How to Become a Teacher in Wyoming
There are various ways to gain teaching licensure in Wyoming. Discover how to become a teacher in the Cowboy State.
Updated June 10, 2022
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Deciding to go back to college for a teaching degree can be a big step toward becoming an educator. If you're interested in earning your bachelor's in education you might want to consider the best online colleges in Wyoming. These schools offer full-time and part-time accredited teaching programs and charge relatively low tuition rates.
This guide will walk you through the steps to becoming a teacher in Wyoming. Aspiring teachers in this state need a bachelor's degree from an accredited school and a teaching license. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), elementary school teachers in Wyoming earned an annual average wage of $61,100 in May 2021. The same year, secondary school teachers in Wyoming earned an annual average salary of $63,820.
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Ready to start your journey?
After earning their degrees, aspiring teachers in Wyoming must earn a license to prove they meet the state's academic and professional standards for educators.
How Do I Become a Teacher in Wyoming?
Wyoming is one of 12 states with an independent licensing board. The Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB) oversees teacher licensure in the state of Wyoming.
PTSB requires all educators to have completed an approved teacher preparation program in order to become licensed to teach in a Wyoming school district. Prospective teachers will also need to submit an institutional recommendation from an accredited college or university and pass exams about the U.S. Constitution and the Wyoming Constitution.
Students can find out if the program they have already completed or are interested in attending is accredited by contacting the university or college. Wyoming is home to an accredited teacher preparation program at the University of Wyoming.
Out-of-state applicants must be eligible for licensure in the state in which they plan to teach and complete any required testing in that state. If you obtain a license in another state through an alternative route, you may still be eligible for licensure in Wyoming if you have taught three of the last six years at an accredited school in the state where you're licensed.
Generally, you must hold a license to teach in Wyoming. A permit can be used to teach some subject areas such as Career Technical Education (CTE) courses. Many of these subjects — including welding, construction, and automotive repair — don't have traditional educator preparation programs available.
Meet Minimum Education Requirements
To obtain a teaching license in Wyoming, candidates must possess a bachelor's degree and have completed a teacher preparation program at an accredited institution of higher learning. Education departments at most colleges or universities typically offer teacher preparation programs that include student teaching opportunities.
PTSB does not require a minimum GPA for licensure.
Gain Student Teaching Experience
Student teaching can be an invaluable part of the learning process for new teachers. The state of Wyoming requires a minimum of eight consecutive weeks of student teaching in an accredited school setting. The student teaching requirement is typically fulfilled during your degree program.
Pass Required Tests
There are a number of tests required to become a licensed teacher in Wyoming.
- The Praxis II exam is required for licensure to teach most subjects in Wyoming. The test may also be required for educators who want to be licensed to teach additional subjects.
- Out-of-state applicants will need to complete testing requirements for the state where their educator preparation program is located.
- Prospective teachers will also need to complete two multiple-choice exams that cover the United States Constitution and theWyoming Constitution.
Apply for Licensure
First-time applicants and those looking to renew their teaching license will need to fill out an application to begin the process. In-state fees for a first-time license are $175. The cost to complete an out-of-state application is $225. It typically takes 4-6 weeks to process these applications, but it can take longer during the summer months.
- Applicants also need to submit official transcripts documenting the completion of a teacher preparation program.
- Teaching hopefuls must also submit two FBI fingerprint cards and a background check.
How Do I Maintain Teaching Certification in Wyoming?
All licensed educators must complete five semester hours of professional development. Teachers can complete college coursework or PTSB-approved workshops. These five credits must be completed during the five years that your teaching license is valid.
Career Outlook for Teachers in Wyoming
According to Wyoming at Work, education, training, and library was the sixth most popular sector in the state in 2018. These jobs are projected to remain steady through 2028. According to the BLS, elementary school teachers in Wyoming earned an average of $61,100 per year, while secondary school teachers earned an average of $63,820 in May 2021.
There are plenty of teaching career opportunities in the state, especially in rural areas. Though teachers generally only need a bachelor's degree to teach in Wyoming, readers may want to consider going to graduate school to make themselves more competitive.
Teachers with a master's degree can also earn a higher salary than their peers with a bachelor's degree. A master's degree is typically necessary for teachers looking to advance into administrative positions.
In-Demand Teaching Careers in Wyoming
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher
Elementary school teachers teach grades K-5. These professionals instruct students in basic subjects such as math, science, reading, and writing. Unlike most secondary school teachers, elementary school teachers are usually responsible for teaching more than one subject. The BLS projects these positions will grow 7% from 2020-2030.
Median Annual Salary in the U.S. (May 2020): $60,660
Middle School Teachers
Middle school teachers educate students in grades 6-8 in either private or public schools. Like elementary school teachers, many middle school teachers are responsible for teaching more than one subject. Middle school teachers must prepare their students for high school. The BLS projects positions for middle school teachers will grow 7% from 2020-2030.
Median Annual Salary in the U.S. (May 2020): $60,810
High School Teachers
High school teachers can teach in public and private schools. Many high school teachers specialize in a single subject — such as math or English — and teach that subject to multiple grade levels. These teachers must prepare students for college admissions and advanced placement courses. The BLS projects jobs for these teachers will grow 8% from 2020-2030.
Median Annual Salary in the U.S. (May 2020): $62,870
Special Education Teachers
Special education teachers specialize in teaching learners with diverse needs. This may include students with intellectual, emotional, and physical disabilities. Special education teachers consult with parents and school counselors to adapt the standard curriculum to suit their students' needs. The BLS projects that jobs for special education teachers will grow by 8% from 2020-2030.
Median Annual Salary in the U.S. (May 2020): $61,500
Career and Technical Education Teachers
Career and technical education teachers offer specialized training for specific careers, including HVAC-R and the culinary arts. Technical educators prepare students for the workforce by teaching practical skills that will help graduates find employment in a trade. The BLS projects 5% job growth from 2020-2030 for career and technical education teachers.
Median Annual Salary in the U.S. (May 2020): $59,140
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching Licensure in Wyoming
How do I get a license to teach in Wyoming?
The state of Wyoming requires all potential educators to complete an approved teacher preparation program in order to become licensed to teach. You will also need to submit an institutional recommendation from an accredited college or university and you must pass exams about the U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions. Out-of-state applicants must be eligible for licensure in that state and complete any required testing in order for the license to transfer to Wyoming. Those applicants may also be eligible for licensure in Wyoming if they've taught three of the last six years in the state they're licensed.
How long does it take to become a teacher in Wyoming?
Aspiring teachers may need 4-5 years to earn their license. During that period they will graduate from college and take all the licensure tests that the state requires. On average, students need four years to complete their bachelor's degree. Aspiring teachers enrolled in a bachelor's in education program will most likely complete their student teaching hours while still in college. Once all of that is complete, it can take several months to process their application.
What can I do with teaching certification in Wyoming?
Generally, you must hold a license to teach in Wyoming. Licensed educators are teachers, school administrators, school counselors, school psychologists, athletic coaches, and substitute teachers. All of these roles require a license or permit from the PTSB in order to be employed at a public school in Wyoming. A permit can be used to teach some subject areas such as CTE courses. Many of these subjects, including welding, construction, and automotive repair, don't have traditional educator preparation programs available.
How do I become a substitute teacher in Wyoming?
If you've completed 60 semester hours or hold an associate degree from an accredited college or university and have passed both the U.S. and Wyoming Constitution exams, you can be a substitute teacher in Wyoming. You can also become a substitute teacher if you have your high school diploma, have completed 24 hours of school district in-service training, and have completed 10 hours of observation at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
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