Become a High School Science Teacher in Washington State

High school science teachers in Washington need to complete several requirements. Learn more about the job requirements and important statistics, such as job growth and salary. Schools offering Teaching - Math & Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Information for High School Science Teachers in Washington State

High school teachers in the state of Washington work with students in grades 9 through 12, in either the public or private sector. Science teachers can teach a number of different topics to help prepare students for the remainder of their high school careers, and their futures in college or the workplace.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree, teacher preparation program
Exams Required Washington Educator Skills Tests (WEST-B, WEST-E)
Certification Renewal Period 5 years
Average Salary (2018) $67,550 (all high school teachers in Washington)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (all high school teachers nationwide)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description

High school science teachers have a number of different responsibilities that include creating class materials and lesson plans, interacting with students to determine how well they understand material, and creating rules for the classroom. Science teachers in high schools may specialize in one specific area of science, like chemistry or biology. These teachers may be responsible for teaching laboratory classes, and so they must create and maintain a safe work environment for students.

Education Requirements

In order to become a high school science teacher in the state of Washington, prospective teachers will need to earn a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a science field, preferably the one they hope to teach. Some courses that potential teachers can expect to take include chemistry, biology, and physics.

In addition to earning at least a bachelor's degree from a college or university, potential teachers are also required to take part in, and complete, a teacher preparation program. Upon the completion of this program, students can then obtain their necessary credentials, and they are one step closer to becoming teachers. They will also need to be fingerprinted and have a background check to verify that they are able to teach.

Exam Requirements

As a part of the journey to becoming a high school science teacher in the state of Washington, potential teachers will need to take two different exams. The first exam is the Washington Educator Skills Test - Basic (WEST-B), which tests basic skills that a teacher will need, such as reading, math, and writing. The second test is the WEST-E, which is based on the subject matter that the applicant wishes to teach. Both of these exams will need to be passed in order to become a teacher in the state. If applicants have high SAT or ACT test scores, it may be possible to have the WEST-B test waived.

Applying for Certification

Once prospective teachers have completed education and testing requirements, they can apply for Washington's Residency First Issue Certificate. Candidates must have recommendation from their preparation program, and the institution must begin the application process. Prospective teachers will then pay processing/application fees and submit proof of a background check. Once certification is granted, teachers can access their certificate through Washington's online portal.


There are different options for renewal. Teachers can renew a residency certificate every five years if they can document a minimum of a year and a half of teaching over a two-year period. The second option is to take the ProTeach exam. Third, teachers can take the National Board Certification exam, and with this option, teachers will need to have at least three years of experience.

Reinstating a Certificate

Renewing a teacher's certification is more beneficial than letting certifications expire, or lapse. If a teacher in the state of Washington has a certificate that lapsed, it can still be renewed if the teacher can document at least 100 clock hours, or 10 quarter credits.

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