Become a Teacher in South Dakota


South Dakota Department of Education

800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501

(605) 773-3134

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    Become a teacher in South Dakota

        South Dakota Teacher Shortage areas

            Earn Your South Dakota 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

            South Dakota teaching certificates are normally renewable every five years.  A teacher who has earned an advanced degree may be eligible for a one-time ten-year license. If you already have a valid teaching credential from another state, you may be eligible to earn your South Dakota credential through the interstate reciprocity. Click here to learn more about earning your South Dakota teaching credential. Learn more about getting your teaching credential. Return to the top

            Prerequisite Coursework

            Teacher education programs generally consist of two elements—curricula and fieldwork. Curricula includes pedagogy (the science of teaching), instruction on skills fundamental skills and knowledge and preparing students to design, research and implement various learning experiences in their particular field of study. Fieldwork typically includes student teaching, internships and field observations. To teach in the U.S., all teachers must be certified and have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. While some states have additional requirements for undergraduate credit hours for certification in specialty area. South Dakota requires all teacher preparation programs to include 3 semester hours in human relations and 3 hours in South Dakota Indian Studies. South Dakota does not list any other 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 South Dakota

            In many states, to become a certified teacher, you must successfully complete the Basic Skill Test, in addition to Subject Area Competence assessments that are required for your specific area of instruction. However, teachers in South Dakota are not required to take a basic skills test for certification. Subject Area Competence 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. Read more about teacher certification tests. Return to the top

            South Dakota Teacher Certification Programs

            To teach in South Dakota, individuals must successfully complete a teacher education program from an accredited college or university. A list of approved teacher preparation programs in South Dakota can be found here. Return to the top

            Alternative Certification in South Dakota

            Those who have earned bachelor’s degrees from accredited colleges or universities in an area other than education and have not earned a teaching certificate can still teach in South Dakota by obtaining a 3-year alternative teaching certificate by fulfilling specific requirements, including on-the-job classroom training, district mentorship and orientation, six credits of education coursework, and the human relations and South Dakota Indian Studies courses that are required for all teachers. Lewis and Clark Region Troops to Teachers program Return to the top

            Certification Reciprocity in South Dakota

            South Dakota accepts some teaching credentials from teachers from the following states on a case-by-case basis.  To inquire about your specific situation, contact the South Dakota Department of Education. For more information, see the reciprocity page . Return to the top

            Benefits of a Master in Education in South Dakota

            • Potentially higher salary – In Sioux Falls, teachers holding a Master’s degree can earn $1,500-$1,700 more annually than teachers without the advanced degree. In Rapid City, the differential is roughly $3,300-$3,800.
            • Career advancement opportunities, such as becoming an administrator, principal or counselor
            Learn more about the Benefits of a Master's in Education. Return to the top

            Master’s in Education Financial Aid

            South Dakota 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. Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree. Return to the top

            South Dakota Teacher Salary and Incentives

            In 2007, ranked 50th in the nation for teacher salaries, with an average of $35,378. South Dakota has ranked 50th for average teacher salary for the last 25 years; however, the South Dakota Department of Education launched the Teacher Compensation Assistance Program (TCAP) in an effort to increase salaries and benefits for South Dakota teachers. South Dakota teachers who teach in shortage areas are also eligible for loan cancellations, as an extra incentive. Learn more about teacher salaries. Return to the top

            South Dakota Teacher Benefits and Retirement

            South Dakota teacher retirement benefits are provided by the South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS). South Dakota teachers with at least 3 years of service can retire at 65 with full benefits or at 55 for reduced benefits. Teachers whose age and years of service total at least 85 can retire for full benefits at any time. For more information regarding benefits and valuable retirement planning resources, visit the SDRS website. Learn more about benefits for teachers. Return to the top

            Professional Development for South Dakota Teachers

            The Teacher-to-Teacher Support Network (TTSN) is an online mentoring program for new South Dakota teachers offered through the South Dakota Office of Accreditation and Teacher Quality. Teachers in 10 South Dakota school districts can also receive grants for completing professional development courses through the INCENTIVESplus Program. Return to the top

            South Dakota Teaching Jobs

            Individuals searching for South Dakota teaching jobs can create a free account and browse available teaching positions through the Associated School Boards of South Dakota (ASBSD) online teacher placement database. The database, which is updated daily, also enables users to submit resumes to more than 190 local school district recruiters. Additionally, ABSD publishes a list of open teaching jobs online. Incentives for prospective South Dakota teachers who are willing to teach in high-needs areas include tuition assistance and scholarships for continuing education, along with mentoring, through the Dakota ASSETS Program. Many high-needs schools in South Dakota also recruit through Teach for America and Troops-to-Teachers. Black Hills State University partnered with the largest school district in South Dakota, Rapid City Area School District, to create Project Select, which is a program that helps prepare future students and professionals in fields other than teaching for teaching careers, and provides financial and other support, including childcare. The program is also expanding to include Douglas School District, and is also creating a program at Pierre. Learn more about finding a teaching job. Return to the top

            South Dakota Teacher Certification Information & Links

            South Dakota Department of Education

            South Dakota Department of Education – Teacher Certification page

            South Dakota Teacher Tenure