Become a Teacher in Ohio

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Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal.

Last updated: 10/31/2016

Featured Online Programs

Explore your career options in education:

Boost your credentials: in this 8-week online course, you'll engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective and engaging teaching methods in the higher education context. Refine your own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy and set yourself apart as effective educator.

BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons is the highly respected Master of Science in Behavior Analysis program delivered online from Simmons College. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.

Counseling@NYU offers an online master of arts in Counseling and Guidance program, with concentrations in school and bilingual school counseling to prepare students to become collaborative leaders elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Part-time and full-time options are available to fit student schedules.

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.

The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.

The University of Dayton School of Education and Health Sciences offers a top-ranked online MSE in Educational Leadership that prepares students to serve effectively at all levels of leadership from pre-k to grade 12.

Sponsored Programs

To earn your Ohio teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. If you already possess a valid teaching credential from another state, you may be able to earn your Ohio teaching credential through interstate reciprocity. Ohio has a four-tiered licensing system:

  • The state issues the 4-year Resident Educator License to new teachers who are graduates of an in-state accredited teacher preparation program
  • The state issues the 4-year Alternative Resident License to individuals pursuing an alternative certification route.

When either of the 4-year resident programs is completed successfully, the teacher receives a Professional Educator License (5 years, renewable).

  • The Senior Professional Educator License (5 years, renewable) is issued to teachers who have earned an advanced degree, taught successfully for 9 years (at least 5 of those years under a Professional Educator License), and completed a Master Teacher Portfolio.
  • The Lead Professional Educator License is issued to teachers who have met the requirements for the senior license AND earned a Teacher Leader Endorsement.

National Board Certification may be substituted for the portfolio and endorsement. Other license types are available for teachers educated and/or licensed out-of-state, and for other unusual situations. Learn more about earning your Ohio teaching credential through the Ohio Department of Education Office of Educator Licensure .

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25 South Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215


25 South Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215


Prerequisite Coursework in Ohio

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a bachelor’s degree. There are some states that have requirements for coursework in particular subjects, or undergraduate credit hour requirements in order to be certified in specialty areas. In Ohio, each state-approved teacher preparation program has its own curriculum and coursework, but most curricula incorporate subject mastery and basic pedagogical theory and practice.



Ohio Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher education programs at accredited colleges or universities prepare students to become teachers through a rigorous curriculum as well as practical fieldwork. Curricula most commonly emphasize foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy, and educational technology. In addition, curricula should prepare students to research, design, and implement learning experiences in their field of study. Practical fieldwork allows students to apply what they have learned to a classroom setting through field observations, student teaching, and internships. Teacher education programs must be approved by the Ohio Department of Education. Use the Ohio Department of Education’s Education Program Finder to see a list of approved teacher preparation programs in Ohio.



Required Tests for Ohio

In order to become certified to teach in a state, you must satisfactorily complete a basic skill test and any subject area competence assessments required for your state. Ohio does not require a basic skills test for student teaching or certification (although some teacher preparation programs in the state may require the Praxis I exam for entry into the program) but does require an Ohio Assessment for Educators (OAE) pedagogy assessment. Ohio also requires the appropriate OAE Content Assessment or Praxis Subject Assessment for the area of licensure. The following American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages tests are required for foreign language teachers:

Starting July 1, 2017, teachers seeking certification in certain areas will also be required to take the Foundations of Reading test.

You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep.

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Alternative Certification in Ohio

For those who have graduated from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree that is not in education, the Alternative Resident Educator License is available for those who satisfy the state’s requirements. The Ohio Department of Education offers alternative pathways  to become a teacher as well as a principal or superintendent.

For the Alternative Resident Educator License, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree meeting the following requirements: a minimum of 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in the subject area to be taught with a 2.5 GPA or higher (integrated science, integrated language arts, and integrated social studies require 48 semester or 72 quarter hours)

Coursework must be well distributed across the subject area, showing increasing depth and complexity and with sufficient advanced coursework to constitute a major field of study.

Candidates must also take the OAE Content Assessment for the area they plan to teach, plus the OPI and WPT for those planning to teach a foreign language, along with a state-approved Intensive Pedagogical Training Institute (IPTI) .

To advance to a Professional Educator License from an Alternative License, teachers must complete 12 semester hours of professional education coursework at an accredited college or university and also pass the OAE Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Multi-Age exam in their second year of teaching.

The Ohio Troops to Teachers program  is another alternative pathway to licensure.

Ohio Teacher Certification Information & Links


Certification Reciprocity in Ohio

Ohio participates in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification's (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement. The State of Ohio will accept some teaching credentials from other states according to their out-of-state licensure guidelines. Certification reciprocity is somewhat complicated, so it’s best to contact the Ohio Department of Education to inquire about specific details.


Ohio Teaching Jobs

The Ohio Department of Education provides a searchable database 1 of teaching jobs in Ohio. To access this feature, you must first register for a free account.Once you do so you can browse jobs by location and specialty and submit applications to school recruiters. The Ohio Department of Education also has its own list of available jobs 2. The Greater Cincinnati School Application System runs a similar online search tool 3 for jobs in participating school districts.

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Ohio Teacher Salary and Incentives

In 2015, Ohio ranked 21st in the nation for teacher salaries, with an average teacher salary of $56,172, according to the National Education Association’s Rankings of the States 2015 4. The average salary for elementary school teachers in Ohio is $58,540, and the average salary for secondary school teachers is $59,660, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Ohio Department of Education 5 also rewards teachers with different monetary awards and recognitions, 6 including the Ohio Teacher of the Year Award 7.

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Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics 8 report and the National Education Association’s Rankings of the States 2015 9.

Ohio Teacher Benefits and Retirement

The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS) is responsible for all benefits and retirement plans for Ohio teachers. For teachers who are not yet retired, STRS provides counseling and planning services, as well as survivor protection for teachers after 1.5 years of service, and disability protection after 5 years. Ohio state teachers also receive 15 weeks of vacation and tenure after 3 years, for those on the tenure track.

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Ohio Teacher Shortage Areas

  • Arts
  • English/Language Arts
  • Foreign Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education
  • Speech/Language Pathology

Teacher Shortage information was provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listings 10 for 2016–2017, and was determined by examining the most recent data about unfilled teaching positions; positions filled by teachers certified by irregular, provisional, temporary, or emergency certification; and teachers teaching in subject areas other than their area of preparation.

Financial Aid in Ohio

The State of Ohio does not provide any financial aid to prospective teachers through its Department of Education; however, many prospective teachers are eligible for several forms of federal aid. The TEACH Grant, for example, gives financial aid in return for teaching in a high-need field in a low-income area. The Applegate-Jackson-Parks Future Teacher Scholarships 11 is another option. The school where you plan to attain your degree may also offer its own aid.

Learn more about how to finance your master's degree on


Professional Development for Ohio Teachers

The Ohio Department of Education offers a variety of professional development programs for teachers to continue developing their skills and advancing their knowledge. Department offerings include the System to Achieve Results for Students (STARS) Program, 12 the Professional Development for Early Childhood Teachers Program 13, professional development programs in math, science, literacy, and social studies, and different mentoring programs for new teachers, as well as the standard National Board Certification 14.

Benefits of a Master's Degree in Ohio

Public school teachers are not always required to have a master’s degree in the field of education in the United States, but educators across the country are realizing more and more the value of an advanced degree. It’s never a bad idea to go to graduate school, whether you’re pursuing a master’s degree. Since the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, greater emphasis is placed on teacher performance, teacher qualification, and the results of teachers in the classroom.

A master’s degree can carry a lot of weight in the teaching job market, and those who have a master’s degree are regarded as experts in their field. Teachers with a master’s degree are more likely to be hired, promoted, and compensated for their work. In the Cincinnati City School District, teachers with a master’s degree earn an average of $5,357 more per year than teachers without a master’s degree, according to 2015–2016 data from National Council on Teacher Quality 15.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on