The Connecticut Teaching and Certification Resource
Those who wish to teach K-12 subjects in Connecticut must first become certified educators. The Connecticut Department of Education Bureau of Certification oversees the Connecticut teacher licensing process, which is outlined below to help you learn how to become a teacher in Connecticut.
How to Become a Teacher in Connecticut
Connecticut requires prospective teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree and complete a teacher preparation program at an accredited school. Those who have a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program may wish to pursue alternative teacher certification in Connecticut.
Once all requirements are met, first-time teachers will be awarded the Initial Educator Certificate, which is valid for three years. Upon receiving the initial teaching license, new teachers are required to take part in the TEAM Mentoring program, a two-year induction program meant to develop individualized growth plans with an experienced mentor.
Connecticut uses a tiered system for teacher licensure that encourages ongoing professional development. After the Initial Educator Certificate, teachers can earn a Provisional Educator Certificate by completing the TEAM mentoring program and thirty months of teaching experience. The highest level of certification in Connecticut is the Professional Educator Certificate, which is earned by completing graduate coursework appropriate to the endorsements held.
- I want to be a teacher in Connecticut, but don’t have a degree: Earn an Education Degree
- I want to be a teacher and have a degree, but not in education: Learn about Connecticut’s Alternative Certification Process and Programs
- I have a teaching degree and am interested in more education: Learn about Master’s Degree Education Programs, Education Specialist Programs, or Doctorate Education Programs
- I want to explore substitute teaching: Learn about Substitute Teacher Opportunities
- I am already certified and want to teach in another state: Learn about Teacher Certification Reciprocity
Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Connecticut
Projected Job Growth
Change in Teaching Jobs in CT through 20262
To earn initial Connecticut teacher certification, candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited school and complete a teacher preparation program. If located in Connecticut, the preparation program attended should be on the state’s approved schools list. Out-of-state and online programs must hold accreditation from one of the six regional accrediting agencies overseen by the US Department of Education. You can compare key metrics for these state-approved teacher preparation programs by using the sortable table on our Connecticut schools page.
Teacher education programs may also hold accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). While CAEP accreditation is not mandatory, most schools apply for the accreditation as it is seen as a distinguishing marker of quality and rigorous standards.
Connecticut Teacher Education Requirements
To be eligible for Connecticut teacher certification, candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program at a regionally accredited institution. Schools located in Connecticut should be approved by the Board of Education for the preparation of teachers. Graduates from schools that are not appropriately accredited may not be eligible for certification.
Connecticut Teacher Testing Requirements
Effective July 1, 2016, the Praxis Core Academic Skills Test is no longer required for teacher licensing in Connecticut. However, as part of the state’s teacher education program requirements, candidates must either have passed the Praxis Core or achieved an appropriate score on the SAT, ACT, or GRE exam(s).
Candidates for a teaching credential must pass the appropriate Praxis Subject Assessments, which are specialized content-area exams, for their desired subject(s) and grade level(s). Those who wish to teach Early Childhood or Elementary Education must also take the Connecticut Foundations of Reading test, administered by Pearson. Early Childhood and Elementary Education teachers must also pass the Connecticut Teacher Certification Examinations (CTCE) Early Childhood exam.
For current information on the required examinations for all grade levels, visit the Connecticut Teacher Certification Examinations website.
Additional Connecticut Teacher Certification Requirements
All Connecticut school employees must submit a state and national criminal background check at least 30 days before being placed in a school. Candidates must complete the background check prior to student teaching. You can find more information about the fingerprinting process through the Connecticut State Department of Education.
Connecticut Teachers Licensing Application Process
To apply for Connecticut teacher certification, applicants must:
- Provide transcripts demonstrating completion of a bachelor’s degree and a state-approved teacher preparation program at a regionally accredited college or university.
- Pass the Praxis II subject-specific tests, if applicable to the endorsement requested.
- Submit all required documents with non-refundable application fee to the Connecticut Department of Education.
Candidates who completed an in-state approved teacher preparation program must initiate the licensing process through their college or university. Visit the Connecticut Department of Education for further details on Connecticut teacher certification.
Connecticut Teacher Outlook, Salary, and Jobs
There were an estimated 535,118 students enrolled in Connecticut’s 1,250 public schools during the 2016-2017 school year.3 With an estimated 42,343 teachers in these public schools, Connecticut had a student-to-teacher ratio of about 13:1.3
While the overall number of teachers in Connecticut is expected to contract by about 3% through 2026, there should still be job openings due to replacements for teachers.2 Projections suggest 1,140 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 570 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 890 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Connecticut from 2016 to 2026.2 In this state, elementary school teachers make an average annual salary of $75,480, middle school teachers make an average annual salary of $76,130, and secondary school teachers make an average annual salary of $76,980.4 The Connecticut Education Association provides further news and information about teaching careers and areas of demand in Connecticut.
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Preschool Teachers, Special Education||180||$68,130|
|Elementary School Teachers||16,320||$75,480|
|Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School||2,860||$76,780|
|Middle School Teachers||8,480||$76,130|
|Middle School Teachers, Special Education||1,070||$78,470|
|Secondary School Teachers||15,410||$76,980|
|Secondary School Teachers, Special Education||1,660||$77,520|
|Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||1,670||$80,900|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2018.4
Teacher Shortages in Connecticut
According to the US Department of Education Teacher Shortage Area report for 2021-2022, Connecticut broadly has the following shortages5:
- Career and Technical Education (Industrial Technology), Pre-K-12
- English as a Second Language (Bilingual Education, English as a Second Language), Pre-K-12
- Mathematics (General), 4-12
- Science (General), 4-12
- Special Education (General; Speech and Language Impairment), Pre-K-12
- Support Staff (Library/Media Specialist, Psychologist), Pre-K-12
- World Languages (Any World Language), 7-12
Connecticut Teacher Career Interview
- Former President, Associated Teachers of Mathematics in Connecticut, Lorrie Quirk
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do I become an elementary teacher in Connecticut?
Answer: To become certified as an elementary school teacher in Connecticut, you must complete a bachelor’s degree and an approved teacher education program. You must also pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills Test and Subject Assessments. If you have taught for two years with a license in another state, you may be able to waive the teacher education program requirement.
Question: How do I become a substitute teacher in Connecticut?
Answer: The state of Connecticut offers a substitute teaching license for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, which is required if you are substituting for over 40 consecutive days. It is also possible for schools to waive the bachelor’s degree requirement if they so choose.
Question: What kind of teachers are needed in Connecticut?
Answer: Connecticut reports teacher shortages in areas such as English as a second language (ESL), bilingual education, science, mathematics, special education, industrial technology, world languages, and support staff for the 2021-22 school year.5
1. Connecticut State Department of Education: https://portal.ct.gov/SDE
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
3. National Center for Education Statistics, State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data, 2016-2017: https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/stnfis.asp
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Connecticut: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ct.htm
5. US Department of Education, Teacher Shortage Areas: https://tsa.ed.gov/