Become a Teacher in Washington D.C.


Washington D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education

1 Judiciary Square Washington, DC 20001

(202) 727-6436

Washington D.C. highlights

    Become a teacher in Washington D.C.

        Washington D.C. Teacher Shortage areas

            Earn Your Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. 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 the District. D.C. issues a Regular I license (2 years, non-renewable)  to beginning teachers who have a Bachelor’s degree and have completed or are enrolled in a teacher preparation program and have passed the Praxis I exam and Praxis II content exam, and a Regular II (4-year renewable) license to teachers who have completed all DC education requirements and passed the Praxis II Pedagogy exam. Learn more about getting your teaching credential. Return to the top

            Prerequisite Coursework in D.C.

            All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Washington D.C. has the following requirements: General Education (all teaching certificates): A minimum of forty-eight (48) semester hours in a program of general or liberal education including 12 hours of humanities, 12 hours of social sciences, 12 hours of natural sciences and mathematics (at least one course in each area), and 4 hours of health and physical education (including substance abuse). Certifications to teach a particular subject or grade level have additional requirements. Elementary Education:  A minimum of sixty (60) semester hours of specialized coursework appropriate for children at the elementary level. 12 hours of language arts, 12 hours of social science, 6 hours of math, 6 hours of reading, 6 hours of science, 6 hours of phys ed and health, appreciation and creative expression in fine arts including at least two (2) of the following: art, music, drama, dance, and film (six (6) semester hours), supervised planning, observation and teaching experience preferably at both the primary (1-3) and intermediate (4-6) grade levels; or one experience on the elementary level (1-6). Middle School Education: Requires at least thirty (30) semester hours in the middle school subject you plan to teach, and twenty-one (21) hours in the professional foundations and instructional knowledge of middle school education.  Also requires Supervised planning, observation and teaching experience preferably at the intermediate (4-6) grade levels or middle school grades (4-8). Secondary English: Requires thirty-six (36) semester hours, including coursework in each of the following areas:  the writing process, American and English literature, linguistics, public speaking, comparative literature, multicultural literature, drama, media, mythology, adolescent literature, and journalism. Secondary Math: Thirty-three (33) semester hours of related coursework required, including six (6) hours of calculus and three (3) hours in each of the following areas: algebra, geometry, computer science, probability and statistics, number theory, trigonometry, mathematical modeling/applied mathematics, discrete mathematics, and history of mathematics. General Science: Thirty (30) semester hours of related coursework required, including knowledge of: the basic principles of biology, chemistry, physics oceanography, geology, meteorology, and astronomy; history and philosophy of science; cultural significance and social impact of science and technology; and science processes and analytic methods. Social Studies: Thirty-three (33) semester hours of related coursework required, including US, world and DC history; physical or cultural geography; economics; political science; and at least one of the following: international relations, law, philosophy, psychology, sociology, social science or anthropology. Certification to teach elementary or middle school requires a supervised planning, observation and teaching experience at the appropriate grade level(s). Return to the top

            Required Tests for Washington D.C.

            Washington D.C. requires passing scores on the Praxis I PPST (Pre Professional Skills Test), and the Praxis II Subject Area Competence Test (if applicable). For a Regular II license, DC also requires a passing score on the Praxis II Pedagogy exam. 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. Return to the top

            Teacher Certification Programs in Washington D.C.

            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 the District of Columbia can be found here. Return to the top

            Alternate Teacher Certification in Washington D.C.

            The District of Columbia offers a Post-Baccalaureate certification alternative that involves intensive on-the-job training and mentoring. The D.C. Teaching Fellowsprogram helps a variety of professionals earn their credential while teaching at high-need schools in the D.C. area. The program is focused on bringing in energetic and talented teachers to help close the acheivement gap in D.C. Participants undergo an intensive six-week training program before entering the classroom and are enrolled in the DC Practitioner Teacher Program during their first year. Mid-Atlantic Region Troops to Teachers program Return to the top

            Certification Reciprocity in Washington D.C.

            Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. Learn more about teacher certification reciprocity. Or, for more specific questions about reciprocity in Washington, D.C., contact the Washington D.C. Department of Education.   Return to the top

            Benefits of a Masters in Education in Washington D.C.

            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 Masters 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 Masters program, you will be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay. Teachers in D.C. receive one of the highest salary bumps in the nation, $8,300,  when they have a Masters instead of a Bachelors and no additional experience. This salary difference increases slightly with each year of experience. Learn more about the Benefits of a Master's in Education. Return to the top

            Masters in Education Financial Aid

            Washington D.C. 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. Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree. Return to the top

            Washington D.C. Teacher Salary and Incentives

            The average teacher in D.C. makes $59,820 per year, which is 85% of the state average income in Washington D.C. although it does not provide any additional pay for teaching in high-demand districts or teaching a high-demand school subject. This can vary widely, however, depending on level of experience. Learn more about Teacher Salaries and Benefits. Learn more about teacher salaries. Return to the top

            Washington D.C. Teacher Benefits and Retirement

            D.C. education jobs come with health insurance, basic life insurance, dental and optical insurance, a teacher retirement plan, and a variety of additional benefits. In general, D.C. teachers are eligible to retire at the age of 62, at the age of 60 with 20 years of service, at the age of 55 with 30 years of service if they were hired before November 1st, 1996, and at any age with 30 years of service if they were hired after November 1st, 1996. For more information, visit the D.C. Public Schools Retirement page. Learn more about benefits for teachers. Return to the top

            Professional Development for Teachers in Washington D.C.

            Professional development is one of the main components of Washington D.C. Public Schools  Teaching and Learning Framework. The district employs 150 school-based instructional coaches for job-embedded professional development, which includes mentoring for new teachers and guidance for all teachers. All teachers are eligible for training modules and workshops, as well as tuition reimbursement for graduate-level classes in relevant subject areas. Return to the top

            Washington D.C. Teaching Jobs

            The D.C. Public Schools Careers page is a good place to start for teachers looking to work in the D.C. area. Aspiring teachers can submit a general application and be placed in one of the needed subjects of the district. Learn more about finding a teaching job. Return to the top

            Washington D.C. Teacher Certification Information & Links

            Washington D.C. Public Schools Office of Educator Licensure and Accreditation Washington D.C. Teaching Jobs Washington D.C. Teaching Fellows -- Alternate Certification Program