How to Become a Teacher in Philadelphia
Schools in the City of Brotherly Love have a particular need for teachers with science, math, and special education specialties. There are 21,600 teachers in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and 130,000 children in the publicly funded School District of Philadelphia.1,2 To teach in public schools in Philadelphia, you will need teacher certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which requires at least a bachelor’s degree with a teacher preparation component and successful completion of several core competency exams. Private and charter schools in Philadelphia also generally require a bachelor’s degree as well but many do not require teaching certification. Read on for more information about finding a teaching job in this diverse and lively city.
Philadelphia School District Steps for Becoming a Teacher
You will need to earn Pennsylvania teaching certification to be eligible for teaching jobs in Philadelphia public schools. Teacher certification is managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and requires the completion of a bachelor’s degree and an approved teacher preparation program. Both the traditional path of earning a bachelor’s degree that includes teacher preparation and the alternative certification path that involves completing teacher preparation after earning a bachelor’s degree are offered at many schools in the state and are equally valid ways of obtaining certification. More information on the differences between the two is provided in our certification section. Once you have your teaching certificate, you can start applying to jobs in the School District of Philadelphia. We have listed steps to finding a job as a teacher in Philadelphia below.
Step 1: Complete the online application.
The first step in the process is to complete the School Board of Philadelphia’s online application. You will need to include a cover letter, resume, references, lesson plan, and data exercise with your application form.
Step 2: Complete a phone interview.
If your application is accepted for further processing, you will be contacted for a general telephone interview. At this stage of the process, you will either be accepted into the teacher job pool, which enables you to apply to specific job postings, or you will be rejected from the process.
Step 3: Attend school interviews.
Once you are in the teacher pool, you will be able to apply to job postings online that match your skills. If you are chosen as a candidate, you will attend an in-person interview at the school with school staff. If you are accepted, the principal of the school will inform the school board central office and you will receive an official offer letter.
Step 4: Send the required documentation.
Before you can begin work, you will be required to send several documents and clearances to the school board, including a transcript, proof of Mandatory Reporter training, a criminal history check, a child abuse clearance, an FBI fingerprint clearance, a medical form and TB test, a sexual misconduct/abuse disclosure clearance, and a direct deposit form for payroll. Once your documents are received, you will be able to begin teaching.
How to Become a Substitute Teacher with the Philadelphia School District
Substitute teaching positions in the School Board of Philadelphia are managed by a third-party organization, Kelly Educational Staffing. If you want to work as a substitute teacher, you should apply directly to Kelly Educational Staffing using the online application form. You will need to have a bachelor’s degree, a TB test less than a year old, two reference letters, an official transcript, and all of the clearances required for teacher certification mentioned above.
Philadelphia Teacher Certification Requirements
You must have teacher certification to work in public schools in Philadelphia; however, there are many ways of earning this certification depending on your prior education and experience. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for all teacher candidates. You can either complete the required teacher preparation as part of a bachelor’s degree or as a separate program via an alternative route if you already hold a bachelor’s degree. There are many teaching degree programs in Pennsylvania, but if you plan to complete a degree outside Pennsylvania, it is best to confirm the program is appropriately accredited prior to enrolling. Refer to our Pennsylvania certification page for more information.
If you plan to pursue the alternative route, a list of approved programs is available. The Philadelphia Teaching Fellows program may also be a good option as it allows you to earn your certification while working as a teacher in a high-needs area of the city. You can learn more about these types of programs on our Pennsylvania alternative certification page.
440 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in Philadelphia
Working in private or charter schools in Philadelphia is another option for aspiring teachers. Unlike the public school system, private schools may hire teachers without teacher certification; however, they may prefer you have certification or relevant experience. Each school hires teachers directly and you will need to browse online to find postings or contact schools directly to learn about open positions. The hiring process commonly involves submitting a resume and cover letter and then attending an in-person interview. There are many well-known private and charter schools that offer Philadelphia teaching jobs, including schools with religious affiliations or curriculum specializations. Here are some of the most prominent schools in the city.
Private Schools in Philadelphia
- The Crefeld School
- Germantown Friends School
- Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
- Nazareth Academy High School
- Roman Catholic High School
- William Penn Charter School
Charter Schools in Philadelphia
- Community Academy of Philadelphia
- Esperanza Academy
- First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School
- Mastery Charter Schools
- Russell Byers Charter School
Philadelphia Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook
Projections for teaching jobs in the Philadelphia metro suggest conservative growth of 8.3% for preschool teachers, 2.3% for kindergarten teachers, 0.7% for elementary school teachers, 1.1% for middle school teachers, and 0.6% for secondary school teachers through 2024.3 However, many openings are projected due to replacements from retirements and other labor market shifts rather than new job postings. Replacements are projected to account for 338 job openings per year for elementary school teachers, 147 job openings per year for middle school teachers, and 406 job openings per year for secondary school teachers through 2024.3
Elementary and secondary school teachers earned the highest average Philadelphia teacher salary ranges in 2015, between $64,220 and $66,060, while kindergarten and middle school teachers earned average salaries between $56,630 and $56,710.1 All teacher groups earned above state and national averages, with Philadelphia elementary school teachers earning over 11% more than the national average salary for the occupation.1,4
Philadelphia Teaching Jobs Boards
There are many job boards online that can help you find jobs in public and private schools in Philadelphia.
- Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools
- School Board of Philadelphia: Teacher Job Opportunities
- Teach Philadelphia
You can also check our Jobs Board to search for teaching jobs in Philadelphia now.
Additional Resources for Teaching in Philadelphia
1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_37964.htm
2. The School District of Philadelphia: Our Schoolshttps://jobs.philasd.org/our-schools/
3. Pennsylvania Occupational Employment, 2014-2024 Long-Term Projections: https://paworkstats.geosolinc.com/vosnet/lmi/default.aspx?pu=1&plang=E
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