Become a Teacher in Virginia

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Teaching in Virginia Snapshot

$65,010Secondary School Teacher Salary
$63,330Elementary School Teacher Salary
$10,973Public School Spending Per Student

All career and salary information pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statisticspupil expenditure information was provided by Governing


VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

doe.virginia.gov
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218
804-225-2023

Explore Featured Degree Options in Education

Featured Online programs
University Name Type of Program Learn More Program Description
University of Southern California Master of Arts in Teaching Learn more about USC Rossier The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.
Fordham University Master of Science in Teaching Learn more from Fordham University 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.
Vanderbilt University Master of Education in School Counseling Learn more about Vanderbilt Peabody 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.

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Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Virginia

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.com 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 update: 10/31/2016)

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Prerequisite Coursework in Virginia

Teacher education programs in Virginia are a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The coursework often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, teaching methodology and preparing students to research, design and implement learning techniques in their field of study. Fieldwork includes student teaching, observing classrooms or completing an internship.

All states, including Virginia, require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to receive teacher certification. Virginia does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, although it does specify the skills it wants teachers in every area or subject to master. The state does require 300-375 clock hours of field experiences, including 150 or more hours of supervised student teaching, depending on your specialization.

Every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or the Virginia Department of Education’s licensure page for more information. Visit Teach.com's Virginia state certification page to learn more about additional requirements regarding Virginia teacher preparation programs.

 

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Virginia Teacher Certification Programs

Teachers in Virginia are required to complete an accredited teacher education program from a college or university. A list of state-approved college and university teacher preparation programs can be found at the Virginia Department of Education’s list of Approved Educator Preparation Programs.

 

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Required Tests for Virginia

In Virginia, teachers must pass a Basic Skills Test requirement and also Subject Area Competence assessments related to their teaching specialty area.

Basic Skills Test

Subject Area Competence

  • Praxis II: Subject Tests in your specialty area
  • Praxis Series Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) required for Elementary and Special Education Certification

You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting Teach.coms' Ultimate Guide to the Praxis Exams and read more about teacher certification tests on Teach.com.

Initial Teaching Certifications

Virginia provides several routes to licensure, including college and university programs approved by the Board of Education, reciprocity for educators licensed by other states and alternative routes for qualified candidates. Contact the Virginia Department of Education for more information or go to Teach.com’s credentialing page.

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Alternative Certification in Virginia

People who wish to teach in Virginia, and who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university other than an education degree and who have not earned a teaching certificate, can earn an alternative teaching certificate as long as they satisfy the state’s requirements. One route is the Virginia Career Switcher Alternative Route to Licensure Program.

Virginia Teacher Certification Information & Links

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Transferring Your Certification

Certification Reciprocity in Virginia

Credentials from other states are accepted by the state of Virginia. A list of these states is included in this section. Contact the Virginia Department of Education or visit the Teach.com reciprocity page for more information.

To find out what other state teaching licenses can be used in Virginia, check out our Teacher Certification Reciprocity page on Teach.com.

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Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in Virginia

Virginia Teaching Jobs

Job seekers can find job listings and resources, information about education job recruitment fairs and school district or division websites at the VDOE Another resource is Teach Virginia, an online teaching job bank, which provides information and resources about licensure, critical shortage areas, switching careers and special education.

Learn more about finding a teaching job on Teach.com.

Virginia Teacher Salary and Incentives

In 2015, Virginia teachers earned an average yearly salary of $54,486, according to the Virginia Department of Education’s Workforce Data and Reports page. In Virginia, teachers’ salaries and benefits are determined by each teacher’s experience and qualifications. Virginia teachers can also benefit from some of the additional incentives that are offered, which include scholarships, loans and tuition assistance programs.

Learn more about teacher salaries on Teach.com.

Virginia Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Teachers in the state of Virginia are required to become members of the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), a system for all state employees. As a member of VRS teachers are eligible to retire with full benefits at age 65 as long as they have worked a minimum of five years, and at any age if their age and years of service total at least 90. They can also receive reduced benefits if they retire at 60 with a minimum of five years service. More information about retirement options, qualifications and benefits are available through the VRS website.

Learn more about benefits for teachers on Teach.com.

Virginia Teacher Shortage Areas

A teacher shortage occurs when there are not enough teachers in key subject areas, which has been partly caused by years of teacher layoffs during the Great Recession, a growing student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs, according to the Learning Policy Institute.

The following is a list of teacher shortage areas in Virginia for the 2016-17 school year as reported by the U.S. Department of Education. ( see page 65)

  • Career & Technical Education
  • English
  • Health & Physical Education
  • Middle Education
  • School Counselor
  • Special Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Foreign Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Algebra
  • Science

Financial Aid in Virginia

Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree on Teach.com.

Career Advancement

Professional Development for Virginia Teachers

An online list of professional development opportunities is available on the Virginia Department of Education website. Opportunities include archived webinars (online seminars) and educational technology programs. Teachers interested in professional development can find additional resources and programs through the U.S. Department of Education’s online Teacher-to-Teacher workshops and Virginia’s curriculum enhancement program, Community of Learning.

Benefits of a Master's Degree in Virginia

One of the primary benefits of having a master’s degree in education is a higher salary. Teachers with master’s degrees are also more likely to be offered positions in education that advance their careers. Contact the Department of Education for more information about the benefits of a Master’s in Education Degree in Virginia.

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

Explore Featured Program Options in Education

Featured Online programs
University Name Type of Program Program Description
University of Southern California Master of Arts in Teaching The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.
Fordham University Master of Science in Teaching 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.
Harvard University's Bok Center Advanced Certification in Teaching The 8-week Teaching and Learning Strategies for Higher Education online short course is delivered by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX. Students in this course will engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective teaching methods in the higher education context, while refining their own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy.
Vanderbilt University Master of Education in School Counseling 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.

Sponsored Program