Become a Teacher in Washington D.C.

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Teaching in Washington D.C. Snapshot

$66,670Secondary School Teacher Salary
$79,390Elementary School Teacher Salary
$21,974Public School Spending Per Student

All career and salary information pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019pupil expenditure information was provided by Governing

WASHINGTON D.C. OFFICE OF THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION

1050 First Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20002 
(202) 727-6436

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Fordham University Master of Science in Teaching Learn more from Fordham University Fordham University’s 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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Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Washington D.C.

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: 04/30/2020)

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Prerequisite Coursework in Washington D.C.

All states require that certified teachers have, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Washington D.C. only requires that teachers’ bachelor’s degrees be earned at an accredited college or university and meet the qualifications for credentialing listed above.

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Washington D.C. 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 the District of Columbia can be found on the website of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

 

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Required Tests for Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. requires its teachers to attain passing scores on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators and the Praxis Subject Assessments.

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

Initial Teaching Certifications

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.

Discover an 8-week Online Teaching Short Course from Harvard's Bok Center

Learn more about an 8-week short course from Harvard's Bok Center

Earn recognition of your ability to develop and deliver a memorable teaching experience when you receive a premier certificate from Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX, upon successful course completion.

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Alternative Certification in Washington D.C.

The D.C. Teaching Fellows program 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 achievement gap in D.C. Participants undergo an intensive eight-week training program before entering the classroom and are enrolled in the The New Teacher Project Academy during their first year.

The DC Troops to Teachers program is another route to alternate teacher certification in Washington D.C. The program is designed to assist retiring military personnel pursue rewarding second careers in public education.

Washington D.C. Teacher Certification Information & Links

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Transferring Your Certification

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 on Teach.com. Or, for more specific questions about reciprocity in Washington, D.C., contact the Washington D.C. State Board of Education. 

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

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Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. Teaching Jobs

The D.C. Public Schools Career Opportunities 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 subject areas in the district. 

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

Washington D.C. Teacher Salary and Incentives

According to 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average teacher in D.C. makes around $80,700 per year, depending on grade level taught. This can vary widely, however, depending on level of experience.

Learn more about teacher salaries on Teach.com.

Washington D.C. Teacher Benefits and Retirement

D.C. education job benefits include 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 with 5 years of service, 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 on Teach.com.

Washington D.C. Teacher Shortage Areas

A teacher shortage area is defined by the U.S. Department of Education as “an area of specific grade, subject matter or discipline classification, or a geographic area in which there is an inadequate supply of elementary or secondary school teachers.” The Department allows states to identify their own teacher shortage areas, but encourages them to follow a prescribed methodology based on unfilled teaching positions, teaching positions filled by instructors with irregular certifications, and positions filled by teachers certified in other subject areas. Shortages for the 2020 to 2021 school year are as follows:

  • Art and Music Education
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Early Childhood
  • English as a Second Language
  • Health and Physical Fitness
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education
  • World Languages

Financial Aid in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. residents are eligible for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program and the TEACH Grant, which offer financial aid to students in return for agreements to teach in high-need schools.

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

Career Advancement

Professional Development for Washington D.C. Teachers

Professional development is the impetus of Washington D.C. Public Schools’ LEAP (Learning together to Advance our Practice) program. The district encourages teachers to engage in weekly cycles of development in small, content-specific professional learning communities led by content experts at their schools.

Benefits of a Master's Degree in Washington D.C.

It is no longer enough to just have years of experience for teaching. After the No Child Left Behind Act, Every Student Succeeds Act, 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 should be able to achieve better results in the classroom, may have more job security , as well as the potential for higher pay. Even a first-year teacher in D.C. can receive an annual salary bump of over $3,500 for holding a master’s instead of just a bachelor’s, according to the District of Columbia Public Schools. And this salary increase grows with each year of experience.

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

Explore Sponsored Program Options in Education

Sponsored 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.

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Last Updated May 2020