How to Earn Your Teaching Credential in California (2023)

Interested in learning how to become a teacher in California?Earning your California teacher certification is a major stepto beginning a teaching career in public schools.

There are several different pathways available to fit a variety of situations—whether you’re just applying to college, you’re a teacher moving to California, or you’re looking for alternative routes to gain teacher certification.

Read on to learn about the different ways to get teacher certification in California, andcheck out the video below for key facts about teaching in the state.

Teaching in California: Fast Facts

California is second in the nation by number of teachers, with269,850 working K-12 teachers as of 2022 data from the NEA. Despite the large numbers of active teachers in the state, job opportunities for teachers are still projected to rise.

Each year, thousands of new jobs are expected to open up for teachers at all levels. Not only that, many California teachers could be reaching retirement age. As these teachers exit the workforce, new teachers will be needed to fill the gap.

To meet the needs of its students, California needs more teachers-both now and in the future. If you’re considering a teaching career in California, here are a few more facts to keep in mind:

  • Median elementary teacher salary:$85,856, compared to the national average of $61,400
  • Level of education: Roughly 43% hold a bachelor’s degree, while 39% have a master’s degree
  • Average students per teacher: 22.2 versus the national average of 15.96
  • Expenditure per student: $15,397, compared to the national average of $11,642

California Teacher Certification Requirements

Whether you’d like to teach elementary, middle school, high school, or special education, a number of requirements must be met in order to earn a teaching credential.TheCommission on Teacher Credentialing(CTC) sets the standards for teacher licensing and credentialingand offers several pathways to becoming a certified teacher.

How to earn California teacher certification

Earning a California teacher certification involves a number of specific steps and requirements.

How to Earn Your Teaching Credential in California (1)

Meet minimum education requirements

In California,the minimum education requirement for teacher certification is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. You must also complete a teacher preparation program approved by the CTC.

An approved program provides both educational curriculum and fieldwork. It can be a blended with an undergraduate teacher preparation program or a postbaccalaureate program.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can find an approved teacher prep program to begin your transition into teaching. There are also a variety of other options for earning your teaching certification such as Teach for America, California Teacher Corps, Troops to Teachers, and intern programs that can help you start working in a classroom while you complete your teacher prep course. More information on these programs is included below.

How to Earn Your Teaching Credential in California (2)

Complete student teaching requirement

Student teaching is a required component of CTC-approved teacher education programs. These are obligated to provide a minimum of 600 hours of field experience within the duration of the program.

However, the types of experiences offered and the length of time you spend in each classroom vary by program. You may participate in traditionalstudent teaching, co-teaching, a teacher residency, or intern teaching to accrue hands-on classroom experience.

How to Earn Your Teaching Credential in California (3)

Pass California teacher certification tests

California requires specific certification exams for a Preliminary Credential. Skills in reading, writing, and math are assessed through theCalifornia Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST).

Another option is passing all 3 sub-tests of theCalifornia Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subjectstest, along with the CSET: Writing Skills test.

Other options include passing both the English and Mathematics sections of the California State University (CSU) Early Assessment Program (EAP) or both the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) CSU Early Placement examinations. SAT or ACT scores also might fulfill this requirement.

Depending on the type of certification you’re pursuing, you’ll have to pass the corresponding subject matter assessments. Candidates for the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential must take the CSET Multiple Subjects Exam. Candidates applying for a Single Subject Teaching Credential must pass the specific CSET exam for the subject in which they’re seeking certification.

(Video) How to get into a teaching credential program in California *single subject*

Candidates for some certifications must passthe Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA). In addition, candidates must complete a class on the U.S. Constitution or pass a Constitution test given by a regionally accredited college or university.

How to Earn Your Teaching Credential in California (4)

Apply for certification

After completing an approved program,the fastest and easiest way to apply for a California teaching credential is online. The program sponsor must formally recommend you for the appropriate certification via the CTC’s online system.

After the recommendation is submitted, you have 90 days to complete the recommendation document. You must answer Professional Fitness Questions regarding your criminal and professional history that determine your competence for the requested credential.

Fingerprint clearance from the California Department of Justice and the FBI must accompany your application. If you’re applying online, you can submit your proof via email and your results will be forwarded electronically to the CTC. Your submission of an online payment completes your application.

A paper application is necessary when the teacher certification is based on alternate preparation such as an out-of-state credential, or the request is for the addition of authorizations to existing certificates. Original transcripts and documentation must accompany a paper application.

Renewing California teacher certification

After you’ve obtained a Preliminary Teacher Certification,you must complete requirements for a Clear Credential within 5 years.You can do this by completing an approved teacher induction program and submitting your application through the program sponsor.

Another option is to become certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and submitting your application, photocopy of certification, and processing fee to the CTC.

Types of California Teaching Credentials

California has 3 different types of teaching credentials that authorize you to teach single subjects, multiple subjects, or special education students. Each of these credentials has slightly different requirements, although there are many similarities between them.

Multiple subject teaching credential

If you’re looking to teach elementary school, you must first earn a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. This credential helps qualify you to teach all subjects in a self-contained classroom.

To fulfill the requirements for a 5-year Preliminary Teaching Credential, you must:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Meet thebasic skills requirementsby passing 1 of the tests designated by the CTC, such as the CBEST or CSET
  • Certify your subject-matter competence by passing an appropriate examination or completing an approved subject-matter program
  • Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)
  • Complete a class or pass a test on the U.S. Constitution
  • Complete an approved Multiple Subject teacher preparation program
  • Receive a formal recommendation from the program sponsor

Within 5 years, you mustcomplete requirements for a Clear Credentialin order to continue teaching in California public schools. The CTC provides 2 options:

  • Option 1:Complete an approved teacher induction program and submit your application through the induction program sponsor
  • Option 2:Become certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards as a generalist in in early or middle childhood, and submit your application, a photocopy of your certification, and a processing fee to the CTC

Single subject teaching credential

Those interested in teaching high school will need a Single Subject Teaching Credential, which authorizes individuals to teach specific subjects within a department. Note that a teaching position in a middle school may require either a Single Subject Teaching Credential or a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.

Subjects include:

Biological Sciences (Specialized)Physical Education
BusinessPhysics (Specialized)
Chemistry (Specialized)Science: Biological Sciences
EnglishScience: Chemistry
Foundational-Level General ScienceScience: Geosciences
Foundational-Level MathematicsScience: Physics
Geosciences (Specialized)Social Science
Health ScienceWorld Language: English Language Development
Home EconomicsWorld Languages-Languages other than English
Industrial and Technology Education

The requirements for the Single Subject Teaching Credential are similar to the Multiple Subject.

Education specialist instruction credential (special education)

The Education Specialist Instruction Credential is designed for individuals who want to teach special education in a variety of settings and specialty areas.

To fulfill the requirements for a 5-year Preliminary Teaching Credential, you must:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college of university
  • Meet the basic skills requirement by passing 1 of the tests designated by the CTC
  • Pass an appropriate examination or complete an approved subject-matter program
  • Pass the RICA exam
  • Complete a class or pass a test on the U.S. Constitution
  • Complete an approved Education Specialist Credential program in a specialty area and receive a formal recommendation from an approved program sponsor

To earna Clear Credential,you must do 1 of the following:

  • Complete a Clear Credential program that’s specifically approved for special education.
  • Earn a certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in the areas of exceptional needs or early childhood through young adulthood, and submit your application, processing fee, and photocopy of the certification.

Out-of-state applicants

The CTC also outlines specific requirements for obtaining certification if you’re a teacher applying from out of state. Submit the following materials to qualify for a credential:

  • A completed application form and processing fee
  • Official transcripts for a bachelor’s degree or any additional degrees
  • A copy of your teaching license
  • Evidence of fingerprint processing

Alternative Teacher Certification in California

If you’re interested in alternative teacher certification programs, there are a variety of options available, even if you haven’t followed a traditional path to becoming a teacher.

To qualify for these programs, you must have a bachelor’s degree, meet the basic skills requirements, demonstrate subject matter competence, and take a class or pass on the U.S. Constitution. In addition, you must obtain background clearances and complete an application for a teaching credential.


Learn more about alternative teacher certification programs below.

California Teacher Corps

If teaching is your second career, the California Teachers Corps could be a great starting point for your transition into education. This organization represents more than 100 alternative state certification programs that are intended to support career changers pursuing job opportunities in teaching.

These rigorous programs allow prospective educators to begin teaching in the classroom while simultaneously earning their credential. This pathway is intended for mature individuals who have significant expertise in the subject they’re teaching. Candidates typically have a strong desire to contribute to their communities by teaching.

Science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and career technical education (CTE) educator credentialing program

California needs more teachers for STEM and CTE courses, and there are several alternative credential pathways available to help you pursue a career in these areas.

Options include:

  • Intern model: Participants receive instruction before managing their own classroom and continuing to take courses and receive supervision.
  • Early completion model: Candidates may skip over the program courses altogether by passing the Teaching Foundations Examination.
  • Student teaching model: Participants take courses and gain hands-on experience before student teaching under direct supervision.
  • Residency model: Candidates work part-time at a school under the direction of a supervising teacher while taking courses to prepare for a teaching career.

Peace Corps

The CTC also accepts certain Peace Corps teaching experiences as a substitute for the program requirements for Multiple or Single Subject Teaching credentials. To qualify, a director of the Peace Corps must certify that you’ve completed at least 18 months in the Peace Corps and spent 50% or more of your time teaching children in a classroom.

Private school experience

Teachers who have taught for 3–5 years in an elementary or secondary private school may be able to bypass the student teaching component of certification. Private school teachers with at least 6 years of experience may meet both the teacher preparation program and student teaching requirements.

Intern teaching credentials

You can also gain an alternative teaching certification through an intern program that allows you to work in your first year or more while you complete your teacher preparation. You can find approved programs sponsored by school districts and county offices of education as well as colleges and universities.

Before beginning the intern program, you must meet a number of requirements, such as earning a bachelor’s degree and proving subject-matter competence, and complete a minimum of 120 hours of a pre-service preparation.

Teach for America

Teach for America supports education equality in California by staffing locations in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Teach for America volunteers are recent college graduates who live and work in the communities they serve.

Members are natural leaders who receive training that qualifies them to earn California teaching certifications before they begin their teaching assignments.

California Teacher Certification Reciprocity Agreements

If you’re considering moving to California, or you’re returning to teaching with credentials earned in another state, you can save time and money by knowing how to use current out-of-state credentials to expedite new California teacher certification.

Here arekey facts to know about California teacher reciprocity agreements.

NASDTEC Interstate Agreement California participates in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.
State Grants Full Reciprocity California does not grant full reciprocity to out-of-state certification candidates. However, your license may count toward a Preliminary or Clear credential if you have a professional-level credential from another state.
Coursework Requirements All out-of-state candidates must demonstrate subject matter knowledge for their intended certificate or complete the courses necessary to meet this requirement. They also must complete the curriculum for teaching English learners required of all teaching candidates in the state.
Test-out or Exemption California does not allow for test-out or exemption from additional coursework requirements. However, out-of-state teachers who have proof of a certificate or coursework indicating they have fulfilled the requirement necessary for teaching English learners may use those credentials in place of coursework in California.
Assessment Requirements Out-of-state candidates who passed basic skills assessments in their home states don’t have to test in California. Those who did not take prior basic skills assessments must do so within 1 year of receiving a Preliminary credential. Out-of-state candidates also must show proof of meeting subject matter requirements for the type of certificate they are requesting. If the credential does not match a California subject area, additional assessments may be required. Assessments also may be necessary to fulfill the teaching English learners knowledge requirement.
Different Requirements Based on Experience Out-of-state teachers must hold a professional-level credential in their home state to qualify for reciprocity. A Clear credential is only available to candidates who demonstrate 2 years of successful teaching experience and 150 clock hours of professional activity, have a master’s degree or higher in the field corresponding to the credential or complete the equivalent semester units from an accredited post-secondary institution. Out-of-state candidates with less than two years of experience must complete a Clear Credential induction program.
Performance Requirements Out-of-state candidates qualifying for a Clear credential must show proof of 2 years of successful teaching experience with 2 satisfactory performance evaluations from their state.
Special Reciprocity for Advanced Credentials California does not grant special reciprocity for advanced credentials. Candidates who do not qualify for a Clear credential can apply for a Preliminary credential while they fulfill the missing components.

Substitute Teacher Certification

California substitute teacher requirements consist of4 types of general education certifications. All categories pertain to working with adults or classrooms between preschool and grade 12, and require varying levels of education and experience.

  • TheEmergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permitis a renewable 1-year certification that allows you to work day-to-day as a substitute for up to 30 days for the same teacher, and no more than 20 days in special education classrooms. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree and meeting the basic skills requirements.
  • A 1-year renewableEmergency Career Substitute Permitallows you to serve as a day-to-day substitute for up to 60 days for a single teacher during the school year, except in a special education classroom, where the time limit is 20 days. Qualifications include a bachelor’s degree or higher and passing the basic skills requirements. You must also have verification of 3 consecutive years of at least 90 days of substitute teaching in 1 or more of the school districts requesting the permit.
  • TheEmergency Substitute Teaching Permit for Prospective Teacherslimits classroom replacement to no more than 30 days with a total annual limit of 90. Candidates must show completion of at least 90 semester credits and current enrollment in a regionally approved college or university. Passing the basic skills test also is required. This option is ideal for individuals who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree.
  • TheEmergency Designated Subjects Career Technical Education Permit for 30-Day Substitute Teaching Serviceallows you to work in counties where the permit is registered if that county has filed a Statement of Need. This certification is for technical, trade, and vocational education. It requires a high school education and 3 years of industry-related experience.

Note that some individuals choose to substitute teach while they earn their preliminary certification in order to gain classroom experience at the same time.

Teacher Salaries in California

Salaries for certified teachers in California depend on factors including education, teaching experience, the demand for a specific type of teacher, and the budget of the employing school district. Examples of nationwide teaching salaries are outlined below, with data provided the 2021 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How to Earn Your Teaching Credential in California (5)
Position Median Salary
Preschool Teachers $37,080
Kindergarten Teachers $95,160
Elementary School Teachers $80,020
High School Teachers $96,390
Special Education Teachers $61,460
School Administrators $126,980


Job Growth for High School Teachers through 2030

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, themedian high school teacher salary in California is $96,390.

What’s more, the average teacher compensation in California has been rising since 2000. Compensation packages depend on the specific school district, but many include health, dental, and vision coverage, plus a pension plan.


How advanced degrees impact salary

One way to increase your salary potential is through your education. Teachers with higher levels of education tend to receive higher average salaries, according to the 2021 National Center for Education Statistics.

The following list highlights starting median U.S. public school teaching salaries according to the highest degree earned:

  • Bachelor’s degree: $54,500
  • Master’s degree: $68,690
  • Doctor’s degree: $78,730

In California, it’s not uncommon for teachers to earn a degree that’s higher than a bachelor’s. While just over 43% earned a bachelor’s degree, 39% earned a master’s, and nearly 13% earned a doctor’s or education specialist degree.

Teacher Shortage Areas & Job Outlook

The U.S. Department of Education released a report that lists the areas that experiencing a shortage of teachers. In California, teachers are particularly needed in the following subjects:

  • English/Drama/Humanities
  • History/Social Sciences
  • Mathematics/Computer Education
  • Physical Education/Health/Dance
  • Science
  • Self-Contained Class
  • Special Education

Additional Teaching Endorsements & Specialty Certifications

In addition to the teaching credentials covered above, there are a few other specialty certifications for educators in California that you may be interested in.

Early childhood education

How to Earn Your Teaching Credential in California (6)You can choose between 2 options forearly childhood education certification in California. The first option is to obtain a 5-year Child Development Permit. This is offered at6 different levels that require increasing education and experience that correlate with increasing levels of job responsibility.

The requirements for each level of permit can be fulfilled with individual college-level courses and work experience. A completed bachelor’s degree is not a necessary, though it can be used to fulfill the education requirements.

You also can earn early childhood certification in California by obtaining a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree and an early childhood teacher preparation program.To specialize in preschool education, you must have twelve semester units in early childhood education and developmentas part of your teacher preparation.

You’re also required to pass the general skills and Multiple Subject exams that are required for Multiple Subject Certification. Fulfilling the requirements related to your knowledge of the English language, the U.S. Constitution, and foundational technology also is necessary.

English as a second language

How to Earn Your Teaching Credential in California (7)

In California, you can earnEnglish as a Second Language certification by obtaining the English Learner (EL) Authorization and Cross-Cultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD) certificate.

All teachers earning either a Single or Multiple Subject Teacher Credential complete English learner coursework that’s embedded in CTC-approved teacher education programs. However, teachers assigned to provide instruction to English learners need the EL authorization in the content area of instruction.

The EL authorization and CLAD certificate allow you to teach English language development (ELD), specially designed academic instruction delivered in English (SDAIE), content delivered in a student’s primary language, and instruction for Primary Language Development.

This authorization is a supplement to a Single or Multiple Subject Teaching Certification, which can be earned concurrently or added through the completion of assessments or CTC-approved programs.

Certifications for school administrators

Certification for school administrators in California is offered as the Administrative Services Credential after obtaining a valid Clear Credential. This certification applies to both adults and preschool through grade 12.

You must also satisfy a basic skills requirement, accumulate 5 years of full-time teaching experience, and verify employment in an administrative position. The completion of a CTC-approved administrative services program, a 1-year administrative services internship, or a passing score on the California Preliminary Administrative Credential Exam (CPACE) is also required.

To earn a Clear Credential, you’ll need a minimum of 2 years of successful full-time experience in a California school and a recommendation for certification from a CTC-approved Administrative Services induction program.

Certificate vs Certification


A certificate is awarded by an educational institution, and signifies that a student has satisfactorily completed a given curriculum. Certificate programs can help students prepare for certification exams.

(Video) my california teaching credential experience {single subject social studies}


A certification is generally awarded by a trade group after an individual has met certain professional requirements (e.g. earned a specific degree, worked professionally in a given field for a set amount of time, etc.) and passed a certification exam.

In short, a certificate is evidence that someone has completed an educational program, while a certification denotes that someone has met a certain set of professional criteria and/or passed an exam.

Not all programs offered are designed to meet state educator licensing or advancement requirements; however, it may assist candidates in gaining these approvals in their state of residence depending on those requirements. Contact the state board of education in the applicable state(s) for requirements.

Financial Aid & Loan Forgiveness for California Teachers

Teachers may be eligible for loan forgiveness programs, depending on their specific role. These programs can help you offset some of your student loan debt, but it’s important that you do your research ahead of time. Many loan forgiveness programs require you to make a specified number of on-time payments while you’re employed in an approved setting.

Loan forgiveness programs include:

  • The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
  • Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

You may also want to consider applying for teaching scholarships or a TEACH Grant. The latter encourages individuals to become teachers in low-income areas in high-need subjects such as bilingual education, mathematics, science, or special education.

Finding California Teaching Jobs

These 2 resources are available to help you find teaching jobs in California:

  • TEACH California is administered by the California Department of Education and helps visitors create a career plan and find a teaching job.
  • EdJoin is an online teaching job site sponsored by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association.

You might also want to explore the California Teacher Recruitment Program and the California School Directory to learn about additional teaching opportunities around the state.

Ready to Get Started?

Now that you know how to get teacher certification in California, take the next step for your career.Use the Find Schools button to explore degree programsoffered in your area or online.


What is the fastest way to get a teaching credential in California? ›

After completing an approved program, the fastest and easiest way to apply for a California teaching credential is online. The program sponsor must formally recommend you for the appropriate certification via the CTC's online system.

How long does it take to get a teaching degree in California? ›

A traditional, non-accelerated college or university program takes four to five years, assuming you complete each course successfully the first time. Internships may take longer depending on the institution you choose. If you start as a private school teacher, it could take over six years to earn your credential.

How much does it cost to get a teaching credential in CA? ›

Teaching Credential
Personal Expenses$1,921$1,959
Total for California Residents (3) (includes health insurance)$46,237$47,589
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (for California nonresidents)$15,102$15,102
5 more rows
14 Jul 2022

Can you teach in CA without a credential? ›

Teaching in California is possible with or without a credential, which can be a single or multiple subject credential obtained upon completion of a bachelor's degree.

How much do teachers get paid in California? ›

How much do teachers make in California? The average California teacher salary was $82,746 for the 2019-2020 school year. This is over $20,000 higher than the national average. The state ranks second in the nation for compensation, trailing only New York.

How can I teach in California without a teaching degree? ›

Can I Get a Teaching Job without a Teaching Certificate? If you want to become certified to teach in California, you must generally complete a credential program that has been approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

Is it hard to be a teacher in California? ›

Your first step in becoming a teacher in California is to determine whether the role is a good fit for your personal and professional goals. Teaching is a challenging job that requires patience and commitment. Though highly rewarding, it is not for everyone.

How much do California high school teachers make? ›

How much does a High School Teacher make in California? The average High School Teacher salary in California is $69,400 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $56,200 and $86,400.

How fast can you become a teacher? ›

In general, becoming a teacher takes about four to five years. Unless, that is, you want to work in one of the states that require teachers to have master's degrees. This timeline also assumes you major in education and can graduate from your bachelor's degree program in the usual four years.

What is a starting teacher salary in California? ›

How much does an Entry Level Teacher make in California? The average Entry Level Teacher salary in California is $46,611 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $38,931 and $56,831.

Does California pay teachers well? ›

CALIFORNIA — California teachers are among the highest-paid educators in the U.S., according to's annual teacher pay report, which compares how much teachers earn vs. the average salary in each state.

How much do teachers make hourly in California? ›

Salaries by years of experience in California
Years of experiencePer hour
1 to 2 years$20.31
3 to 5 years-
6 to 9 years$23.68
More than 10 years$27.20
1 more row
12 Sept 2022

How do I bypass the CSET? ›

To not take the CSET, candidates must obtain a CTC CSET waiver. These waivers are available to candidates who meet certain qualifications that demonstrate that they have already met the requirements that the CSET exams are designed to evaluate.

Can schools hire unqualified teachers? ›

Since 2012, the government has allowed state schools to recruit unqualified teachers. Academies have employed over 1,500 more teachers without the skills normally required than other schools – and thousands of pupils have been taught by these unqualified staff, the study finds.

How much do elementary teachers get paid in California? ›

How much does a Teacher Elementary School make in California? The average Teacher Elementary School salary in California is $68,703 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $56,375 and $82,975.

Which city in California pays teachers the most? ›

Los Angeles/Long Beach, California – $75,800.

Do California teachers get paid during summer? ›

No, teachers do not get paid in the summer holidays if they are on break. They may, however, receive paychecks for work done during the school year, as many teachers have their pay spread out over the full 12-month period.

What is the lowest paying school district in California? ›

The lowest average pay was about $71,000 at Davis Joint Unified. The average teacher pay at Sacramento City Unified was about $82,100 last school year, a big jump from the average pay of $75,300 the prior year.

Is it worth becoming a teacher? ›

There are many reasons why a teacher's work is worth it, both financially and emotionally. The benefits of teaching include increased earning potential, job security, and the opportunity to make a real difference in people's lives.

Is the Cbest still required in California? ›

Individuals only need to pass The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) once; CBEST passing scores remain valid indefinitely for all credential and employment purposes. To pass the CBEST, one must obtain a minimum scaled score of 41 in each of the three sections—reading, writing, and mathematics.

How much do public school teachers make in California? ›

The average salary of public school teachers in 2020–21 for the State of California was $85,856.

Is California facing a teacher shortage? ›

The teacher shortage has struck most districts in California, but an EdSource survey shows that the impacts are nuanced, uneven — and sometimes inequitable.

What type of teachers are in demand in California? ›

Science, math, bilingual and special education teachers were in particularly high demand and the study projected that statewide, districts would need to hire about 300,000 teachers a year starting in 2018.

What is the most a teacher can make in California? ›

The average Public School Teacher salary in California is $61,763 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $51,586 and $75,305.

What kind of teacher gets paid the most? ›


When you are looking for the best-paid teaching jobs for your area of interest or specialized skill, then you may consider working as a professor in a college or university. A college professor prepares course material, teaches students in a classroom environment, and grades student work.

What is the highest paid teacher State? ›

The highest-paid state for teachers is Maryland with an average salary of $61,254 per year.

Who is the highest paid school teacher? ›

High School Teachers made a median salary of $62,870 in 2020. The best-paid 25 percent made $81,410 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $49,990.

Is it difficult becoming a teacher? ›

Teaching is an important and rewarding career, but it can also be draining and exhausting. Teaching is arguably harder now than ever before for many reasons, including student behavior, rapidly changing technology, and low pay.

Can you train to be a teacher at any age? ›

Whether you're a fresh graduate or have 30 years' experience in an entirely different industry, you are still capable of being a successful teacher and can make a meaningful impact on the students you teach. So, there's no need to worry about whether you're too old, or if there's a cut-off age limit.

How many hours do teachers teach a day? ›

On average for all days of the week, full-time teachers worked 5.6 hours per day and part-time teachers worked 2.8 hours per day.

Can teachers make 6 figures? ›

Yes, it's true. Teachers who've been on the job for several years can earn six figures in many states. Sure, teaching isn't the highest paying gig out there, with a median salary of $57,949 ($3,000 below other professions that require a BA degree). Some teachers, however, can garner paychecks of $100,000 or more.

How many hours do teachers get paid for? ›

As a full-time teacher we get paid to work 1265 hours a year. This equates to 32.5 hours a week.

Where do elementary teachers make the most? ›

The highest salary, however, can be found in Kingston, New York, where elementary school teachers receive an average salary of $92,090.

What state has the lowest paid teacher salary? ›

Mississippi has the lowest average teacher salary of $45,574, followed by West Virginia with $47,826. The other states with average teacher salaries under $50,000 a year are New Mexico, Florida, South Dakota, Kansas, and Arizona.

What city pays teachers the most? ›

Where Do Teachers Get Paid the Most? 20 Cities with the Highest Teacher Salaries for the Cost of Living
  • #8: Indianapolis, Indiana. ...
  • #7: Baltimore, Maryland. ...
  • #6: Salt Lake City, Utah. ...
  • #5: Portland, Oregon. ...
  • #4: Sacramento, California. ...
  • #3: Columbus, Ohio. ...
  • #2: Albany, New York. ...
  • #1: Buffalo, New York. Average annual salary is $70,216.

What is the best state to be a teacher? ›

Best States for Teachers
Overall RankStateTotal Score
1New York59.33
47 more rows
6 days ago

What school district has the highest paid teachers? ›

#1. Scarsdale Public Schools, Scarsdale, NY ($107,100)

This small district recognizes the value of their teachers which is evidenced by the average salaries landing at the top of any district in the country.

How much does a teacher with a master's degree make in California? ›

Annual Base Salary of Elementary and Secondary Teachers by Education and Experience, 2017-18
0-2 YearsAverage, All Levels
National Average of Teachers with a Bachelor's$42,440$49,890
CA Teachers with a Master's$61,740$81,320
National Average of Teachers with a Master's$51,050$63,120
1 more row
14 Oct 2020

Are teachers underpaid in California? ›

The institute's research indicates that California teachers earned 15.5% less than their college educated nonteaching peers from 2014 to 2019.

Is California getting rid of CSET? ›

California is not eliminating the CSET, but rather has created alternative options, other than the CSET, for prospective teachers to earn credentials.

Is California doing away with the CSET? ›

Teacher candidates no longer have to take the California Basic Skills Test, or CBEST, or the California Subject Matter Exams for Teachers, referred to as CSET to earn a credential. The CBEST tests reading, math and writing skills and is usually taken before a student is accepted into a teacher preparation program.

Is CSET hard to pass? ›

In the 2019-2020 year, the CSET: Multiple Subjects had a passing rate of 68.8%. It is challenging because of the amount of material you must know and the 11 constructed-response questions (CRQs). You have to be knowledgeable enough to answer the CRQs without having answer choices.

What can disqualify you from being a teacher? ›

However, the laws vary from state to state. Some common types of disqualifying convictions are discussed below.
3. Convictions for Person Crimes
  • Kidnapping.
  • Stalking.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Child abuse.
  • Terroristic threats.
  • Aggravated assaults or batteries.
  • Weapons convictions.
17 Jun 2022

What disqualifies someone from being a teacher? ›

Under California Education Code section 44830.1, you cannot be hired as a teacher if you were convicted of a violent or serious felony. Violent felonies are defined under California Penal Code 667.5(c). These include felonies like those that inflicted great bodily harm, robbery, and some forms of burglary.

Can I teach without a teaching qualification? ›

To become a teacher, you'll need qualified teacher status (QTS) and to obtain QTS you must have a degree or a qualification equivalent to a UK degree. So, if you want to teach and already have an eligible degree – great!

What is the highest paying state for elementary teachers? ›

Best-Paying States for Elementary School Teachers

The states and districts that pay Elementary School Teachers the highest mean salary are California ($85,110), Massachusetts ($84,810), New York ($84,380), Connecticut ($79,610), and District of Columbia ($78,840).

How much do 2nd grade teachers make in California? ›

How much does a 2nd Grade Teacher make in California? The average 2nd Grade Teacher salary in California is $69,074 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $56,679 and $83,423.

How many hours do teachers work? ›

How? 92% of teachers are teaching full-time. This means that they teach 21 hours 20 mins per week which comprises of 32 class periods of 40 minutes duration. In addition to their teaching hours, second-level teachers typically spend 20 hours 7 minutes per week on non- teaching activities.

What is the fastest you can get a teaching degree? ›

If you already have a bachelor's degree, you may be able to become a teacher in just one year by enrolling in a master's in education programs for non-teachers with a licensure track.

How long does it take to clear a teaching credential in California? ›

What is the processing time for applications? Online recommendations submitted through credential program sponsors are usually completed within 10 working days. Typically, all other applications are processed within 50 working days from the date we receive the application.

How long is a teacher preparation program in California? ›

Post-Baccalaureate Programs

Commission-approved teacher preparation programs focus on teaching you how to teach. Programs include at least one year of full-time study and student teaching.

Is the CSET still required to teach in California? ›

This move is a game changer for districts and those who wish to become educators. Teacher candidates no longer have to take the California Basic Skills Test (CBEST) or California Subject Matter Exams (CSET) to earn a credential.

Is the Cbest still required in California? ›

Individuals only need to pass The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) once; CBEST passing scores remain valid indefinitely for all credential and employment purposes. To pass the CBEST, one must obtain a minimum scaled score of 41 in each of the three sections—reading, writing, and mathematics.

What majors is best for teaching? ›

Read on to discover some of the best undergraduate majors to become a K-12 teacher.
  • Chemistry. First, chemistry programs are one of the best undergraduate options to become a teacher. ...
  • English Language Arts. ...
  • Biology. ...
  • Elementary Education. ...
  • Social Studies.
26 Aug 2021

How long is the average teaching career? ›

The Average Teacher Has 14 Years of Experience

In the 2015-16 school year, teachers in public schools had on average about 14 years of experience and worked roughly 53 hours a week.

Can I clear credentials online? ›

Clear your teaching credential online with CSUF

This online program lets you clear your teaching credential in 1–2 years and meets California's latest requirements for teacher credentialing.

Do California teaching credentials expire? ›

Once you have a Clear Credential, it lasts for five years before you need to renew it. To renew your Clear Credential, simply login to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) website, choose the document you wish to renew and pay the application fee.

How long is Cal State Teach? ›

The three years must be acquired before you apply for a credential. Since CalStateTEACH requires a minimum of 12 months, you should already have at least 24 months experience when you begin term one.

How much do California high school teachers make? ›

How much does a High School Teacher make in California? The average High School Teacher salary in California is $69,400 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $56,200 and $86,400.

How much do elementary teachers get paid in California? ›

How much does a Teacher Elementary School make in California? The average Teacher Elementary School salary in California is $68,703 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $56,375 and $82,975.

How much do public school teachers make in California? ›

The average salary of public school teachers in 2020–21 for the State of California was $85,856.

How do I bypass the CSET? ›

To not take the CSET, candidates must obtain a CTC CSET waiver. These waivers are available to candidates who meet certain qualifications that demonstrate that they have already met the requirements that the CSET exams are designed to evaluate.

Can I teach in California with an out of state credential? ›

Educators with an out-of-state license may be granted a similar license to teach in California, with an approved application, academic records, and criminal background check.

Is it hard to pass the CSET? ›

In the 2019-2020 year, the CSET: Multiple Subjects had a passing rate of 68.8%. It is challenging because of the amount of material you must know and the 11 constructed-response questions (CRQs). You have to be knowledgeable enough to answer the CRQs without having answer choices.


1. CSET Study Guide – A Fast Track To Obtain Your California Teacher Credential
(CSET Test Practice)
2. California expanding options for exams required to earn teaching credential
(23 ABC News | KERO)
3. How to Become a Teacher in California
4. Explore the Intern Route to the California Teaching Credential
(TEACH Los Angeles)
5. How long is a teaching credential program in California Quick Guide 2022
6. M.Ed. with Teaching Credentials from National University. ROAD-MAP
(Simple Happy Learning)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kerri Lueilwitz

Last Updated: 01/05/2023

Views: 6303

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kerri Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1992-10-31

Address: Suite 878 3699 Chantelle Roads, Colebury, NC 68599

Phone: +6111989609516

Job: Chief Farming Manager

Hobby: Mycology, Stone skipping, Dowsing, Whittling, Taxidermy, Sand art, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Kerri Lueilwitz, I am a courageous, gentle, quaint, thankful, outstanding, brave, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.