Out-of-State Teacher Certification in Illinois

If you want to become a teacher in Illinois and already hold a teaching license from another state, you may already qualify to teach in Illinois. Read on to find out more about how to get your license in the Prairie State. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Illinois Teacher Certification for Out-of State Applicants

Illinois requires teachers to meet a number of requirements in order to obtain the state's Professional Educator License. If you hold a teaching license from another state, you may not need to meet these requirements. Illinois recognizes valid teaching certificates from other states, as long as candidates also have a bachelor's degree. Applicants just need to follow the application process in order to obtain an Illinois teaching certificate.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree and a valid out-of-state teaching certificate
Exams Required None
License Validity Period Five years
Requirements for Renewal 120 hours of professional development
Mean Salary for Illinois Teachers (2018)* Preschool: $31,500
Kindergarten: $55,660
Elementary school: $62,140
Middle school: $63,860
High school: $72,370
Estimated Job Growth for Teachers Nationwide (2016-2026)* Preschool: 10%
Kindergarten and elementary school: 7%
Middle school and high school: 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Check the Certification Requirements

To apply for an Illinois teaching certificate as an out-of-state teacher, you must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. You will also need to show your valid out-of-state certificate in a comparable subject area and grade level. If you meet these requirements, you will be eligible for an Illinois Professional Educator License.

Those without an out-of-state certificate must take specific Illinois Licensure Testing System tests depending on grade level and subject.

Apply Online

Illinois uses an online system for its teaching certificate application. Go to the state Board of Education's website to create your account in the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS) and apply for your license. When selecting which license to apply for, pick the subject and grade range that matches most with your out-of-state certificate. If you have additional areas you are certified to teach in, Illinois will recognize these as endorsements on your license as long as you apply for them in the online system.

You will also have to pay an application fee with a credit card.

Submit Your Transcript and Teaching License

To prove you've completed your bachelor's degree, have your official transcript sent directly from your university to the Illinois State Board of Education. Or, you can send it yourself, but it needs to be in a sealed envelope from your university. You also need to send a copy of your out-of-state teaching certificate to the state Board of Education. You can do this through an email address listed on the board's website.

Register Your License

Once you are approved and get an Illinois teaching license, you must register it online through the ELIS system to make it valid. You register it according to the region you teach in. If you change positions and start teaching in a different region, you must add that region to your license. The cost to register a license was $10 per year as of 2019.

Renew Your License

The Illinois teaching license is valid for five years and teachers can renew it as long as they complete 120 hours of professional development. The Illinois State Board of Education provides a list of approved professional development institutions on its website.

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