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HomeCareerIllinois Teaching Certification: How to Become a Teacher in Illinois
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Illinois Teaching Certification: How to Become a Teacher in Illinois

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Illinois Teaching certification: Children in Illinois are taught everything from basic literacy to complex mathematics by their teachers. Illinois attracts to educators because it supports students’ education and growth while also paying instructors above-average incomes.

To work in public schools, Illinois similarly demands a teaching license. The Illinois State Board of Education is where candidates must submit their licensing applications. A bachelor’s degree, particular coursework, student teaching experience, and passing marks on licensing exams are necessary for the process. Then, in order to renew their credentials, teachers must fulfill continuing education requirements.

So, how can you earn a Illinois teaching certification? The state provides a variety of opportunities to start a teaching career. How to become a teacher in Illinois is explained in the tutorial below.

Teachers’ Employment Prospects in Illinois

As of 2021, there were more than 132,000 teachers employed in Illinois, which has a wide variety of educational jobs. In 2021, the average teacher pay in the state exceeded $70,000. Around 60% of teachers in Illinois have a master’s degree. Graduate school attendance can result in greater salaries.

Students thinking about becoming teachers can take advantage of the state’s scholarship funding. The Golden Apple Scholarship program aids aspiring teachers in beginning their careers as teachers. Together with financial support of up to $23,000, the program also offers job placement aid and classroom teaching experience.

The Illinois State Board of Education provides a subject-specific list of open positions. By 2020, the state has identified a number of specializations as having a significant need for workers, including special education, bilingual education, elementary education, math, and science.

Illinois Teaching certification
Illinois Teaching certification

How Long does it take to Become a Teacher in Illinois?

Teachers in Illinois take a long time to complete the prerequisites for a teaching license. Illinois mandates a bachelor’s degree, which typically takes four years to complete. As part of their bachelor’s degree, the majority of instructors complete an educator preparation program.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in education must also fulfill extra licensing requirements. Illinois mandates subject-specific exams in addition to a generic teaching exam. About 60% of teachers in Illinois have master’s degrees, despite the fact that many educators start out with bachelor’s degrees. It typically takes 1-2 years to complete a master’s degree in teaching.

How to Become a Teacher in Illinois

In Illinois, educators working in public schools are required to be licensed. Qualified instructors are granted licenses by the Illinois State Board of Education. Applicants who are qualified and successfully complete the tests receive their professional educator license.

Depending on where students obtain their training, there are different ways to become teachers in Illinois. Coursework for licenses offered at in-state colleges is approved by Illinois. For instance, students finish courses in bilingual methods, reading methods, and special education methods.

In addition, Illinois grants full reciprocity to teachers with credentials from other states. To get a professional educator license, these educators must submit a copy of their out-of-state license as well as documentation of a bachelor’s degree or above.

Get the Minimum Required Education

In order to be eligible for a teaching license in Illinois, teachers must possess a bachelor’s degree. Although instructors frequently acquire their bachelor’s in education, the state accepts bachelor’s degrees in any major.

Candidates for licensure must complete an educator preparation program in addition to having a bachelor’s degree. These courses must cover techniques for teaching English language learners as well as techniques for teaching children with special needs to read.

The minimal educational prerequisites in Illinois include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a university that has been accredited
  • Completion of a teacher training program recognized by the state

Many educators upgrade their professional educator license to include teaching endorsements. These endorsements require further education. Most demand passing marks on specialist tests in addition to at least 18 credits of college-level coursework. For endorsements on out-of-state teaching licenses, Illinois offers reciprocity.

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Obtain Experience Teaching Students

For a teaching license, Illinois, like many other jurisdictions, requires student teaching experience. According to the administrative code of the state of Illinois, educators are required to fulfill the state’s student teaching requirements. The state defines readiness with qualifying experience rather than a minimum hour requirement.

Applicants’ last year of an educator preparation program must include student teaching. Students can fulfill the requirement at a reputable nonpublic school or a public school. The candidate’s professional educator license endorsement must be in the grade level and subject area of the supervised student teaching required by the state. Also, the student teaching must be actively supervised by a certified teacher.

Passing the Necessary Certification Exams

To obtain their teaching certification in Illinois, candidates for certification must pass each test that is necessary. An evaluation of teacher performance is required of all applicants. Many people pass the test as a requirement for their teacher certification program. Illinois also accepts a year of teaching experience as proof in place of the test. Applicants must next successfully complete tests in the subjects or fields of their endorsements.

The following certification tests are mandated by the Illinois Board of Education:

  • edTPA Teacher Performance Assessment
  • Content Tests

Candidates for teaching licenses take the content exams through Pearson. Computer-based tests are used in the exams.

Request Certification

Qualified educators in Illinois can apply for certification in a variety of methods. Participants in an Illinois educator training program finish the procedure at their school. To grant educator licenses to deserving graduates of authorized Illinois institutions, the state’s Board of Education collaborates closely with such programs.

To obtain their license, graduates of out-of-state educator preparation programs must present documentation to the Illinois Board of Education. Student teaching and program completion verification are required for this step. Illinois also mandates education that addresses important topics. Scores from licensing exams are accepted by the state without restriction.

And lastly, teachers who hold licenses from other states are eligible for reciprocal licenses. These teachers enclose a copy of their current out-of-state license as well as documentation of their bachelor’s degree or higher from an authorized university.

Illinois Teaching certification
Illinois Teaching certification

Teaching Jobs in Demand in Illinois

1. Special Education Teacher

Teachers in special education provide instruction to kids with impairments. They keep track of each student’s development and alter lesson plans in accordance with their needs. They collaborate closely with administrators and parents. Special education teachers are among the most sought-after job jobs in Illinois.

$61,500 is the median annual salary.

Elementary School Teacher

Teachers at elementary schools instruct young students in fundamental subjects including reading, math, and science. Lesson plans are developed, student learning is evaluated, and teaching methods are changed to suit the requirements of the students. Illinois lists primary school teachers as one of the most sought-after teaching positions, broken down by subject.

  • $60,660 is the median annual salary.

Bilingual Teachers

Teachers who are bilingual guide students whose native language is not English. Bilingual instruction, also referred to as English language acquisition or English as a second language, calls for good English literacy abilities. These educators work with students in elementary and high schools. Illinois, like many other states, views the need for bilingual instructors as being high.

Yearly Salary on Average: $46,310

Mathematics Teacher

Students are taught algebra, geometry, precalculus, statistics, and calculus by math teachers. Middle and high schools in Illinois are often where math instructors work. They teach fundamental and complex mathematical ideas to the students. Math professors were listed as one of the most sought-after open occupations in Illinois for 2020.

$51,390 is the average annual salary.

Science Teacher

Earth sciences, biology, chemistry, and physics are just a few of the disciplines that science teachers concentrate in. The majority of scientific educators in Illinois are employed at the secondary level, where they may teach a variety of science topics or grade levels. Teachers of science are among the top 10 subject posts that are unfilled in Illinois.

$48,760 annually on average

How Can I Renew My Illinois Teaching Certification?

Teachers in Illinois are required to keep up their credentials after receiving their certification. In Illinois, the Professional Educator License is good for five years. To renew their licenses after five years, instructors must complete 120 hours of professional development. All licensed teachers, including those who have a master’s degree, are subject to this requirement. Educators who have earned national board certification, however, simply need to complete 60 hours of professional development.

There are numerous options for teachers to fulfill the professional development requirement. They can enroll in workshops or online professional development courses, or they can finish their college curriculum at a recognized institution. For each hour of participation or instruction, Illinois grants one hour of professional development. A 15-hour college course is worth one credit.

Illinois Teaching certification
Illinois Teaching certification

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I apply for a teaching license in Illinois?

The Illinois State Board of Education is where candidates must submit their licensing applications. A bachelor's degree, particular coursework, student teaching experience, and passing marks on licensing exams are necessary for the process. Then, in order to renew their credentials, teachers must fulfill continuing education requirements.

Which states accept teaching certificates from Illinois?

You will be qualified to teach in schools in Illinois as well as in every other state in the U.S. with the exception of Alaska, Iowa, and Minnesota once you have finished your degree and obtained your Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL).

In Illinois, is a master’s degree required to teach?

You must have a teaching license and at least a bachelor's degree in order to teach in Illinois.

Without a teaching degree, how can I become a teacher in Illinois?

Illinois teaching candidates may apply for a Provisional Career and Technical Education license if they have completed at least 20 semester hours of coursework at a regionally accredited university and 8,000 hours of work experience within the previous ten years, both related to the subject to be taught.


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