How to Become a Teacher in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest school district in California and the second-largest school district in the county.1 There were over 100,000 teachers in the Los Angeles area in 2015, suggesting there are many opportunities for teachers of all ages and subjects.2 To become a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, candidates must be certified to teach in California by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Prospective teachers who follow the traditional path to employment earn licensure by completing a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program and passing the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) and the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET). Alternative programs are also available to applicants who already have a bachelor’s degree. Jobs can be found in the public school district or in private and charter schools in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles School District Steps for Becoming a Teacher
To work in the Los Angeles Unified School District, you will need a teaching certificate in California and a bachelor’s degree. You can either earn these at the same time through the traditional pathway or complete an alternative pathway if you already have a bachelor’s degree. See the certification section for more information. To apply for a position within the district, gather your documents and follow this process.
Step 1: Complete your online application.
Fill out an online application and provide copies of your current teaching credentials, passing scores on the CBEST and CSET, contact information for professional references during the previous three years, and verification of Highly Qualified status under the No Child Left Behind Act, including relevant test scores, official transcripts, and a resume.
Step 2: Attend an eligibility interview.
The next step is to attend an eligibility appointment with Human Resources. You will be given instructions on how to prepare for the interview and which documents to bring with you. Once reviewed and approved, your application will be kept on file for one year. Successful candidates are placed on an availability list and may apply for open positions at individual schools in the area.
Step 3: Attend an interview with school leaders.
If your skills and education match an open position in the district, you will be contacted to attend another interview with the school directly. You may be asked to prepare a sample lesson and/or bring a portfolio with you to this interview with school leaders, so be prepared to prove yourself as a qualified teacher.
Step 4: Complete the hiring process.
Those who have interviewed for open positions and receive job offers will then go through the school hiring process with the help of a district Talent Acquisition Specialist, who will help you complete a fingerprint background check and health clearances before you sign an employment contract.
How to Become a Substitute Teacher with the Los Angeles School District
To become a substitute teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District for short-term assignments, you should have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.7 GPA, passing test scores from the CBEST, and professional references for the past three years. You will need to attend an interview and complete a fingerprint clearance and a health clearance. Long-term substitute teaching positions are only open to candidates who meet the requirements of permanent teachers, including possession of a teaching certificate and an English Learner Authorization if applicable.
Los Angeles Teacher Certification Requirements
To become a teacher in Los Angeles candidates must first complete a bachelor’s degree program as well as an approved teacher preparation program. The traditional way to complete these requirements is through a bachelor’s program with an included teacher preparation component. You will also need to complete the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) and meet the federal standards for a “highly qualified” teacher in the No Child Left Behind Act. You can learn more about California teaching requirements on our California teacher certification page.
Prospective teachers who hold a bachelor’s degree but did not complete teacher preparation must complete an approved preparation program, though they may be able to teach while working towards this requirement. The Los Angeles Unified School District also offers an intern program to help you fulfill the alternative educator requirements while teaching. To learn about other alternative routes to teacher certification in California, see our guide to California alternative certification.
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Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in Los Angeles
To teach in charter schools in Los Angeles, candidates must meet similar requirements to those who wish to teach in the Los Angeles Unified School District. This includes a requirement that charter school teachers hold a state-issued teaching license. Private schools are not required to hire credentialed teachers, but in many cases prefer candidates who do have a California teaching certificate.
Private and Charter Schools
There are many private and charter schools in the Los Angeles area that educate a diverse range of students and teach specialized subjects. Here are some prominent and well-known schools in the area.
Private Schools in Los Angeles
Charter Schools in Los Angeles
- Gabriella Charter School
- Larchmont Charter School
- New Los Angeles Charter Schools
- Ocean Charter School
- Westwood Charter School
Los Angeles Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook
According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2015, elementary school and secondary school teachers in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale area earn average salaries over $70,000 ($73,430 and $76,710 respectively), which are slightly more than statewide averages ($72,360 and $74,770) and significantly more than national averages ($57,730 and $60,440).2,3,4 Kindergarten and middle school teachers in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale area earn an average of $62,260 and $68,720 respectively, which are slightly lower than California state averages ($64,040 and $69,020) but still higher than national averages ($54,510 and $58,760).2,3,4
Teaching positions are projected to grow in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale area through 2024. Secondary school teaching positions are expected to see 5.8% growth through 2024 while kindergarten, elementary, and middle school positions are expected to grow from 5.9% to 6.4%.5 Replacement openings will provide many additional opportunities for new teachers and those looking to make a change. Elementary and secondary school teachers are expected to see the most open positions per year during this time at 847 and 839 per year respectively.5
Los Angeles Teaching Jobs Boards
To find a teaching job in Los Angeles, look for openings in public, private, and charter schools. Many private and charter schools post on online job boards.
- California Association of Independent Schools
- National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
- Archdiocese of Los Angeles Catholic Schools
- Los Angeles Unified School District
Check out our Jobs Board to search for teaching jobs in Los Angeles now.
Additional Resources for Teaching in Los Angeles, California
1. Los Angeles Unified School District – About: https://achieve.lausd.net/about
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Metropolitan Division: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_31084.htm#25-0000
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, California: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ca.htm#25-0000
4. 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
5. State of California Employment Development Department, Employment Projections: https://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/msa/lalb.html#OCCDATA