The Indiana Teaching and Certification Resource
Indiana is a great state in which to work as an educator. The certification process for in-state teachers is overseen by the Indiana Department of Education and is outlined below to help you learn how to become a teacher in Indiana. If you are interested in becoming a teacher in Indianapolis, you can read more on our How to Become a Teacher in Indianapolis page.
How to Become a Teacher in Indiana
In order to be eligible for Indiana teacher licensing, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved teacher preparation program, and pass the state-required tests. Candidates must also earn CPR/AED/Heimlich certification and complete suicide prevention training, programs which are typically included in teacher preparation curricula in the state.
Indiana uses a tiered system with two levels of teaching licensure: Initial Practitioner and Proficient Practitioner. The Initial Practitioner is a renewable two-year license for first-time teachers. While teaching under the Initial Practitioner license, teachers must complete the Indiana Mentoring and Assessment Program (IMAP), a two-year mentored internship. The Proficient Practitioner license is a renewable five-year license issued to working teachers who have successfully completed the IMAP.
Although these two levels of licenses are representative of the Indiana educator certification process, there are also alternative pathways to become a teacher in Indiana.
- I want to be a teacher in Indiana, 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 Indiana’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.
Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Indiana
Projected Job Growth
Growth in Teaching Jobs in IN through 20242
For those seeking Indiana teacher certification, the highest priority should be completing an approved teacher education program at an accredited school. Indiana requires all teachers to complete a preparation program from an approved and accredited institution. You can find a list of approved in-state programs here. The Department of Education also provides a listing of approved online and distance programs. Schools that are not approved or that are out-of-state and do not have regional accreditation will not qualify candidates for Indiana teacher licensure.
Schools may also hold accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Accreditation from this organization, which is the result of the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), is a viewed as a marker of excellence in teacher education.
See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Indiana.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development projects 686 average annual job openings in Indiana for elementary school teachers, 267 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 510 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers through 2024.3 The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 53,610 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Indiana, excluding special education teachers.4 The average annual salary for elementary school teachers in the state is $49,870, for middle school teachers $51,010, and for secondary school teachers $51,200.4 For more information regarding the current job market visit the Indiana State Teachers Association.
Indiana Teacher Education Requirements
Indiana teacher certification guidelines require candidates to complete a teacher preparation program at an approved and accredited university, either while earning a bachelor’s degree or after. Any teacher preparation program attended must be listed by the Board of Education as an approved institution to qualify graduates for teacher licensure in the state.
Indiana Teacher Testing Requirements
After completing an approved Indiana teacher preparation program, candidates must pass a basic skills test in order to become certified, the Pearson ES Developmental/Pedagogy Exam. Candidates must also take the Indiana CORE Academic Skills Assessment (CASA), which measures knowledge in the content areas to be taught. For more information, consult the Indiana Department of Education teacher testing portal.
Additional Indiana Teacher Certification Requirements
As in the majority of states, becoming a certified teacher in Indiana requires applicants to submit to a state and federal background check. The fingerprint-based background check must be submitted through Indiana’s electronic Fingerprinting Network (INkless) before the teacher certification application is submitted to the Department of Education.
Additionally, Indiana requires all teachers to hold a valid certification in CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver, and automated external defibrillator (AED) use. These certifications must be issued by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association or other providers approved by the Department of Education.
Finally, teaching applicants must also prove that they have successfully completed education and training on child suicide prevention and recognition of suicidal warning signs in students.
Indiana Teachers Licensing Application Process
Once applicants have completed all of the requirements as stipulated by the Indiana Department of Education, the application for a teaching certificate must be completed via the online Licensing Verification and Information System (LVIS). Required supporting documents include:
- Proof of successful completion of an approved Indiana educator preparation program.
- Proof of successful completion of required examinations (CASA and developmental/pedagogy exams).
- Proof of successful completion of CPR, AED, and Heimlich certification courses and suicide prevention training.
- Completed application.
- Payment of non-refundable licensure fee.
Visit the Indiana Department of Education for further details on the process for earning teaching certification in Indiana.
Indiana Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Preschool Teachers, Special Education||220||$49,500|
|Elementary School Teachers||26,070||$49,870|
|Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School||2,710||$50,140|
|Middle School Teachers||9,140||$51,010|
|Middle School Teachers, Special Education||1,140||$52,190|
|Secondary School Teachers||18,400||$51,200|
|Secondary School Teachers, Special Education||2,110||$53,160|
|Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education||1,480||$53,000|
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.4
Indiana Teacher Interview
- Third Grade Teacher, Christi Fultz
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Indiana
Question: How do you become a substitute teacher in Indiana?
Answer: Substitute teachers in Indiana must have completed at least two years of college coursework, which does not need to be related to education. If you meet this requirement, you can apply to the state Department of Education for a substitute teacher permit, and then look for work in individual districts.
Teaching and Education Programs
1. Indiana Department of Education: https://www.doe.in.gov/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. Indiana Department of Workfroce Development: http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov/
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Indiana: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.htm