California Teacher Certification

Now is a great time to earn your California teacher certification. According to the U.S. Department of Education, many new teachers should be needed in California schools over the next decade and beyond.

Why a California teacher certification makes sense

If you want to teach in a public school, you’ll need to earn your California teacher certification. As noted by the Department of Education in their 2008 report, “Trends in California Teacher Demand,” projected increased enrollments and high teacher retirements should cause a flurry of new hiring. Specifically, the publication projects the following over the next decade:

  • 21 of California’s 58 counties are expected to experience double-digit enrollment growth
  • 27 percent of California’s teaching workforce, or approximately 84,000 teachers, are expected to retire

California teacher certification information

To earn a California teacher certification, you’ll need to complete bachelor’s degree or higher, complete a teacher preparation program, and pass the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST). If you want to be an elementary teacher, you’ll earn a multiple subject certification; to teach high school, a single subject certification is required.

By completing these steps, you’ll earn a Preliminary Certification, which is issued for a maximum of five years. If you hold a teacher certification from another state, finding California teacher certification information is easy. California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing publishes all requirements on their website and has an online application process.

How to renew your teacher certification

Renewing your California teacher certification is relatively straightforward. With a Preliminary Certification, you can work toward the next step, the Professional Clear credential, by completing a professional teacher induction program or by becoming National Board certified. For those who earned preliminary certifications prior to August 30, 2004, completing a fifth year in a teacher preparation program is another option.

Most renewals must be done online, through the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. It’s a good idea to look at renewal requirements soon after you earn your preliminary certification.