Road to Certification

TEACH WA license plate

In order to teach in a public school classroom in Washington State, a person must become certified by completing a state-approved teacher certification program.

There are three types of certification programs in Washington:

  1. Bachelor's with certification
  2. Post-Baccalaureate certification
  3. Master's with certification

Upon successful completion of a state-approved teacher certification program, the student earns a Residency Certificate. This certificate is valid for five years. Within the first 5 years in the profession, teachers are required to return to college to complete a Professional Certificate (advanced certification) program.

The Washington Educator Skills Test-Basic (WEST-B) is now required of all applicants to Washington-approved teacher preparation programs. The basic skills areas included in the assessment are reading, mathematics, and writing.

Alternative Route to Certification

Alternative Routes to certification are accelerated teacher preparation programs for those who meet the following criteria and are seeking an endorsement in a shortage area.

Alternative Routes Criteria

Route 1: Are you a classified instructional employee of a Washington State Public School with a transferable Associate degree?

Route 2: Are you a classfied employee of a Washington State School District with a baccalaureate degree?

Route 3: Are you a working professional with a baccalaureate and subject matter expertise in a shortage area?

Route 4: Are you an individual with a current conditional or emergency substitute certificate?

Shortage Areas

Visit the Professional Educator Standards Board web site for more information about alternative routes certification.