How to Become a Teacher in San Jose
Located in the Bay Area of California and part of the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose is home to 18 school districts. The largest is the San Jose Unified School District, which educates over 32,000 students across 42 schools in the area.1 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 16,920 teachers in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area across all public and private schools.2 The job outlook for teachers in the region is positive.2 To become a public school teacher in this city, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program and apply for teaching certification through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Private and charter school requirements may vary, so be sure to review our private and charter schools in San Jose section for more information.
San Jose School District Steps for Becoming a Teacher
To become a teacher in San Jose, you will need to either follow the traditional pathway of completing your undergraduate education and then applying for teaching certification or, if you already have a bachelor’s degree, following an alternative pathway that may allow you to earn your teaching credential while you work in a classroom. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, review the approved teaching degree programs in California and complete the required coursework and teaching experience at the same time. See our certification section for more information on the different pathways to certification. Once you are certified, you will be able to apply for jobs in the many San Jose school districts. The steps for each school district may vary. Below we have provided information for the largest district, San Jose Unified School District, as an example of what to expect during the process.
Step 1: Search for jobs and submit online applications.
There is no centralized job application hub for all the school districts in San Jose, so you will need to search job postings for each district. Jobs in the San Jose Unified School District are posted online. Most positions require you to complete an online application and submit a cover letter, resume, list of extracurricular involvement, official transcripts, two reference letters, and subject-specific test scores or credentials.
Step 2: Attend an interview.
The next step will likely be attending an interview with school officials. This will help you determine if the school and position are a good fit for your teaching style and career goals. You may be asked to bring supplementary materials, prepare sample lesson plans, or even teach a lesson to peers at this stage.
Step 3: Complete the hiring process.
Each school may have their own administrative requirements for you to complete before you can begin teaching, such as orientation sessions or paperwork. The school should inform you of any requirements during the hiring process before your first day on the job.
How to Become a Substitute Teacher with the San Jose School District
Substitute teacher jobs are organized by each school district, so the following guidelines relate to San Jose Unified School District only. Contact each school district individually to find out specific requirements. To apply for the substitute teaching pool in San Jose Unified School District, apply to the online job pool posting. You will either need teaching certification issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing mentioned above or a substitute teaching license issued by the Santa Clara County Office of Education. To obtain this license, you will need a bachelor’s degree, fingerprint clearance, and a passing score on the California Basic Education Skills Test, but this license will only allow you to work for 30 days in the same classroom during one school year. If you are eligible for full teaching certification, that may be a better long-term option.
San Jose Teacher Certification Requirements
To earn teaching certification in California, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree and have completed an approved teacher preparation program. More information about traditional teacher certification degrees and programs can be found on our California certification page. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can complete an alternative educator course or internship that may take you less time to complete than another bachelor’s degree in teaching. See our California alternative certification page for more information.
Once you have completed California’s teacher certification requirements, you will need to apply for the appropriate credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Elementary school teachers must complete a multi-subject educator program while secondary school teachers must develop at least one subject competency during the educator program.
855 Lenzen Ave
San Jose, CA 95126
Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in San Jose
Each private and charter school in San Jose posts and manages their own teaching job postings. State certification may not be required but is often an asset in the hiring process. Some schools may also have requirements related to their religious or subject-specific teaching approaches, which will be highlighted during the hiring process. It is best to read job postings for these schools thoroughly to ensure you meet the requirements and to consider qualifying for teacher certification. Given its location in Silicon Valley, it is no surprise that you can find science- and technology-focused private and charter schools in San Jose. However, you can also find private and charter schools with general, religious, or arts-based curricula. Here are some well-known schools in the area to get you started.
Private Schools in San Jose
- Almaden Country School
- Basis Independent: Silicon Valley
- Bellarmine College Preparatory
- Challenger School Berryessa
- Liberty Baptist School
- St. Leo the Great Catholic School
Charter Schools in San Jose
- Bachrodt Charter Academy
- Rocketship Alma Academy
- University Preparatory Academy
- Voices College-Bound Language Academies
San Jose Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook
The average San Jose teacher salary varies depending on the school setting. According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2015, elementary school teachers in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan district earned the highest average salary at $75,700, although secondary school teachers were a close second at an average $75,460 and middle school teachers were not far behind ($73,400).2 These salaries were comparable but slightly higher than statewide averages and at least $15,000 more than national averages for elementary teachers ($57,730), middle school teachers ($58,760), and secondary school teachers ($60,440).4,5
Employment projections for the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area through 2024 indicate that the highest growth for teaching jobs in San Jose will be in kindergarten (4.7%), elementary (3%), and secondary schools (2.8%).3 This growth will be driven by new jobs, though replacements for existing positions will add to the opportunities available for new teachers. Projections estimate a total of 201 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 91 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 143 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in San Jose through 2024.3
San Jose Teaching Jobs Boards
San Jose teaching jobs are posted online throughout the year as positions become available. Check school district websites for jobs and online job boards. Here are some job boards where you can find openings in many different school districts in the city.
- Diocese of San Jose Openings
- EdJoin Regional Job Search
- Santa Clara County Office of Education: Job Opportunities
You can also check out our Jobs Board to search for teaching jobs in San Jose.
Additional Resources for Teaching in San Jose
- California Teaching Fellows Foundation
- Resource Area for Teaching: Bay Area
- San Jose Teachers Association
- Teach for America Bay Area
1. SJUSD, Join Our Team: https://web.sjusd.org/join-our-team/
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_41940.htm#25-0000
3. State of California Employment Development Department, Employment Projections: https://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/data/employment-projections.html
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, California: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ca.htm
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, United States: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm