The Oklahoma Teaching and Certification Resource

All public school teachers are required to obtain Oklahoma teacher certification before working as a professional educator in the state. The Teacher Certification Section within the state’s Department of Education oversees the certification process, which is outlined in detail below to help you learn how to become a teacher in Oklahoma.

How to Become a Teacher in Oklahoma

Prospective Oklahoma teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree and complete a teacher preparation program from an approved school. Candidates must also pass the required tests set by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP).

Candidates who have a bachelor’s degree but did not graduate from a teacher preparation program may be eligible for alternative teacher certification in Oklahoma.

Quick Guide

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Oklahoma

Projected Job Growth


Growth in Teaching Jobs in OK through 20242

One of the most important steps towards Oklahoma educator certification is completing an approved Oklahoma teacher preparation program. You can see a list of approved schools through the Oklahoma Office of Educational Quality and Accountability.

Schools that are headquartered out-of-state must be accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies recognized by the US Department of Education. In addition, out-of-state teacher preparation programs must be approved by that state’s Board of Education for the preparation of teachers.

Many schools also look for accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP is the result of the merger between the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). Although this accreditation is not mandatory for state approval, it is a highly regarded marker of quality in terms of curriculum and process in the teacher education sector.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Teacher Outlook
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission projects 590 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 210 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 400 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Oklahoma from 2014 to 2024.3 The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 35,730 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Oklahoma, excluding teachers in special education.4 The average annual salary for elementary school teachers in the state is $41,900, for middle school teachers $43,080, and for secondary school teachers $42,960.4 For information on state budget allocation and education policy in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma Education Association.

Oklahoma Teacher Education Requirements

In order to earn Oklahoma teacher certification via the traditional route, candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree and a teacher education program at an accredited university approved by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP). Prospective teachers who have not met this requirement but wish to become certified via the alternative route to teacher certification may still be eligible provided they hold at least a bachelor’s degree in their content area.

Oklahoma Teacher Testing Requirements

Oklahoma State SealCandidates for Oklahoma teacher certification must take and pass three assessments administered by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP): the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET), the Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT), and the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE). These tests are designed to assess higher-order thinking skills, basic knowledge in core content areas such as the sciences and liberal arts, expert subject-area knowledge, and competency in effective teaching and learning principles. Oklahoma does not accept Praxis scores in lieu of its own examinations for traditional pathway candidates.

Additional Oklahoma Teacher Certification Requirements

Similar to most states, Oklahoma requires teaching applicants to submit to a state and federal background check by fingerprint clearance. For up-to-date information on completing this process, refer to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Oklahoma Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once the steps towards teacher certification in Oklahoma have been completed, teacher candidates must apply state’s Department of Education. Supporting documentation for the application should include:

  • Background clearance from fingerprinting process.
  • Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree.
  • Verification of teacher program completion at an approved teacher preparation school.
  • Passing score on required subject and content tests.
  • Completed application for teaching certification in Oklahoma.
  • Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee.

Applications should be submitted through the online Single Sign On System. Visit the Department of Education for further details on Oklahoma teacher certification.

Oklahoma Teacher Salary and Jobs

TypeNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers3,910$31,180
Preschool Teachers, Special Education80$34,050
Kindergarten Teachers2,480$41,480
Elementary School Teachers16,840$41,900
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School2,280$42,410
Middle School Teachers7,350$43,080
Middle School Teachers, Special Education1,080$45,180
Secondary School Teachers11,540$42,960
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education1,320$44,880
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education880$47,800

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.4

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Oklahoma

Question: What are the requirements to become a high school teacher in Oklahoma?

Answer: To become a high school teacher in Oklahoma candidates must earn a teaching certificate. This requires a bachelor’s degree and completion of a teacher preparation program. You must also have at least two secondary student teaching experiences and pass a background check as well as the state’s exams for educators.

Teaching and Education Programs

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1. Oklahoma State Department of Education: https://sde.ok.gov/teacher-certification/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm
3. Oklahoma Employment Security Commission: https://ok.gov/oesc/
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Oklahoma: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ok.htm