school system in Indiana and can be obtained by completing a bachelor’s degree and approved teacher preparation program in Indiana or an approved out-of-state or online program. Find out more on our Indiana certification page.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another subject, you can complete a shorter, alternative program, such as Transition to Teach for middle school and high school teaching. An alternative program can help you save time and money compared to completing another full bachelor’s degree. Earning a master’s degree with an approved teacher preparation program is another option. See our Indiana alternative certification page for more information.

Teacher Certification Programs in Indianapolis

The colleges and universities below offer teacher preparation programs in the Indianapolis metropolitan area that can be a stepping stone to teacher certification or additional endorsements. See our Indiana schools page for more information on schools in the state.

  • Anderson University
  • Butler University
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Marian University
  • Martin University
  • University of Indianapolis

Indianapolis School District Steps for Becoming a Teacher

The Indianapolis Public Schools district requires prospective teachers to have state certification. The traditional route to certification is to complete a bachelor’s degree with a state-approved teacher preparation component that includes student teaching experience. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can complete an approved alternative program that allows you to meet the requirements while gaining hands-on experience. See the Certification section for more information about these options. Once you have your certificate, you can start applying to teaching jobs in Indianapolis.

Step 1: Complete the online application and apply to open positions.

You will need to fill out the online application before you can apply to open positions in the school district. Once your application is complete, you can browse the jobs and submit your profile for review.

Step 2: Attend an interview with school staff.

You will likely be asked to attend an interview with the school principal or other administrative staff. The school may ask you to prepare additional information or documents, such as lesson plans or references. Some schools may ask you to teach a sample lesson to a panel so that they can get a sense of your teaching style.

Step 3: Complete the hiring process.

If you are offered a job, you will need to complete administrative and human resources paperwork before you begin on your first day. You may also need to attend an orientation. The school will let you of any necessary steps.

Contact Information

Indianapolis Public Schools
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IPSSchools
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ipsschools

120 E Walnut St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 226-4000

How to Become a Substitute Teacher with the Indianapolis School District

Substitute teacher positions in Indianapolis Public Schools are managed by a third party, the Parallel Education Division (Parallel Ed), and you can apply by completing the online application. You then need to apply for a Substitute Permit through the Indiana Department of Education, which costs $15 and is valid for three years. Vacancies are communicated to approved substitute teachers by Parallel Ed as they arise.

Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in Indianapolis

Private schools operate through private revenue and donations while charter schools operate through public funding according to specific operational mandates. Because both types of schools operate outside of the public system, teacher certification might not be required and these schools may have different hiring requirements. You can search for jobs in private and charter schools online, at job fairs, and through teacher networks. To apply, you should generally submit a resume, cover letter, and references. Prior teaching experience or certification will be assets in the hiring process. You will likely attend an interview with school officials before being offered a position. There are many well-known private and charter schools throughout Indianapolis where you might find teaching roles.

The Largest K-12 Schools in Indianapolis

We compiled the following table of the largest public, private, and charter schools in Indianapolis to help you compare schools that may be hiring qualified teachers.

SchoolTypeGrade Level# StudentsStudent-Teacher
Stephen Foster School No. 367PublicPK-769314:1
William Penn School No. 49PublicPK-765820:1
Clarence Farrington School No. 61PublicPK-665716:1
Clark-Pleasant Middle SchoolPublic6-81,55720:1
Fall Creek Valley Middle SchoolPublic6-81,27520:1
Franklin Township Middle School EastPublic6-81,26319:1
Arsenal Technical High School No. 716Public9-121,96512:1
George Washington Community High School No. 721Public9-124445:1
Arlington Community High SchoolPublic7-1231713:1
Irvington Community SchoolCharterK-1299417:1
Indianapolis Lighthouse Charter SchoolCharterK-1289913:1
Herron High SchoolCharter9-1286114:1
Cathedral High SchoolPrivate9-121,31310:1
Heritage Christian SchoolPrivatePK-121,27814:1
Roncalli High SchoolPrivate9-121,14114:1

See Table Notes and References at bottom of page.

Indianapolis Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, elementary school teachers earn the highest average annual salary for regular classroom teachers in the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metropolitan area, at $57,000 per year.2 Kindergarten, middle, and secondary school teachers earned $54,890, $55,480, and $55,190 on average respectively.2 Statewide, the average was $51,290 for kindergarten teachers, $52,360 for elementary school teachers, $52,690 for middle school teachers, and $53,030 for secondary school teachers.3 These are lower than national averages, which during the same time period showed average salaries of $58,370 for kindergarten teachers, $62,200 for elementary school teachers, $62,030 for middle school teachers, and $64,340 for secondary school teachers.4

The regional outlook for teaching positions in the Indianapolis area is encouraging. Kindergarten, elementary, and middle school teaching positions are all expected to see growth through 2026, with 6.2% growth in elementary teaching jobs, 6.3% growth in middle school teaching jobs, and 6.4% growth in secondary teaching jobs.5 These projections are consistent with statewide and national projected growth for the same time period.5 This suggests that the job market will be stable for new teachers in Indianapolis in the coming years.

Indianapolis 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 2019-2020 school year, the following subject areas were listed as shortage areas in Indiana (statewide):6

  • Business
  • Computer Education
  • Computer Science
  • Career and Technical Education (All)
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Exceptional Needs (All)
  • Fine Arts: Instrumental and General Music
  • Fine Arts: Vocal and General Music
  • Mathematics
  • Science (All)
  • Secondary Language Arts
  • Technology Education
  • Teachers of English Learners
  • World Languages (All)

Indianapolis Teaching Jobs Boards

You can look for jobs in public, private, and charter schools in Indianapolis via online job boards. Following are a few examples of sites listing jobs. You can also check out our jobs board to search for teaching jobs in Indianapolis.

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the starting Indianapolis teacher salary?

Answer: Teachers with no experience start at an annual salary of $47,800 for the 2020-2021 school year, which is based on 120 days of service.7 Teachers who receive a prior year evaluation of “Effective” receive an additional $2,000 the following year, while teachers with an evaluation of “Highly Effective” receive an additional $2,300.7 All teachers receive an annual increase of $600.7

Question: What are the requirements to be a substitute teacher in Indianapolis?

Answer: Parallel Education Division requires substitutes for regular classroom positions to have two years (60 credits) of college coursework and a valid Indiana substitute teaching permit. Candidates will also need to pass a criminal history check and drug screen.

Question: When is the Indianapolis teacher job fair?

Answer: Individual schools in Indianapolis host job fairs throughout the year. Check the Indiana Department of Education job bank page regularly to see postings by schools holding job fairs for prospective teachers.

Table Notes and References:
1. Niche, Largest Schools in Indianapolis: https://www.niche.com/k12/search/largest-schools/t/indianapolis-marion-in/

1. Indianapolis Public Schools: https://myips.org/
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_26900.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Indiana: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.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. Hoosiers by the Numbers: Employment Outlook Projections: http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov/FD/overview.aspx
6. Indiana Department of Education to Submit Teacher Shortage List to US Department of Education: https://www.in.gov/doe/
7. Indiana Public Schools Human Resources: https://myips.org/employment/employee-resources-schedules-calendars/