How to Become a Teacher in Ohio

There are various ways to get teaching certification in Ohio. Find out what it takes to teach in the Buckeye State and what opportunities are available.
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Prospective educators need teaching certification in Ohio to work in the state's classrooms. Professionals need to complete a bachelor's degree in an approved discipline to qualify for an educator license in the Buckeye State.

The Ohio education department has introduced several initiatives to address challenges of a state-wide teacher shortage due to COVID-19. Additional funding has been made available to attract new high school graduates and those returning to college for a teaching degree. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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The state has also enhanced its recruitment processes to find the highest quality prospective teachers from on-campus and online colleges in Ohio. This page looks at how to become a teacher in Ohio, what types of licenses are required, and what opportunities are available.

How Do I Become a Teacher in Ohio?

Teachers in Ohio need a valid license to teach in the state's preK-12 classrooms. While some states use certificate, certification, and license terms interchangeably, Ohio uses the license term. To qualify for traditional licensure, prospective teachers need to complete an educator preparation program and pass the licensure examination for their content area.

Once qualified, prospective teachers can apply for a four-year resident educator license, as per the Ohio Department of Education. One-year licenses are available for out-of-state teachers who meet the requirements. Experienced educators with a valid license may qualify for the five-year professional teaching license.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Meet Minimum Education Requirements

For a resident educator license, candidates need a bachelor's degree in an approved educator preparation discipline, such as a bachelor's in education. Candidates can pursue many content areas, including:

  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Language Arts
  • Early Childhood Education

Prospective teachers with a bachelor's degree in a discipline that has not been approved as part of an educator preparation program may still qualify for licensure. They need a 2.5 minimum GPA at the bachelor's level or a 3.0 GPA at the master's level.

Ohio offers several educator licenses for experienced professionals, which may not feature the same educational prerequisites. For example, licenses like the alternative Montessori resident educator license require candidates to have completed an approved Montessori training program.

Gain Student Teaching Experience

Most education preparation programs include substantial experiential student teacher training, preparing students for the field even before licensure. Teachers need a resident educator license to begin teaching in Ohio. Educators can then advance their careers with the professional educator license.

Teachers need to complete the Ohio Resident Educator Program to qualify for the professional license. In the first two years of this program, educators receive mentorship and feedback. In the third year, they need to reflect on how they apply their training and what they have learned. In the fourth and final year, educators need to pursue leadership opportunities.

Pass Required Certification Tests

The path to teaching in Ohio features various certification examinations. Candidates need to pass the two-part exam from the Ohio Assessments for Educators for the resident educator license. These exams include a pedagogical knowledge assessment and a content knowledge assessment for specific subject endorsements.

For the professional educator license, candidates must pass the resident educator summative assessment, which includes a lesson reflection. Aspiring teachers of foreign languages need to pass the writing and oral language proficiency tests from ACTFL. Audiology and speech pathology teachers need to pass the respective Praxis tests.

Apply for Certification

The application process for teaching certification in Ohio is hosted on the CORE license system. Applicants need to fill out their personal information and upload their official transcripts and exam score reports. Other requested information may include work experience, educator preparation program details, and a criminal background check.

Prospective teachers also need to pay a certification processing fee. The resident educator license fee is $160, and the professional educator license fee is $200. The application processing times vary depending on the season, but they usually take 5-7 business days.

How Do I Maintain Teaching Certification in Ohio?

Educators in Ohio need to maintain a valid license. This must be renewed before the expiration date. Educators with a resident teaching license may request up to four $40 one-year extensions to give them more time to complete the Ohio resident educator program. They may be able to earn a four-year renewal if they have no more extensions available and have completed three semester hours of teaching-related continued education.

To renew the professional educator license, educators need to complete a minimum of six semester hours of teaching-related coursework, along with 18 units or 180 contact hours of continuing education. Educators with expired professional licenses need to complete nine semester hours of teaching-related coursework to reactivate their license.

Career Outlook for Teachers in Ohio

Research from the Center for American Progress found that enrollment in Ohio's teacher preparation programs declined by nearly 50% between 2010 and 2018. While this has led to a teacher shortage in the state, it also means education careers and teaching careers are more readily available.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio employed more than 300,000 educational professionals in May 2020, who were paid a mean annual wage of $62,140 in May 2020. Candidates with a resident teaching certification in Ohio can access many of these roles. However, a professional teaching certification may qualify them for better positions.

Ohio Teachers can also improve their employability with a master's in education. When choosing to attend graduate school, prospective students should weigh the pros and cons of the advanced training to determine if it is a worthwhile pursuit.

In-Demand Teaching Careers in Ohio

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher

Teachers at this level develop and teach lessons in core subjects like reading, math, and science. The educators evaluate students and discuss their observations with the student's families. While most elementary school teachers oversee all subjects, teaching endorsements for art and music are available.

Median Annual Salary: $60,660

Middle School Teacher

Middle school teachers run classrooms in grade 6-8 and prepare students for high school. They create lesson plans that adhere to school curriculums and standards and manage classroom behaviors. Many of these educators teach all the core subjects. However, specialist endorsements are available in subjects such as art, music, math, and science.

Median Annual Salary: $60,810

High School Teacher

High school teachers design curriculums and educate students between grades 9-12. These teachers also prepare students for college and the professional world by helping them identify their interests and strengths. They typically teach in their specialized subject area. This means that high school teachers need an endorsement for each field they wish to teach.

Median Annual Salary: $62,870

Special Education Teacher

Special education teachers help students of all ages who have mental or physical disabilities. They develop Individual Education Plans for them and adapt lesson plans to better accommodate them. For a special education teaching certification in Ohio, educators need an endorsement in the intervention specialist area at the age group they desire.

Median Annual Salary: $61,500

Instructional Coordinator

Instructional coordinators create new curriculums, teaching materials, and teaching strategies for educators and schools. They research and analyze student data to determine system and practice inefficiencies and opportunities. These professionals usually need a master's degree and a specialized administrator license to work in Ohio.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching Certification in Ohio

How do I get teaching certification in Ohio?

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For a teaching certification in Ohio, you typically need a bachelor's degree in education or in an approved educator preparation program discipline. Prospective teachers also need to pass the appropriate licensure examination for their subject area. They can then apply for a resident educator license with their subject area endorsements.

A valid resident educator license allows educators to start teaching in Ohio. After four years of experience and completion of the resident educator program, which includes the resident educator summative assessment, teachers can apply for the professional educator license.

Can I teach in Ohio without certification?

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While teaching in Ohio requires a valid license, there are temporary teacher permits available for special circumstances. The Ohio Department of Education offers 12- and 40-hour permits for prospective teachers who have a bachelor's degree at minimum or sufficient professional experience in the field.

Teachers with permits in Ohio can only teach in the subject listed on their permit. Permits are only valid within the school that initially applied for it. The 40-hour permit is specific to STEM schools and disciplines.

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

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After graduating high school, it takes approximately four years to complete a bachelor's degree and start teaching in Ohio. Prospective educators need to pass the examination for the license and begin teaching almost immediately afterward.

For the professional educator license, it takes approximately eight years total. That includes four years of education and four years of professional experience. Additional teaching certification in Ohio is available, such as an out-of-state license, alternative resident educator license, and associate license. These licenses may offer different timelines.

What can I do with teaching certification in Ohio?

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With a teaching certification in Ohio, educators can run kindergarten, elementary, middle, secondary, and high school classrooms. Teaching certification is also available for prekindergarten teachers, interpreters for hearing impaired students, and educational paraprofessionals.

Teaching candidates with a master's degree at minimum can qualify for an early college high school teaching license. The state also offers a license for career-technical workforce development training. With a professional educator license, teachers have five years of licensure and can qualify for full five-year renewals.

How do I become a substitute teacher in Ohio?

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For a substitute teaching certification in Ohio, prospective educators have two options: a one-year and a five-year license. With an education degree, licensed teachers qualify to work in all preK-12 classrooms and subjects. Licensed substitutes with a subject-area degree may teach that discipline only.

Candidates with a bachelor's degree in a field not covered by substitute license subject areas may qualify for a general substitute license. These licenses are available for one semester, and the subject area and license need to be approved by the local school board. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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