How to Become a Teacher in Hawaii: Requirements & Certification

Jul 03, 2020

While Hawaii might first conjure images of vacations and honeymoons, the state has the same strict requirements for educators as any other part of the United States. In the tables and paragraphs below, you can find out what is needed to be a teacher for elementary, middle and high school students in the Aloha State.

Hawaii State Teacher Requirements

Average Salary of Teachers in Hawaii (2019)* $63,360 (Elementary), $63,520 (Middle), $62,580 (High)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Teacher Education
Testing Requirements Basic skills testing and/or Praxis subject exam(s)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn Your Bachelor's Degree

In order to assume a full-time position as an educator in Hawaii, potential teachers should earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The degree must include classroom experience in student teaching as part of an approved teacher education program. In the state of Hawaii, some schools offer a Bachelor's of Education with a concentration in elementary education (K-6). In such a program, you can take specialized classes like Foundations of Inclusive Schooling and Education in American Society. Any program must be accredited within the United States.

Step 2: Pass Required Exams

Full time Hawaii teachers are required to pass the Praxis exam(s) in their content area after meeting the requirements for basic skills through the SAT, ACT or Praxis. Prices for test registration vary according to subject areas, so you should check the Praxis website for updated fees. A number of different exams are available in each subject, with some variation for different grade levels ranging from elementary to secondary education. Testing centers are scattered throughout the United States, and the ETS website has a locator for the testing center most convenient to your current location. ETS will automatically send your test scores to the Hawaii's Department of Education.

Step 3: Obtain Your License

According to the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, all teachers in Hawaii must hold a valid Hawaii Teachers Standards Board license in their respective grade and subject. As teachers earn more experience, they have the option to upgrade their licenses to other tiers. Before a Standard License (which lasts for five years) is obtained, all teachers must hold a Provisional License (good for three years) until the next tier can be issued. All documentation should be sent to the Hawaii Department of Education through U.S. mail. Once the application is submitted, potential teachers will want to create a StyleProfile on the department's website.

Certification Resources for Teachers in Hawaii

While you prepare for a career as a teacher in Hawaii, you'll want to review what you've already learned in your academic studies. has the tools you need to find out what you can expect to see on the Praxis exam:

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