Teacher Certification in West Virginia

The state of West Virginia requires all teaching candidates to possess a bachelor's degree. You will learn about the required Praxis tests and other certification requirements in this guide. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Gain a West Virginia Teacher License

Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas will need to pass a basic skills assessment, along with an exam for their desired area of certification. You will also need to pass two criminal background checks.

Required DegreeBachelor's degree
Required Degree FieldEducation
Required TestsPraxis Core Academic Skills for Educators and Praxis content assessment for desired area of certification
License Renewal PeriodThree years for initial professional teaching certificate
License Renewal RequirementsWill need to meet one of three renewal criteria and have a recommendation from district superintendent or current employer
Average Salary for Teachers in West Virginia (2018)*$44,890 (Elementary School Teachers)
$45,540 (Middle School Teachers)
$47,050 (High School Teachers)
Job Outlook for Teachers Nationally (2016-2026)*7% (Elementary School Teachers)
8% (Middle School Teachers)
8% (High School Teachers)

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

Education and Testing Requirements

In addition to a Bachelor's degree, you will be required to complete an approved educator preparation program - this will either be completed alongside your degree or separately after. The state requires passing scores on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam, which covers reading, writing, and mathematics, however, if you have qualifying scores on the GRE, SAT, or ACT, a master's degree, or a valid, out-of-state teaching license then you may not need to take this exam. You will also need to pass a Praxis content assessment for your desired area of certification: early childhood education, elementary education, middle school education, or secondary education. Certification areas for all grade levels include dance, foreign languages such as French and German, health, and physical education.

Criminal Background Check Process

You will need to pass a background check through the West Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The State Police utilizes IdentoGO to conduct all teaching applicant background checks. You will need to submit another background check even if you completed one during your educator preparation program. Once licensed, you will need to pass another background check whenever changing counties of residence if your current check is older than 3 months.

Initial Professional Teaching Certificate Requirements

You will need at least a 2.5 overall GPA in order to apply for your initial professional teaching certificate. The application process includes online form 20T, a processing fee, and official transcripts and passing Praxis exam scores. Once received, your initial professional teaching certificate is valid for three years and renewable.

Initial Professional Teaching Certificate Renewal Requirements

You can apply to renew your certificate on January 1 of your certificate's expiration year. You must fulfill one of the following requirements for renewal:

  • Age 60 or older
  • MA +30 salary classification
  • Six college/university coursework credits

The state also requires a recommendation from your district's superintendent as part of the renewal process. If you currently work outside a school, you can use a recommendation from your most recent educational position or current employer.

College/University Coursework Credits

Any college credits or eLearning courses you complete must be relevant to the areas listed on your teaching certificate. The state will accept coursework in areas like enhancing skills in your current certification area or credits toward a master's degree. You will need at least a 3.0 or higher for all college credits earned.

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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