How to Become a Teacher in San Francisco

There are close to 12,000 teachers in the San Francisco area and kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers are expected to see considerable jobs growth through 2022.1,2 Public schools in the area are part of the San Francisco Unified School District. There are many private and charter schools operating in the city as well. Those interested in pursuing teaching jobs in San Francisco public schools must first become certified to teach in California through the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Eligibility requirements for teacher certification in California include completion of 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). Teachers with the San Francisco Unified School District must also earn an additional certification to teach English language learners from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Charter school teachers must also be certified, but private schools set their own requirements. See the private and charter school section for more information.

San Francisco School District Steps for Becoming a Teacher

To get a job as a teacher in the San Francisco public school system, you should first earn your teaching certificate and then gather all the required documents for the hiring process. The San Francisco Unified School District hiring process for teachers requires that candidates take the following steps:

Step 1: Complete your application.

Complete an online application, which should include a cover letter, current teaching certificate, resume, proof of No Child Left Behind compliance, the contact information for three references, a written essay segment, and your employment history. You will be able to search for and apply to specific positions online after you receive notification of your hiring eligibility.

Step 2: Be interviewed by a school leader or panel.

You will be contacted by a school individually to attend an interview with a school leader for an open position. After the interview, the school must recommend you as a new hire to the district’s human resources team.

Step 3: Complete the hiring process.

Human Resources will conduct a credential verification and background check before extending an offer of employment. At that time, they will also conduct a fingerprint clearance and a reference check and you will be required to complete a TB Risk Assessment and complete the necessary paperwork.

How to Become a Substitute Teacher with the San Francisco School District

Substitute teachers for the San Francisco Unified School Board must possess a current California teaching certificate or be eligible for a 30-day emergency substitute teaching permit. The substitute permit is valid for one year but restricts you from working for more than 30 days in one assignment. If you would like to be eligible for long-term assignments, you will need a teaching certificate. Those interested in substitute positions should possess a bachelor’s degree and must have passed either the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) or the ACT or SAT exams. Finally, those who wish to become substitute teachers in San Francisco must have a negative TB test taken within 60 days of hire, and complete a fingerprint clearance, reference check, credential verification, and hiring paperwork. You must be available for assignments at least one day a week or 36 days per year.

San Francisco Teacher Certification Requirements

To be eligible for teacher certification in California, teachers must first complete a bachelor’s degree and approved teacher preparation program. Certification programs in California often allow teachers to complete coursework at a college or university while participating in a paying internship. You will also need to complete the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) and the appropriate subject tests depending on the age range and subjects you plan to teach. Learn more about how to become a teacher in California with our California teacher certification guide.

Individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree and want to work as a teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District can pursue alternative teacher certification through various paths. The district offers a Teacher Residency Program that enables you to gain classroom experience while you work towards a teaching certificate. Alternatively, you can complete an internship as part of a teacher preparation program that meets the requirements. You can find more information about these options with our guide to alternative teacher certification in California.

Contact Information

San Francisco Unified School District
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SFUnified/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sfunified

555 Franklin St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 241-6000

Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in San Francisco

In accordance with state law, charter school teachers in San Francisco are required to hold a valid state teaching license or an equivalent credential. However, private schools in San Francisco may have different requirements for hiring teachers than the San Francisco Unified School District. In private schools, a teaching certificate may be preferred but not always required. Always check individual postings for requirements in the private school sector.

Private and Charter Schools

Many private and charter schools post jobs and news on their websites, so it is a good idea to check frequently if you are looking for teaching opportunities in the area. Here are some prominent and well-known schools to check out.

Private Schools in San Francisco

Charter Schools in San Francisco

San Francisco Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook

According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, secondary school teachers in San Francisco-Redwood City are the highest paid teacher group in San Francisco, earning $75,840 on average compared to $74,440 across California and $60,440 across the country.1,3,4 Kindergarten teachers also earn a high average salary in this area ($70,400), significantly more than the California average ($64,040) and the national average ($54,510).1,3,4 Middle school teachers in San Francisco-Redwood City earn an average of $71,910 compared to $69,020 on average in California and $58,760 across the US.1,3,4 Elementary school teachers are the only teacher group in this area to earn a lower average salary compared to their counterparts across the state ($69,480 compared to $72,360), although this is still over $10,000 more than the national average ($57,730).1,3

Kindergarten, elementary, and middle school teaching positions in San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City are projected to increase by 20.2% to 21.1% through 2022 and secondary school teaching positions are projected to increase by 12.9% during the same time period.2 Replacement positions will add to the available opportunities for San Francisco teachers. The greatest number of open positions are expected for elementary school teachers, with 280 job openings expected each year.2 A total of 168 job openings are expected for secondary school teachers each year, while middle school teacher openings are expected to average 85 per year.2

San Francisco Teaching Jobs Boards

If you are looking for a teaching job in San Francisco, take a look at online job boards for postings that match your teachable skills and certification. Jobs are often posted throughout the year.

Check out our Jobs Board to search for teaching jobs in San Francisco now.

Additional Resources for Teaching in San Francisco

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco Metropolitan Division: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_41884.htm#25-0000
2. State of California Employment Development Department – Employment Projections: https://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/msa/sf.html#OCCDATA
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