Become a Teacher in Hawaii


Hawaii State Department of Education

PO Box 2360 Honolulu, HI 96804

(808) 586-3230

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    Become a teacher in Hawaii

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            Earn Your Hawaii Teaching Credential

            Important Note: Education licensure requirements and salary statistics (for teachers and administrators) are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 1/06/2015

            To earn your Hawaii teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. Learn more here about getting your Teaching Credential in Hawaii.

            Hawaii issues three types of licenses. The Provisional License, issued to graduates of Hawaii State Approved Teacher Education Programs is renewable annually for three years. The Standard License is available to approved applicants with valid teaching licenses or degrees from another state or with teaching experience outside Hawaii. The Advanced (10-year) License is available to teachers who have either completed a graduate degree or received a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certificate.

            Learn more about getting your teaching credential.

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            Prerequisite Coursework in Hawaii

            All states require that prospective teachers have at least a Bachelor’s Degree  to and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification.  Some states also have specific course and credit-hour requirements. Hawaii does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information.

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            Required Tests for Hawaii

            Hawaii requires the PPST (Pre Professional Skills Test) to fulfill the Basic Skills Test requirement, and the Praxis II: Subject Tests in your specialty area. More specific requirements are listed here.

            Read more about teacher certification tests.

            You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep.

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            Hawaii Teacher Certification Programs

            To earn your teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. A list of accredited teacher preparation programs in Hawaii can be found here.

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            Alternate Teacher Certification in Hawaii

            Hawaii offers the Re-specialization in Special Education (RISE)licensing program that helps special education teachers with only a Bachelor's degree reach their certificate through a two-year integrated course of on-the-job training. There is also a one-year course for teachers who already hold an elementary or secondary teaching certificate but are not certified to teach special education.

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            Certification Reciprocity in Hawaii

            Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in Hawaii, visit the reciprocity page . Or, for more specific questions about your situation, contact the Hawaii Department of Education.  

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            Benefits of a Masters in Education in Hawaii

            It is no longer enough to just have years of experience for teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, the careers of teachers increasingly depend on their results in the classroom. A Master’s in Teaching will give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor. After a Master’s program, you will be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay.

            Teachers holding a Master’s degree in Hawaii can expect to earn you $2,000-$3,000 more, depending on years of experience than those with only a Bachelor’s degree.

            Learn more about the Benefits of a Master's in Education.

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            Masters in Education Financial Aid

            Hawaii residents are eligible for the  Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship as well as the TEACH Grant, a grant which gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need school.

            Find out more about financing your education (Link to ‘Financing your education page’)#

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            Hawaii Teacher Salary and Incentives

            The average teacher in Hawaii makes $48,865 per year, which is 125% of the state average income. More salary specifics based on education and experience can be found on the Hawaii Hawaii Teachers’ Salary Schedule for 2010-11. Hawaii is currently experiencing a shortage in special education trained teachers, so additional salary and benefits are being offered in that area.

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            Hawaii Teacher Benefits and Retirement

            The Hawaii Department of Education offers several employee benefit plans. These retirement benefits are run through the Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and include optional health benefits through the Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, flexible spending accounts, tax deferral programs, Resources for Employee Assistance & Counseling Help (REACH), and workers’ compensation benefits. Public employees in Hawaii can retire at age 62 with at least 10 years of service, and at age 55 with at least 30 years of service.

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            Professional Development for Teachers in Hawaii

            Professional Development in Hawaii is run by PDE3: Professional Development for Experiences that Educate and Empower. PDE3 runs the Teacher Professional Development Credit Program, through which teachers can take courses and reach ‘Highly Qualified’ status. PDE3 also runs an integrated, multi-year induction program that provides activities and workshops for beginning teachers.

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            Hawaii Teaching Jobs

            The Hawaii Department of Education maintains a Job Opportunities site for educators, which provides information and resources regarding teacher certification, preparation, and job placement. Hawaii also recruits returning military personnel through Troops-to-Teachers.

            Learn more about finding a teaching job.

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            Hawaii Teacher Certification Information & Links

            Hawaii Department of Education Hawaii Teacher Standards Board Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System Hawaii Teaching Job Opportunities