How to Become a Teacher in Idaho

Learn how to become a teacher in Idaho. Explore the education requirements and licensing procedures for earning teaching certification in Idaho.

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by Stefanie Grodman

Updated June 10, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Samantha Fecich

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How to Become a Teacher in Idaho
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Teaching can be an enriching profession. However, teachers must be properly equipped to create developmentally appropriate classroom environments and help children engage with select subject areas. In Idaho, all public school educators must hold a state-issued teacher's license.

In many school districts, widespread teacher shortages have created a demand for licensed educators. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2020 and 2030, the number of jobs for elementary school teachers will grow by 7%, while jobs for special education teachers and secondary school teachers will grow by 8%.

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In Idaho, special education teachers in elementary schools earned a median salary of $51,090 in 2020. The same year, secondary school teachers and elementary school teachers earned $51,790 and $50,850, respectively.

Candidates must complete an approved educator preparation program consisting of traditional coursework and fieldwork components to qualify for teaching certification in Idaho. Teachers must also pass the Praxis II exam and Praxis Subject Assessments corresponding to their specific certification areas.

How Do I Become a Teacher in Idaho?

All educators interested in teaching in Idaho's public school systems must hold a state-issued teacher's license.

Licensed educators in Idaho must graduate from an educator preparation program at an approved institution. Teachers from other states who have completed preparation programs accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) can apply for licensure as out-of-state applicants.

Idaho designates levels of licensure to educators of different levels of experience. The state may grant three-year interim certificates to educators who pursue full certification while employed in a classroom setting in roles such as teacher's aid or paraprofessional. Fully certified educators earn a five-year renewable certificate.

Meet Minimum Education Requirements

Educator preparation programs consist of all the general education and major requirements of a typical bachelor's degree, as well as hands-on student teaching requirements. Course requirements depend on the institution and the grade level and certification areas that learners pursue. Educators usually must take courses in child development and classroom management and build a substantial background in their subject areas.

Preparation programs at many Idaho colleges require students to have at least a 2.5 GPA to apply for licensure, although certain programs have higher GPA requirements.

Teachers can get licensure in early childhood education, special education, elementary education, and secondary education. They can also be certified in numerous endorsement areas like bilingual education, chemistry, and physical education. Educators interested in teaching vocational subjects can earn career and technical education certificates.

Gain Student Teaching Experience

Nearly all educator preparation programs have student teaching requirements that give educators supervised classroom experience. Student teachers work alongside licensed educators, who act as mentors.

Faculty members at students' higher education institutions usually arrange student teaching placements. Faculty members typically meet with student teachers periodically to assess their skills and review feedback from mentors.

Although Idaho does not have explicit parameters detailing a specific number of hours or weeks that student teachers must spend in their placement, student teaching is typically a full-time commitment that may span weeks or months.

Pass Required Certification Tests

Teachers must take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam to qualify for teaching certification in Idaho. This standardized assessment tests educators' general knowledge of academic fundamentals, including mathematics, reading comprehension, and writing.

Teachers must also take Praxis Subject Assessments that correspond with their specific subject areas, such as ESL, library media, and biological science.

Apply for Certification

To apply for licensure, educators must submit a signed application, official academic transcripts, a Praxis II assessment score sheet, an institutional recommendation form, and a background investigation check packet.

Applicants must mail these materials directly to the Idaho State Department of Education with a $75 application fee. Educators should allow 14 weeks for their application to be processed.

How Do I Maintain Teaching Certification in Idaho?

Educators in Idaho must complete six professional development credits and renew their certifications every five years to maintain valid licensure.

Teachers who pursue licensure through the traditional route can earn a five-year certification immediately after completing their educator preparation program. Some individuals employed in classroom settings can use their work experience to replace certain educator preparation requirements. These educators may earn a three-year interim certificate while they pursue full certification

Teachers with expired licenses can apply for reinstatement and may be granted a three-year interim certificate. These individuals can qualify for full certification after two years of evaluation.

Career Outlook for Teachers in Idaho

Idaho is experiencing a shortage of licensed teachers to fill crucial education positions in areas like special education, elementary education, and mathematics.

According to the BLS, between 2020 and 2030, the number of positions for elementary and secondary school educators is projected to grow by 8%. During the same period, the number of jobs for special education teachers is also projected to grow by 8%, and jobs for teacher's assistants are projected to grow by 9%.

The BLS also reports that in Idaho, secondary school teachers earned a median annual salary of $49,550 as of May 2021. In the same year, elementary school teachers earned a median of $48,990, while special education teachers in elementary schools earned $48,070 and special education teachers in secondary schools earned $60,060.

A master's degree in education is not required for certified teachers in Idaho. However, earning a master's degree may help teachers compete for higher-paying positions in both public and private schools. A graduate degree is also essential for those pursuing administrative positions.

In-Demand Teaching Careers in Idaho

Elementary Special Education Teacher

Elementary special education teachers work with children in grades K-5 with learning differences or special needs. Special education teachers often collaborate with general education teachers, parents, and social workers to strategize individual learning plans for students. They may work with students one-on-one, lead small groups, or aid students in general education classrooms.

Median Annual Salary: $48,070

Elementary School Teachers

Elementary school teachers work with children in grades K-5. They lead classroom activities that promote both learning, collaboration, and social development. They plan curricula that provide younger students with a solid foundation in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Median Annual Salary: $48,990

Career and Technical Education Teacher

These educators provide students with basic vocational and technical training. Career and technical education teachers typically help secondary school-aged students learn practical or career-oriented skills like carpentry, automotive repair, or culinary arts.

Median Annual Salary: $57,870

Language Arts Teacher

Language arts educators teach secondary school students essential writing, grammar, reading comprehension, literary analysis, and rhetorical skills. Curricula is often structured to ensure students' college readiness and build practical proficiency with language.

Median Annual Salary: $49,550

Physical Education Teacher

Physical education teachers guide students through age-appropriate games, exercises, and activities related to sports and fitness. These educators use curricula to promote collaboration and general wellness while adhering to safety protocols. They may coach youth sports teams after school hours.

Median Annual Salary: $48,320

Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching Certification in Idaho

How do I get teaching certification in Idaho?

To earn a teaching certification in Idaho, educators must complete an approved educator preparation program. This includes a student teaching component that allows teachers to gain supervised classroom experience. Educators must receive licensure recommendations based on their academic and fieldwork performance.

Teachers must also pass both the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam and relevant Praxis Subject Assessments.

Can I teach in Idaho without certification?

Teachers in Idaho public schools must hold a state-issued license. However, in some cases, educators who pursue teaching certification in Idaho can earn three-year interim certificates while working in classroom settings.

Unlicensed individuals who want to pursue careers in education can work in some private school settings. They can also work as teacher's aides, preschool teachers, substitute teachers, or paraprofessionals.

How long does it take to become a teacher in Idaho?

All teachers in Idaho must hold a bachelor's degree, which usually takes full-time students four years to complete. Educator preparation programs may have more time-consuming requirements than many traditional majors, so it is common for education students to take one or two additional semesters to complete their programs.

After completing their licensure applications, graduates should anticipate a 14-week processing period before being officially granted licensure.

What can I do with teaching certification in Idaho?

Licensed educators can work in Idaho public school districts. However, teachers are only qualified to work with the age groups and subject areas that correspond with their certification areas.

How do I become a substitute teacher in Idaho?

Substitute teachers in Idaho are not required to hold any specialized certifications, though specific requirements vary by district. Individuals interested in substitute teaching in Idaho must hold at least a high school diploma or GED diploma. In some districts, substitutes must hold an associate or bachelor's degree.

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