How to Become a Teacher in Phoenix
Unlike many other metropolitan areas across the country, Phoenix does not have a unified school system; as a result, 30 different school districts operate within Phoenix city limits. The largest is the Deer Valley Unified School District, which serves the northern region of Phoenix. Maps of elementary and high school districts are available on the City of Phoenix website. Long-term job prospects for teachers are strong in Phoenix across all districts with high projected growth and average annual openings through 2024.1 Teacher certification requirements in Arizona are specific to the age and subject you wish to teach, but all teachers must complete at least a bachelor’s degree and a teacher training program. There are also many private and charter schools throughout the city that often have different hiring requirements. Keep reading to find out more about teaching in this vibrant, southwestern city.
Phoenix School District Steps for Becoming a Teacher
To become a teacher in Arizona, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program or complete an alternative teacher certification program if you already have a bachelor’s degree. The Arizona Department of Education has a two-tier certification process with an initial three-year certification and a six-year standard certification. See the certification section for more specific information. Once you have your initial certification, you can apply for jobs. Since Phoenix contains so many different school districts, the steps below describe the application process for Deer Valley Unified School District as an example. Be sure to consult the appropriate school board to determine the necessary steps for each school district in Phoenix.
Step 1: Read individual job posting instructions online.
Jobs for both public and charter schools in the district are posted online through the Deer Valley Unified School District Careers website. Search for postings that match your skills and education and follow the instructions provided in the post to apply. Note that many positions in this district require you to call ahead before submitting an application. If you do not see any relevant postings, you can submit your resume to the Talent Community for future opportunities.
Step 2: Attend an interview.
If your application is accepted, you will likely be contacted by school officials to attend an interview. You may be asked to provide supplementary documents such as references, lesson plans, or a resume at this time.
Step 3: Complete the hiring process.
If you are offered the position, you will likely need to complete administrative and human resources tasks before starting work. The school will give you more information during the hiring process.
How to Become a Substitute Teacher with the Phoenix School District
Substitute teacher hiring requirements will vary by district. Here we provide the steps to becoming a substitute teacher in the Deer Valley Unified School District as an example, but be sure to check the requirements individually with other school districts in Phoenix.
Deer Valley Unified School District substitute teaching jobs are coordinated through the school board and you will need to have either an Arizona teaching certificate or a substitute teacher certificate issued by the Arizona Department of Education to be eligible. For the substitute teacher certificate, you will need a bachelor’s degree and an Arizona Department of Public Safety Identity Verified Prints fingerprint card. Submit the application form with your official transcript, a copy of your fingerprint card, and the correct fee for the type of subjects you can teach to apply. Substitute teachers who do not hold a regular teaching certificate can only work up to 120 days during the school year.
In Deer Valley Unified School District, all new substitute teachers must attend a one-day orientation and will receive written materials to ensure they are ready for the job. The school board also publishes a substitute teacher newsletter to address common questions and issues throughout the year. Contact the substitute teaching coordinator directly using the contact information provided on the website to apply for these jobs.
Phoenix Teacher Certification Requirements
To be eligible for public school teaching jobs in Phoenix, you will need to meet the state teaching certification requirements. Arizona has a two-tiered system that requires you to complete a bachelor’s degree and a teacher preparation program in order to receive your initial three-year Provisional Certificate. After you gain the requisite experience, you will become eligible for a six-year Standard Certificate. There are also many requirements specific to the age group and subjects you wish to teach. See our Arizona certification page for more information.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can meet the initial certification requirements by completing one of the alternative teacher certification pathways, including a one-year teacher preparation program, a master’s degree in education, or an approved master’s degree in a teachable subject. See our Arizona alternative certification page to learn more about these options.
20402 N 15th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85027
Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in Phoenix
The hiring requirements for private and charter schools in Phoenix vary because each school is able to set their own parameters. Valid state teaching certification may not be required but will often be an asset as it shows you have relevant qualifications and experience. Check individual job postings for the requirements and consider pursuing state certification before you start looking for a job in private and charter schools. There are many excellent private and charter schools in the Phoenix area that hire teachers. We have listed some well-known schools as a starting point for you.
Private Schools in Phoenix
- All Saints’ Episcopal Day School
- Awakening Seed School
- Glenview Adventist Academy
- Northwest Christian School
- Phoenix Hebrew Academy
- Rancho Solano Preparatory School
Charter Schools in Phoenix
- Academy of Math & Science
- Liberty Traditional School Phoenix
- Milestones Charter School
- Phoenix Advantage Charter School
- Sun Valley Charter School
- Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics
Phoenix Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook
According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2015, teachers in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area earn less across all school settings compared to national averages; however, these salaries are comparable or slightly above statewide averages in Arizona.2,3,4 Phoenix area secondary school teachers reportedly earn the highest average salaries at $49,450, while kindergarten, elementary, and middle school teachers all earn between $41,910 and $42,950 on average.2
Teaching jobs in Phoenix are expected to grow by 26.6% through 2024 across all school settings, which is slightly above the statewide projected growth rate of 20.8%.1 The highest growth rates for Phoenix teachers are projected for elementary school teaching jobs (25.9%) and kindergarten teaching jobs (26%).1 Middle and secondary school teachers are expected to see comparable jobs growth, at 25.8% and 25.7% respectively.1
Phoenix Teaching Jobs Boards
Many job postings for Phoenix teaching jobs can be found online. Take a look at these job boards as a starting point for your search.
Check out our Jobs Board if you are ready to look for jobs in the Phoenix area.
Additional Resources for Teaching in Phoenix
- Arizona Education Association
- Arizona Science Teachers Association
- City of Phoenix Education Department
- Teach for America Phoenix
1. Arizona Office of Employment and Population Statistics, Employment Projections: https://laborstats.az.gov/employment-forecasts
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_38060.htm
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2015, Arizona: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_az.htm
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, United States: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm