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Oregon Teacher Certification Requirements

Becoming a teacher in Oregon is an easy-to-follow process. Check out the article below to learn more about education and experience requirements for basic teacher certification there, as well as some information about the job and salary potentials.

Overview of Oregon Teacher Certification Requirements

Tasked with the education of future leaders and innovators, teachers help ensure that their students are set up for success. Prospective teachers need some higher education and are required to pass a multiple-choice examination focusing on student and civil rights. Individuals seeking an Oregon teaching license will also need to provide proof of completion of an approved teacher preparation program. Oregon offers different license options for qualified individuals. New teachers will need to acquire a Preliminary Teaching License, formerly called an Initial Teaching License, before they can apply for the Professional Teaching License.

Education/Experience Required* Bachelor's degree or higher
Completion of approved Oregon teacher preparation program
Exam Requirements* Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment
ORELA exam testing on subject matter for specific area of endorsement (if needed)
Licensing* Official transcripts
Fingerprinting and background check with fee
Verification of teaching preparation program
Certification Renewal Period* Preliminary License must be renewed or upgraded to Professional License after 3 years
CEU Credits for Renewal* 75
Average Salary (2018)* $72,830 (kindergarten)
$67,910 (elementary)
$75,280 (middle school)
$72,640 (high school)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)** 3% (national average for kindergarten and elementary teachers)
3% (national average for middle school teachers)
4% (national average for high school teachers)

Sources: *Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description

School teachers help to positively shape receptive minds and teach students skills and information that set them up for future success. In addition to providing general instruction and monitoring their pupils' coursework, teachers may aim to help with their students' emotional turmoil and interpersonal relations. Responsible for teaching, grading, and testing according to a provided rubric, teachers help create a structured and engaging learning environment.

Preliminary License Requirements and Application Process

In Oregon, a Preliminary License is required for new teachers. This license is valid for a period of 3 years, and must be renewed to continue teaching. Before applying for an Oregon Preliminary License, check to make sure you meet all the qualifications. To apply for your Oregon Preliminary License, you must submit a completed application, your official transcripts, verification of teaching preparation program, and a fee. You also need to submit to a fingerprinting and background check, which has an associated processing fee.

If you completed your teacher training outside of the state of Oregon, you will need to apply for a Reciprocal Teaching License. The Reciprocal License can be granted to teachers that have completed a teacher preparation program and are already fully licensed in another state.

Education Requirements

To become a licensed teacher in the state of Oregon, you must be at least 18 years of age and are required to have completed a bachelor's degree or higher. While the majority of teaching positions in Oregon do not require a specific focus in education, a specialized education degree, like one in early childhood education, secondary education, or special education may make new teachers more competitive in the job market. Oregon also requires you to complete an approved Oregon teacher preparation program, which is often part of an undergraduate education degree. Make sure to provide appropriate proof of completion for consideration for licensure.

Exam Requirements

The state of Oregon requires all prospective public school teachers to complete the Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment 60 question multiple-choice exam. Testing on subject matter for specific areas of endorsement may also be required. For many areas of endorsement, the state requires teachers to pass one or more of the Oregon Educator Licensure Assessments (ORELA). These content tests focus on subjects such as biology, foundational mathematics, and social studies. Other areas of endorsement, like agricultural science or reading intervention, may require completion of the relevant Praxis exam.

Renewal

To renew your Oregon Preliminary License you must complete a minimum of 75 continuing professional development units. Completion of these units must be verified with your school district or with the Education Service District. You must also submit an application for renewal. There is a fee associated with Oregon Preliminary License renewal.

Upon expiration of your Preliminary License, you may be able to opt to apply for your Professional License if you meet the necessary experience requirements. A Professional License may be granted to teachers already holding a Preliminary License who have completed 4 full-time teaching years or 6 part-time teaching years. The Professional License also requires completion of an advanced professional education program. Your first Oregon Professional License will require a fee and stay valid for a period of 5 years.