How to Become a Private School Teacher in California

While private school teachers are not required to hold certification in California, it is highly recommended that educators pursue the traditional route to licensure. Find out how to get licensed as a teacher in California. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Private School Teacher Career Overview

Private school educators teach in privately owned institutions where students pay tuition for their academic careers. In California, teachers are not required to possess certification in order to be qualified to teach at a private school. However, private schools may request information from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing about the competency of any applicants or existing instructors. For this reason, it's highly recommended that private school teachers pursue the traditional route to certification in California in order to provide their students with the highest quality education possible. The following information outlines the traditional route to teacher certification should private school instructors choose to add security to their positions by earning formal licensure.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree or higher from regionally accredited college or university
Complete a teacher preparation program with grade C or higher
Exams Required California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) Multiple Subjects Subtest I, II & III
Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)
License Validity Period Preliminary license valid for maximum of five years (valid two years without optional extension); professional clear credential valid for five years
Certification Renewal Process Preliminary licenses eligible for one-time, three-year extension; professional clear credential eligible for renewal once every five years
CEU Credits Required for Renewal CEUs not required; teachers must have at least 150 hours of participation in professional development activities and at least one-half year of qualifying teaching experience
Average Salary (2018) $65,622 (elementary school); $68,424 (high school)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 7% (elementary school); 8% (high school)**

Sources: *Salary.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Benefits of Teaching Private School

Teaching at a private school can be quite a rewarding experience. In fact, the National Center for Educational Statistics found that private school teachers experienced the following benefits:

  • Smaller classroom sizes resulted in more engaged students and higher information retention
  • Better working conditions due to privately owned institutions
  • More influence over school policies due to lack of bureaucratic processes

Additionally, the report found that personal problems that interfere with learning were less likely to be present in a private school setting. Teachers also reported having more autonomy in their classroom curriculum and educational style.

Educational Requirements

Private school teachers have the option of not becoming state certified; however, following the path to traditional certification can be a smart choice in order to add proof of their competency and help with job security. In following the traditional route to certification, private school teachers must hold at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Teachers must also pass a teacher preparation program with a grade C equivalent or higher and receive coursework in the U.S. Constitution. Educators who aim to instruct certain subjects or grade levels must complete a state-approved program which addresses the appropriate training, skills, and experience that correspond to the specified content area. All candidates must receive written recommendation from the program director for their teacher preparation program.

Exam Requirements

California requires each of its public school teachers to pass a series of exams in order to qualify for certification. The following tests are the mandated assessments private school teachers must take when pursuing formal state licensure:

  • California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
  • California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) Multiple Subjects Subtest I, II & III
  • Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)

The CBEST is broken into three segments: reading, writing, and mathematics; and teachers must earn at least a 41 on each subtest to pass. A minimum score of 37 may be acceptable in one or two subtests, as long as the total score is equivalent to or higher than 123.

Certification Requirements

Preliminary licenses are issued to candidates who possess the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree or higher from regionally accredited college or university
  • Completed teacher preparation program with written recommendation from program director
  • Passing scores on all required teaching assessments
  • Two semester units in U.S. Constitution

A preliminary certification is valid for two years if teachers apply with only their bachelor's, completed teaching preparation program, and passing CBEST scores. However, educators may choose to apply for a five-year preliminary certification by satisfying all of the above materials prior to submitting an application for licensure. After five years, teachers must advance to the professional clear credential by holding 30 semester units beyond receipt of a bachelor's degree; receiving health education training, including drug and alcohol abuse, nutrition, and CPR training; passing the special education mainstreaming assessment; and passing the computer education assessment.

Certification Renewal

Preliminary licenses are only eligible for a one-time, three-year extension in order for teachers to satisfy the remaining requirements for professional clear licensure. Once all requirements are met, teachers may earn their professional clear certification which remains valid for five years. Certifications are renewable once every five years as long as teachers have completed at least 150 hours of participation in professional development activities and have at least one-half year of qualifying teaching experience.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Pacific Oaks College

    Pacific Oaks College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Pacific Oaks College:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • California: Online Campus, Pasadena, San Jose
  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »