Out-of-State Teacher Certification in California

Out-of-state teachers moving to California can work at all levels once they receive clearance. Learn about the requirements for education and testing, along with the potentials for salary and job growth. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Certification Information for Out-of-State Teachers in California

Teachers moving to California can seek an out-of-state certification to continue teaching children in various areas of education. These teachers must prove their background in education, certification, and testing. Requirements may vary, depending on the original state of issue.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree; 2+ years experience may be applicable
Suggested Exams Out-of-state basic skills testing results
License Validity Period Five years (Preliminary)
Mean Salaries in CA, Excluding Special Education (2018)* $77,990 (elementary); $74,190 (middle school); $77,390 (high school)
Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide)* 7% (elementary); 8% (middle school); 8% (high school)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

An out-of-state teacher in California operates much like any other teacher. The responsibilities vary depending on the grade and subject(s) the teacher has been approved to teach. Like many teachers, these educators are responsible for developing lesson plans, delivering the material in an understandable manner, and following a pre-set curriculum.

Education, Training and Certification Requirements

Those seeking to be certified as an out-of-state teacher in California must hold a bachelor's degree. For those who have been certified to teach elementary, high school, and special education courses the process is straightforward. For those who have obtained certification to teach middle school there is a different process. Those with middle school teaching certification can either apply to teach one or multiple subjects, as California has no certification solely for middle school.

Educators who are going to teach elementary are covered under the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. This means that the person can teach in a classroom environment where several different subjects are taught.

On the other hand, those who will teach either high school or middle school are covered under the Single Subject Teaching Credential. This allows for the teacher to specialize in one area instead of teaching multiple subjects. The teacher can choose from more than 20 subjects, which include areas of math, science, and languages. In addition, some single subject areas may be taught in K-12, such as music, physical education and art.

Special education teachers at various levels will need the Education Specialist Teaching Credential. Out-of-state teachers who received a degree in special education but not in a specific concentration can pursue a Level I credential, in which a special education teacher can work with students in one of three areas: mild/moderate disabilities, moderate/severe disabilities, or early childhood special education.

Though there do not appear to be experience requirements for an out-of-state teacher in any of these settings, it may be preferred that teachers have at least had two years of experience in a classroom setting.

Exam Requirements

The specific exam that a teacher must have passed varies depending on the state of original licensure. The idea is that the teacher has passed an exam which already adheres to the same standards set forth by California's Basic Skills Requirement exam that all California teachers must pass. Teachers who cannot show that an approved exam previously was passed are given a maximum of one year to take and pass California's Basic Skills Requirement exam.

Renewal Requirements

For the first five years that an out-of-state teacher is in California, the educator is given what is known as a preliminary credential. This allows the teacher to work for five years while the screening process occurs. However, if after the five years the teacher has not fulfilled the requirements to work in the state of California, then the credentials are suspended until the process is finally cleared.

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