Become a Teacher in Ohio

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Teaching in Ohio Snapshot


Secondary School Teacher Salary

$ 59,950

Elementary School Teacher Salary

$ 12,102

Public School Spending Per Student

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


25 South Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

University of Southern California (USC)

USC Rossier School of Education


Master of Arts in Teaching online

The Master of Arts in Teaching online (MAT online) from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares aspiring teachers for diverse and high-needs educational settings and can be completed in as few as 12 months.

  • Fieldwork placement  
  • Complete in 12-36 months  
  • GRE scores not required 


Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Ohio

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 update: 02/18/2019)


Prerequisite Coursework in Ohio

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a bachelor’s degree. There are some states that have requirements for coursework in particular subjects, or undergraduate credit hour requirements in order to be certified in specialty areas. In Ohio, each state-approved teacher preparation program has its own curriculum and coursework, but most curricula incorporate subject mastery and basic pedagogical theory and practice.


Ohio Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher education programs at accredited colleges or universities prepare students to become teachers through a rigorous curriculum as well as practical fieldwork. Curricula most commonly emphasize foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy, and educational technology. In addition, curricula should prepare students to research, design, and implement learning experiences in their field of study. Practical fieldwork allows students to apply what they have learned to a classroom setting through field observations, student teaching, and internships. Teacher education programs must be approved by the Ohio Department of Education. Use the Ohio Department of Education’s Education Program Finder to see a list of approved teacher preparation programs in Ohio.


Required Tests for Ohio

In order to become certified to teach in a state, you must satisfactorily complete a basic skill test and any subject area competence assessments required for your state. Ohio does not require a basic skills test for student teaching or certification (although some teacher preparation programs in the state may require the Praxis I exam for entry into the program) but does require an Ohio Assessment for Educators (OAE) pedagogy assessment. Ohio also requires the appropriate OAE Content Assessment or Praxis Subject Assessment for the area of licensure. The following American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages tests are required for foreign language teachers:

Oral Proficiency Test (OPI)

Written Proficiency Test (WPT)

Starting July 1, 2017, teachers seeking certification in certain areas will also be required to take the Foundations of Reading test.

You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Ultimate Praxis Guide provided by or the website Teachers Test Prep, where you can 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.

Read more about teacher certification tests on

Initial Teaching Certifications

To earn your Ohio teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. If you already possess a valid teaching credential from another state, you may be able to earn your Ohio teaching credential through interstate reciprocity. Ohio has a four-tiered licensing system:

  • The state issues the 4-year Resident Educator License to new teachers who are graduates of an in-state accredited teacher preparation program
  • The state issues the 4-year Alternative Resident License to individuals pursuing an alternative certification route.

When either of the 4-year resident programs is completed successfully, the teacher receives a Professional Educator License (5 years, renewable).

  • The Senior Professional Educator License (5 years, renewable) is issued to teachers who have earned an advanced degree, taught successfully for 9 years (at least 5 of those years under a Professional Educator License), and completed a Master Teacher Portfolio.
  • The Lead Professional Educator License is issued to teachers who have met the requirements for the senior license AND earned a Teacher Leader Endorsement.

National Board Certification may be substituted for the portfolio and endorsement. Other license types are available for teachers educated and/or licensed out-of-state, and for other unusual situations. Learn more about earning your Ohio teaching credential through the Ohio Department of Education Office of Educator Licensure.

Learn more about getting your teaching credential on

Alternative Certification in Ohio

For those who have graduated from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree that is not in education, the Alternative Resident Educator License is available for those who satisfy the state’s requirements. The Ohio Department of Education offers alternative pathways to become a teacher as well as a principal or superintendent.

For the Alternative Resident Educator License, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree meeting the following requirements: a minimum of 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in the subject area to be taught with a 2.5 GPA or higher (integrated science, integrated language arts, and integrated social studies require 48 semester or 72 quarter hours)

Coursework must be well distributed across the subject area, showing increasing depth and complexity and with sufficient advanced coursework to constitute a major field of study.

Candidates must also take the OAE Content Assessment for the area they plan to teach, plus the OPI and WPT for those planning to teach a foreign language, along with a state-approved Intensive Pedagogical Training Institute (IPTI) .

To advance to a Professional Educator License from an Alternative License, teachers must complete 12 semester hours of professional education coursework at an accredited college or university and also pass the OAE Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Multi-Age exam in their second year of teaching.

The Ohio Troops to Teachers program is another alternative pathway to licensure.

Ohio Teacher Certification Information & Links

Transferring Your Certification

Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in Ohio

Ohio Teaching Jobs

The Ohio Department of Education provides a searchable database of teaching jobs in Ohio. To access this feature, you must first register for a free account. Once you do so you can browse jobs by location and specialty and submit applications to school recruiters. The Ohio Department of Education also has its own list of available jobs. The Greater Cincinnati School Application System runs a similar online search tool for jobs in participating school districts.

Learn more about finding a teaching job on

Ohio Teacher Salary and Incentives

In 2017, Ohio ranked 15th in the nation for teacher salaries, with an average teacher salary of $58,202, according to the National Education Association’s Rankings of the States. The average salary for school teachers in Ohio is $57,000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics The Ohio Department of Education also rewards teachers with different monetary awards and recognitions, including the Ohio Teacher of the Year Award.

Learn more about teacher salaries on

Ohio Teacher Benefits and Retirement

The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS is responsible for all benefits and retirement plans for Ohio teachers. For teachers who are not yet retired, STRS provides counseling and planning services, as well as survivor protection for teachers after 1.5 years of service, and disability protection after 5 years. Ohio state teachers also receive 15 weeks of vacation and tenure after 3 years, for those on the tenure track.

Learn more about benefits for teachers on

Ohio Teacher Shortage Areas

  • Arts
  • English/Language Arts
  • Foreign Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • School Psychologist
  • Special Education
  • Speech/Language Pathology

Teacher Shortage information was provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listings for 2017-2018, 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.

Financial Aid in Ohio

The State of Ohio does not provide any financial aid to prospective teachers through its Department of Education; however, many prospective teachers are eligible for several forms of federal aid. The TEACH Grant, for example, gives financial aid in return for teaching in a high-need field in a low-income area. The Applegate-Jackson-Parks Future Teacher Scholarships is another option. The school where you plan to attain your degree may also offer its own aid.

Learn more about how to finance your master’s degree on

Career Advancement

Professional Development for Ohio Teachers

The Ohio Department of Education offers a variety of professional development programs for teachers to continue developing their skills and advancing their knowledge. Department offerings include the System to Achieve Results for Students (STARS) Program, the Professional Development for Early Childhood Teachers Program, professional development programs in math, science, literacy, and social studies, and different mentoring programs for new teachers, as well as the standard National Board Certification.

Benefits of a Master’s Degree in Ohio

Public school teachers are not always required to have a master’s degree in the field of education in the United States, but educators across the country are realizing more and more the value of an advanced degree. It’s never a bad idea to go to graduate school, whether you’re pursuing a master’s degree. Since the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, greater emphasis is placed on teacher performance, teacher qualification, and the results of teachers in the classroom.

A master’s degree can carry a lot of weight in the teaching job market, and those who have a master’s degree are regarded as experts in their field. Teachers with a master’s degree are more likely to be hired, promoted, and compensated for their work. In the Cincinnati City School District, teachers with a master’s degree earn an average of $5,766 more per year than teachers without a master’s degree, according to 2017-2018 data from National Council on Teacher Quality.

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

Explore Sponsored Program Options in Education

University of Southern California (USC)

USC Rossier School of Education


Master of Arts in Teaching online

The Master of Arts in Teaching online (MAT online) from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares aspiring teachers for diverse and high-needs educational settings and can be completed in as few as 12 months.

  • Fieldwork placement  
  • Complete in 12-36 months  
  • GRE scores not required 

Harvard University

Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning


Higher Education Teaching Certificate

Deepen your understanding of higher-order teaching practices and broaden your skill set while creating a unique and inclusive strategy for your specific context.