Become a Teacher in Hawaii

Hawaii Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary:$56,500
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary:$56,800
Vacation Weeks per Year:15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio:16.5
Expenditure per Pupil:$12,458

Teacher salaries were provided by the .S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

1390 Miller Street
Honolulu, HI 96813 
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Hawaii Teacher Shortage Areas

  • English/Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Special Education
  • Science
  • Vocational/Technical

Teacher Shortage information was provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listings for 2016–2017, and was determined by examining the most recent data about unfilled teaching positions; positions filled by teachers certified by irregular, provisional, temporary, or emergency certification; and teachers teaching in subject areas other than their area of preparation.

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Hawaii

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information 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: 11/3/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Hawaii, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a Hawaii teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Hawaii Teaching Credential

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 about getting your Teaching Credential in Hawaii on the Hawai'i Teacher Standards Board website.

Hawaii issues three types of licenses. The Provisional License, issued to graduates of Hawaii State Approved Teacher Education Programs, and is a 3-year nonrenewable license.The Standard License is available to approved applicants with valid teaching licenses or degrees from another state or with teaching experience outside Hawaii and have taught 3 of the previous 5 years. The Advanced License is available to teachers who have either completed a graduate degree or received a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certificate and have taught 5 of the previous 8 years.

Learn more about getting your teaching credential on

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Hawaii

All states require that prospective teachers have at least a Bachelor’s degree 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 Hawaii Teacher Standards Board for more information.

Step Two: 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 on the HTSB website.

Step Three: Required Tests for Hawaii

The Praxis PPST (Pre-Professional Skills Test) fulfills the Basic Skills Test requirement in Hawaii, and teacher candidates must pass the Praxis II: Subject Tests in their specialty area. Explore the different types of licensure tests on the Hawai’i Teacher Standards Board page.

Read more about teacher certification tests on

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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Featured Online Programs

Explore your career options in education:

Boost your credentials: in this 8-week online course, you'll engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective and engaging teaching methods in the higher education context. Refine your own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy and set yourself apart as effective educator.

BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons is the highly respected Master of Science in Behavior Analysis program delivered online from Simmons College. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.

Counseling@NYU offers an online master of arts in Counseling and Guidance program, with concentrations in school and bilingual school counseling to prepare students to become collaborative leaders elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Part-time and full-time options are available to fit student schedules.

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.

The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.

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Alternative 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. Veterans may also be eligible for the Mountain Pacific Region Troops to Teachers program.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree 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 degree in the field of education can 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 may 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 $3,000 more, depending on years of experience than those with only a Bachelor’s degree.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

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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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Financial Aid in Hawaii

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

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Hawaii Teacher Salary and Incentives

The average teacher in Hawaii makes $54,300 per year, which is 114% of the state average income. More salary specifics based on education and experience can be found on the  Hawaii Teachers’ Salary Schedule for 2017-2018. 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. Retirement benefits are run through the Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System (ERS). Other benefits include optional health benefits through the Hawaii State Teacher Association Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Trust (HSTA VEBA), flexible spending accounts, tax deferral programs, Resources for Employee Assistance & Counseling Help (REACH), and workers’ compensation. 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 web page for educators, which provides information on openings and needed teaching specialties. Hawaii also recruits returning military personnel through the Troops to Teachers program.

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