How to Renew a Teaching Certificate in Washington State

Educators in Washington State are able to renew their certificates by satisfying the professional development clock hours or approved training requirements for their specific type of certificate. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Teaching Certificate Renewal Requirements in Washington State

There are a number of teaching certificates that can be renewed in Washington State. These are treated separately from certificates that can only be re-issued such as the Emergency Substitute Teacher Certificate. The general requirements for certificate renewal are summarized in the table below.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree
Exam Requirements None required
Certification Renewal Period Varies according to the certificate
Requirements for Renewal 100 Professional Development Clock Hours or equivalent
Approved Teacher Coursework
Mean Salary (2018)$32,960 (preschool teachers in WA)
$62,330 (kindergarten teachers in WA)
$65,180 (elementary teachers in WA)
$65,630 (middle school teachers in WA)
$67,550 (high school teachers in WA)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 10% (preschool teachers nationally)
7% (kindergarten and elementary school teachers nationally)
8% (middle and high school teachers nationally)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Certificates Eligible for Renewal

In Washington State, the following certificates are eligible for renewal through the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI):

  • Residency Teacher Certificate - valid for five years
  • Professional Certificate - valid for five years
  • Continuing Certificate - valid for five years
  • Initial Career and Technical Educator Certificate - valid for five years
  • Continuing Career and Technical Educator Certificate - valid for four years
  • First Peoples' Teacher Certificate
  • Initial Teaching Certificate - can only be renewed once

Clock Hour Renewal Requirements

With the exception of the First People's Certificate and Initial Teaching Certificate, all certificates require the completion of 100 professional development clock hours or the college credit equivalent or professional growth plans for renewal. To renew the First People's Certificate, the educator only needs to submit the relevant application form and pay the application fee while renewing the Initial Teaching Certificate requires the educator to complete ten college semester credits or meet the requirements for a Continuing Certificate which includes obtaining a master's degree and teaching for at least 180 days.

Before taking any course that is meant to count towards clock hours, the educator must ensure that the provider is approved to offer the course. Based on the OSPI website, approved providers include Washington public school districts, professional organizations, and colleges as well as providers approved by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB). Clock hours must be completed before applying for renewal and the information must be added to their online educator profile.

Coursework and STEM Requirements

Along with the general clock hour requirements, educators with Initial, Residency, Professional, Continuing and CTE certification must complete at least 15 clock hours which focus on the integration of areas relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in their curriculum. Alternatively, the educator can show that at least one of the goals in their professional growth plan is related to STEM. Some educators will also be required to complete an Issues of Abuse course. This course is aimed at educating teachers in identifying physical, emotional, sexual, and substance abuse as well as commercial sexual abuse or exploitation of a minor. It will also address the teacher's responsibility to report any signs of abuse and provide support to the children where necessary.

Application Process

In order to renew a certificate, educators can log into their account on the E-Learning portal provided by the OSPI. In this portal, the educator will be guided through completing the application, submitting the proof of the clock hours and courses they have completed as well as paying the relevant application fee. For certificate renewal, application fees range from $39 to $64.

Certification Requirements

First-time teachers will need to earn a bachelor's degree in an approved teacher education program in order to attain the Residency Teacher Certificate if going through the traditional route. This degree must have been earned from an accredited college or university.

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:

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