Illinois State Teacher Certification Renewal

If you hold a Professional Educator License (PEL) and work as a teacher in Illinois, you must renew your license every five years. Read on to find out the prerequisites to renew your teaching certificate. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Renew Your Teacher Certification in Illinois

Illinois teachers are required to hold a Professional Educator License (PEL), which must be renewed every five years. The process to renew your teaching license involves completing professional development hours and paying a fee. The number of PD hours used to vary depending on how many degrees and what levels of degrees you held; however, starting in 2020, all Illinois teachers must complete 120 hours each 5-year cycle.

Education/Experience Required 120 hours of professional development
Exams Required None
License Validity Period 5 years
Average Salary (2018)* $62,620 for elementary school teachers; $66,630 for middle school teachers; $68,380 for secondary school teachers
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide)* 7% (for kindergarten and elementary school teachers); 8% (for middle and high school teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Renewal Requirements

To renew your teaching license in Illinois, you must complete a variety of professional development activities; in fact, you must complete at least 120 hours within each five year renewal cycle (which averages out to 24 hours per year). If your license endorses more than one area (such as teacher and administrator), you must satisfy the renewal requirements specified for the position you worked in the most during that year. When you complete your renewal, you will need to pay a registration fee of $10.00/year or $50.00/5-year cycle.

If you did not satisfy the renewal requirements by the end of the five years and your teaching certificate has lapsed, you will need to apply to the State Superintendent of Education for the reinstatement of your license.

Professional Development Activities

When searching for teaching professional development activities to meet the renewal requirements, you'll want to look for activities that meet one or more of the following:

  • Meet state-approved educational standards
  • Is a higher education course
  • Relate to student learning, well being, social or emotional achievements
  • Prepares you to use classroom assessments in an appropriate manner
  • Cover methods of collaboration, research applications, and decision making
  • Promote student growth or district improvement
  • Prepare you to use learning strategies to reach intended goals

These professional development activities may be offered by a variety of professional organizations, schools and associations. These approved providers annually submit written declarations stating how your professional activities contributed to your personal growth to the to the Illinois State Board of Education. Examples of approved providers include:

  • Illinois State Board of Education
  • Regional Offices of Education and Intermediate Service Centers
  • The Illinois Resource Center
  • Regionally accredited institutions of higher education that offer Illinois-approved educator preparation programs
  • Illinois public school districts, charter schools, and community colleges
  • Illinois professional associations representing teachers
  • Illinois State agencies, boards, and commissions

Salary and Job Growth Projection

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for kindergarten teachers in Illinois was $55,850 as of May 2018. At that same time, elementary school teachers earned an average of $62,620, middle school teachers earned $66,630, and for secondary school teachers in Illinois earned $68,380. The BLS has predicted average job growth from 2016-2026, reflecting the corresponding demand for teachers. The projected employment growth for kindergarten and elementary school teachers during this time is 7%, and for middle and high school teachers it is 8%.

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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