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 the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam 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. Educators who have successfully completed three 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).

Quick Guide

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Delaware

Projected Job Growth


Growth in Teaching Jobs in DE through 20242

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) or the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC).
  • 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.

Additionally, many schools look for 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.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Delaware.

Delaware Teacher Outlook
The Delaware Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information has projected 39 average annual job openings due to growth and 98 average annual job openings due to replacements in Delaware for elementary school teachers, 18 average annual job openings due to growth and 45 average annual job openings due to replacements for middle school teachers, and 28 average annual job openings due to growth and 78 average annual job openings due to replacements for secondary school teachers through 2024.3 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 9,600 elementary, middle, and secondary teachers in Delaware, excluding special education.4 The average annual salary for elementary school teachers in Delaware is $60,250, for middle school teachers $59,460, and for secondary school teachers $58,870.3 For more information on education opportunities in Delaware, visit the Delaware State Education Association.

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

Delaware State SealTo 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 Core Academic Skills for Educators, which establishes proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics. Candidates must also earn passing scores on the Praxis Subject Assessments for each endorsement area sought.

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 Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators and Praxis II content area assessments;
  • Submission of completed application and payment of non-refundable application fees

Applications should be submitted through the Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS). Visit the Delaware Department of Education for more details on Delaware educator certification.

Teacher Quote: “Teaching can be one of the most rewarding and energizing careers. Never lose sight of the kids that drew you to this career. When we forget the human aspect of teaching and get bogged down by the pressures of testing, standards, and curriculum, we are forgetting about the needs of our learners.” -Krista Wallden, Delaware Third Grade Teacher

Delaware Teacher Salary and Jobs

TypeNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers1,950$26,570
Preschool Teachers, Special EducationNot availableNot available
Kindergarten Teachers680$59,820
Elementary School Teachers4,360$60,250
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School1,320$63,710
Middle School Teachers2,650$59,460
Middle School Teachers, Special EducationNot availableNot available
Secondary School Teachers2,590$58,870
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education290$62,200
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical EducationNot availableNot available

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

Delaware Teacher Interviews

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Delaware

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 Core Academic Skills for Educators and Praxis Subject Assessments for elementary education.

Teaching and Education Programs

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1. Delaware Department of Education: https://deeds.doe.k12.de.us/default.aspx
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. Delaware Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information: https://lmi.delawareworks.com/
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Delaware: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_de.htm