The Delaware Teaching and Certification Resource
Prospective educators looking to start a career in Delaware are required to complete the teaching certification process set by the Delaware Department of Education. The process to initial licensure is outlined below to help you learn more about how to become a teacher in Delaware.
How to Become a Teacher in Delaware
Delaware requires all teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree and complete an acceptable teacher preparation program. Additionally, Delaware teachers must have passing scores on an acceptable performance exam, such as the edTPA, as well as the Praxis Subject Assessment(s) aligning with the subject(s) and grade level(s) to be taught.
Candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree but did not complete a teacher preparation program may be interested in alternative teacher certification in Delaware.
Delaware has adopted a three-tiered licensure system for educators. New teachers who meet all requirements are issued an Initial license, which is valid for three years, plus a certificate to practice in their area(s) of competency. Educators who have successfully completed four years of teaching with no more than one unsatisfactory annual evaluation may advance to the next tier, the Continuing license, which is valid for five years and can be renewed. Teachers may pursue the highest level of Delaware teacher licensure, the Advanced license, by earning certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
- I want to be a teacher in Delaware, 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 Delaware’s Alternative Certification Process and Programs
- I have a teaching degree and am interested in more education: Learn about Master’s Degree Education Programs or Doctorate Education Programs and Information.
- I am already certified and want to teach in another state: Learn about Teacher Certification Reciprocity.
Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Delaware
Projected Job Growth
Growth in Teaching Jobs in DE through 20262
To earn Delaware teacher certification, applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree and a teacher preparation program that satisfies the following requirements:
- The program must be at a regionally accredited four-year college or university.
- The program must be accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), or the board of education for the state in which the school is located.
- The program must be an initial educator program leading to a bachelor’s degree; master’s degrees programs may not qualify.
- The program must lead to certification in an endorsement area recognized by the State of Delaware.
You can compare key metrics for state-approved teacher preparation programs in Delaware by using the sortable table on our Delaware schools page.
Many schools seek accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP was formed from the merger between the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). CAEP accreditation is a well-respected marker of excellence in teacher preparation standards.
Delaware Teacher Education Requirements
Completing a bachelor’s degree and an acceptable teacher preparation program is required for teacher licensure in Delaware. As noted above, teacher preparation programs must meet the state’s requirements in order to qualify graduates for licensure. The curriculum of the program must reflect and focus on the 14 professional teaching standards established by the state. The program must also include a segment of student teaching.
Delaware Teacher Testing Requirements
To ensure that all teachers are highly qualified, Delaware has adopted a series of exams required for all educators. The first necessary test to pass to qualify for teaching certification in Delaware is the Praxis Subject Assessment (formerly the Praxis II) for each endorsement area sought. Educators with less than one year of licensed experience will also need to pass an approved performance assessment, which directly measures skills in pedagogy and classroom leadership, within two years of initial employment in a Delaware school (career and technical educators have six years to fulfill this requirement).
Additional Delaware Teacher Certification Requirements
Delaware state law requires teachers to submit to a state and federal criminal background check and a child protection registry check before being placed in a school. This process is usually first completed for student teaching during the teacher preparation program completed. Candidates may need to complete a second background check to comply with school regulations upon receiving an offer of employment as an initially licensed teacher. However, a background check is not usually required for licensure unless a candidate has previously been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense.
Delaware Teachers Licensing Application Process
Once candidates have completed the requirements for a teaching license in Delaware, an application for an Initial teaching license must be submitted with the following documentation:
- Official transcripts demonstrating completion of a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program;
- Verification of teaching experience submitted through the online Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS);
- Passing scores on the appropriate Praxis content area assessments;
- Submission of completed application and payment of non-refundable application fees
Note that supporting documents must typically be sent directly by the issuing party directly to the Delaware Department of Education, not by the candidate. Applications should be submitted through the online Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS). Visit the Delaware Department of Education for more details on Delaware educator certification.
Delaware Teacher Outlook, Salary, and Jobs
During the 2016-2017 school year, there were an estimated 228 public schools serving a K-12 student population of 136,264.3 With approximately 9,208 public school teachers, this gave Delaware a student-to-teacher ratio of 14:1.
It is estimated that there will be 350 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 160 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 250 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Delaware through 2026.3 The average annual salary for elementary school teachers in Delaware is $63,040, for middle school teachers $63.380, and for secondary school teachers $65,040.3 For more information on education opportunities in Delaware, visit the Delaware State Education Association.
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Preschool Teachers, Special Education||Not available||Not available|
|Elementary School Teachers||3,780||$63,040|
|Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School||1,090||$61,010|
|Middle School Teachers||2,650||$63,380|
|Middle School Teachers, Special Education||130||$67,130|
|Secondary School Teachers||2,650||$65,040|
|Secondary School Teachers, Special Education||270||$64,860|
|Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||Not available||Not available|
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2018.4
Teacher Shortages in Delaware
According to the US Department of Education Teacher Shortage Area report for 2021-2022, Delaware broadly has the following shortages5:
- Career and Technical Education (Agricultural Science and Technology; Business Education; Drafting and Design Technology; Family and Consumer Science), 6-12
- English as a Second Language (English as a Second Language), K-12
- Language Arts (English), 6-12
- Mathematics (General), 6-12
- Science (General), 6-12
- Special Education (Early Childhood), Pre-K-2
- Special Education (Generic Special Education), K-12
- Special Education (Autism Spectrum Disorder), Pre-K-12
- Support Staff (Instructional Library Media), K-12
- World Languages (Any World Language), K-12
Delaware Teacher Interviews
- Third Grade Teacher, Krista Wallden
- Former President, Delaware State Education Association, Frederika Jenner
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do I become an elementary teacher in Delaware?
Answer: To become an elementary teacher in Delaware, you must earn an initial certificate from the state. To qualify, you must have a bachelor’s degree and complete a teacher preparation program. You must also pass the Praxis Subject Assessments for elementary education and, within two years of beginning employment as a licensed teacher, an approved pedagogy assessment.
Question: How do I become a substitute teacher in Delaware?
Answer: Delaware doesn’t offer a substitute teaching license nor do they have any state-wide requirements for substitute teachers. That means that individual school districts set the requirements for subs. If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher in Delaware, you should check with the school district near you.
Question: How much do teachers in Delaware make?
Answer: On average, Delaware teachers at the preschool, elementary, middle, and high school levels, including those in special and career/technical education, earn $51,563 per year.4 However, many factors influence teacher salary, including geographic location, the education and experience a teacher has, and the level taught.
1. Delaware Department of Education: https://www.doe.k12.de.us/Page/3477
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, Delaware: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_de.htm
5. US Department of Education, Teacher Shortage Areas: https://tsa.ed.gov/#/reports