Become a Teacher in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Department of Public Instructionhttp://dpi.wi.gov/
125 S. Webster Street, P.O. Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707-7841
Become a teacher in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Teacher Shortage areas
To earn your teaching credential, you will have to complete pre-requisite work, standardized testing and all of the requirements specific to the state of Wisconsin. You may qualify for state-to-state reciprocity if you have already earned a teaching credential out of the state of Wisconsin. Click here to learn more about earning your Wisconsin teaching credential.
Wisconsin teachers advance from an Initial Educator License to a five-year Professional Educator License once they have successfully completed 3-5 years of full-time teaching and have a professional development plan in place. There is also an optional, 10-year, Master Educator License, for which teachers have to go through a rigorous assessment process
Learn more about getting your teaching credential.Return to the top
All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. Many states also have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Wisconsin does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, although it does require a major in the area or subject you plan to teach. 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. Wisconsin does have a supervised student teaching requirement.Return to the top
In order to become a certified teacher in Wisconsin, you must satisfactorily complete the Basic Skill Test requirement and any Subject Area Competence assessments required for your desired area of instruction.Basic Skills Test
- PPST (Pre Professional Skills Test) (for entry into a teacher preparation program)
Teacher education programs usually consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component often includes class observation, student teaching or an internship. Wisconsin has a student teaching requirement.Return to the top
Wisconsin allows for the development and approval of alternative programs for initial educator licensing. These programs must be pre-approved by the Wisconsin department of public instruction. Many of the programs are for licensure in “critical shortage” areas in a particular region or school district. A list of alternative programs in Wisconsin and contact information can be found in the PI 34 Index of Approved Alternative Route to Licensure Programs in Wisconsin.Return to the top
Wisconsin does allow for state-to-state reciprocity from any licensure process that is of equal stringency to its own certification requirements. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for information on specific certification programs, or visit the reciprocity page.Return to the top
Earning a Master’s in education will increase your salary in some school districts. In the Milwaukee public schools in 2009, a teacher starting out with a Master’s degree could expect to earn about $5,000 more per year than a teacher starting out with a Bachelor’s degree. In the Racine school system, teachers with 5 or 10 years of experience could expect to earn close to $8,000 or $10,000 more, respectively, if they had a Master’s degree.
Learn more about the Benefits of a Master's in Education.Return to the top
Wisconsin 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.
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In 2007, Wisconsin ranked 26th in the country with an average teacher salary of $46,707. However, compensation for Wisconsin teaching jobs has continued to rise, with the average annual base salary for teachers in 2009 at $55,635. The annual salary range at this time was $39,580 – $79,160. Wisconsin increases teacher pay according to years of teaching experience and college degrees earned. Learn more about teacher salaries.Return to the top
Retirement benefits for teachers in Wisconsin are handled by the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF). The ETF website provides detailed information on retirement benefits for education jobs.
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Wisconsin teachers are required to obtain 6 professional development credits in order to renew their teaching licenses for 5 years. Courses for professional development credits are offered both online and at local colleges and universities. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website provides detailed information on the state professional development process.
For license renewal, teachers are required to create and fulfill Professional Development Plan (PDP) during each 5-year licensing period.Return to the top
The Wisconsin State Government website includes an online job search tool, where users can search for Wisconsin by region and specific job type. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction also maintains an online list of education jobs and teaching vacancies.
Learn more about finding a teaching job.Return to the top