The Idaho Teaching and Certification Resource
Idaho teacher certification is required for those who wish to lead classrooms in the state’s K-12 public education system. The certification requirements and process are overseen by the Idaho State Department of Education. Below, we outline how to become a teacher in Idaho for those interested in learning more about the process.
How to Become a Teacher in Idaho
As with all US states, Idaho teachers are required to hold a bachelor’s degree. In order to be eligible to teach in Idaho, applicants must also complete a teacher preparation program that is accredited by both the regional accrediting agency for its state and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
New teachers who have completed a bachelor’s degree and an educator preparation program at an appropriately accredited school will be eligible for the Initial Certificate, which is a renewable certificate valid for five years. Candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree but did not complete an approved teacher preparation program may be eligible for alternative teacher certification in Idaho.
- I want to be a teacher in Idaho, 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 Idaho’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 Idaho
Projected Job Growth
Growth in Teaching Jobs in ID through 20262
The most important step towards certification as an educator in Idaho is completing a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program that holds regional accreditation from one of the six regional accreditation agencies overseen by the US Department of Educationas well as accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
This step is imperative for anyone wanting to work as a teacher in Idaho teacher because without credentials from an accredited school, Idaho won’t issue a license to teach in the state. You can compare key metrics for Idaho state-approved teacher preparation programs by using the sortable table on our Idaho schools page.
Idaho Teacher Education Requirements
All Idaho teachers are required to complete a bachelor’s degree and a teacher preparation program from an institution that holds both regional and CAEP accreditation. For traditional-route educators, the teacher preparation program is typically completed as part of the bachelor’s degree. For more information on alternative routes to Idaho teacher certification, see our guide to alternative teacher certification in Idaho. Note that prospective educators who attend an out-of-state program that is not CAEP-accredited will likely need to apply for certification in that state and then apply for Idaho certification by reciprocity.
Idaho Teacher Testing Requirements
Before applying for a teaching license in Idaho, candidates must pass the applicable Praxis Subject Assessments for the subject(s) to be taught. Prior to renewing their teaching certificate, early childhood and elementary school teachers will also need to take and pass the state’s Comprehensive Literacy Assessment.
Additional Idaho Teacher Certification Requirements
All Idaho public education employees are required to submit a background check before employment consideration. The fingerprint-based background check must be completed on cards provided by the Idaho State Department of Education.
Idaho Teachers Licensing Application Process
Once all requirements for teacher licensing in Idaho have been met, candidates must submit an application supported by the following documents:
- Proof of completed bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program that meets the Idaho State Board of Education standards for accreditation.
- Recommendation for licensure from the teacher preparation program completed (Institutional Recommendation).
- Completed fingerprint card (along with the required fees) for a background check.
- Verification of successful completion of the state’s required educator assessments.
- Complete application and payment of non-refundable application fee.
Applications should be sent to:
Idaho State Department of Education
PO Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0027
Visit the Idaho State Department of Education for further details on Idaho teacher certification.
Idaho Teacher Outlook, Salary, and Jobs
During the 2016-2017 school year, there were a reported 745 K-12 public schools in Idaho serving an estimated 297,200 students.3 With 16,203 public school teachers, this gives Idaho a student-to-teacher ratio of 18:1.3
Projections call for 670 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 240 average annual openings for middle school teachers, and 450 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Idaho through 2026.2 The average annual salary for elementary school teachers in the state is $48,990, for middle school teachers $53,660, and for secondary school teachers $51,170.4 The Idaho Education Association, the largest active teachers union in Idaho, provides more information on teaching careers and news in the state.
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Preschool Teachers, Special Education||50*||$39,340*|
|Elementary School Teachers||8,090||$48,990|
|Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School||810||$47,990|
|Middle School Teachers||2,530||$53,660|
|Middle School Teachers, Special Education||100||$61,560|
|Secondary School Teachers||5,210||$51,170|
|Secondary School Teachers, Special Education||560||$51,180|
|Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||120||$61,310|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2018.4
*Data as of 2015.4
Teacher Shortages in Idaho
According to the US Department of Education Teacher Shortage Area report for 2021-2022, Idaho broadly has the following shortages5:
- Academically Advanced (Gifted & Talented Science), K-12
- Administrative (Director of Special Education, Principal, Superintendent), Pre-K-12
- Art and Music Education (Music; Visual and Performing Arts), K-12
- Art and Music Education (Theatre), 6-12
- Career and Technical Education (Agricultural Science and Technology; Broadcast Sciences; Business Administration/Management; Business Technology Education; Communication Technologies; Computer Networking; Computer Science; Culinary Arts/Foods; Drafting and Design Technology; Engineering Technology; Family and Consumer Science; Graphics and Printing; Graphics Communication; Health and Medical Occupations; Marketing; Military Science; Public Safety/Protective Services; Teacher Coordinator: Work-Based Learning; Technology Preparation), 6-12
- Core Subjects (Elementary Education), K-8
- English as a Second Language (English as a Second Language), K-12
- Health and Physical Fitness (Health Science, Physical Education), K-12
- Language Arts (Communications), 6-12
- Language Arts (English), 5-12
- Mathematics (Basic and Advanced Mathematics), 5-12
- Psychology (General), 6-12
- Science (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, General Science, Physical Science, Physics), 6-12
- Science (Earth and Space Science), 5-12
- Social Studies (American Government, Economics), 6-12
- Social Studies (General, History), 5-12
- Special Education (Early Childhood), Pre-K-3
- Special Education (Deaf/Hearing Impairment, Exceptional Children, Visual Impairment), K-12
- Support Staff (Counseling, Psychologist, Social Worker, Speech Language Pathologist/Audiologist), Pre-K-12
- Support Staff (Library/Media Specialist), K-12
- World Languages (Chinese), 6-12
- World Languages (French, German, Spanish), K-12
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do I become an elementary teacher in Idaho?
Answer: To be an elementary teacher in Idaho, you must earn an elementary teaching certificate from the state. You must have a bachelor’s degree and 24 credit hours in elementary education courses from an accredited institution. You must also complete a teacher preparation program and pass the state’s exams for educators, as well as a background check.
Question: How much do Idaho teachers make?
Answer: The average annual salary for teachers in Idaho ranges from $26,000 (preschool teachers) to $61,560 (middle school teachers, special education).4 Variables that affect teacher salary include location, school district, teacher experience, and level of education attained.
Question: Does Idaho need teachers?
Answer: Yes! For the 2021-22 school year, the state has reported teacher shortages in many areas, including early childhood special education; language arts; science; psychology; various languages; mathematics; music; physical education; and many more subjects.5
1. Idaho State Department of Education: https://sde.idaho.gov/cert-psc/cert/
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, Idaho: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_id.htm
5. US Department of Education, Teacher Shortage Areas: https://tsa.ed.gov/