Virginia Teacher Certification Requirements

Virginia teachers cover a lot of subjects and grade levels. If you'd like to learn the ins and outs to becoming a certified teacher in Virginia, we cover the requirements in this article.

Becoming a teacher in Virginia means that you will join the ranks of nearly 120,000 teachers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017. If you want to learn the path for licensure, continue reading.

Requirements for Virginia Teachers

Average Salary for Teachers in Virginia (2017)* $39,180 (Preschool)
$67,760 (Kindergarten)
$68,460 (Elementary School)
$67,770 (Middle School)
$69,890 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Any
Testing Requirements Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment subtests Reading and Writing, and Praxis exams

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

A bachelor's degree is the minimum education requirement for teachers in Virginia. The bachelor's degree should be in the subject you want to teach, such as chemistry, math, or literature. Should you wish to teach younger students, an early education or elementary education program would work best for you, as these cover courses in the core subjects you'll be teaching, as well as information on early childhood development and motor skills.

If you complete a bachelor's degree program that includes education courses and a teaching internship, you will likely meet the teaching preparation program requirements. Check with the Virginia Department of Education to see whether your program is approved by them. If not, you may need to take a teacher prep program outside of your bachelor's degree. Sometimes, you can incorporate a certificate program or a dual 4+1 bachelor's/master's program that will meet these requirements. In either case, be sure you study instruction theories, curriculum building, and that you gain the necessary experience in a classroom setting.

Step 2: Pass Required Exams

In Virginia, you'll be required to complete the Virginia Communications and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) exam. You'll need a score of 235 on each subtest, equaling 470 total. The two subtests that are included in this exam are reading and writing. Both ask you 40 questions, though the writing subtest does include essays and short answer questions as well.

Next, prospective teachers are required to complete a Praxis exam. Depending on the grade level and subject you wish to teach, you'll find different assessments for each endorsement. On the Praxis website, the exams are divided into different categories, including early childhood, middle school, secondary, and all grades. There are exams for special education teachers as well. Under each topic, you'll find there are many exam options. The early and elementary childhood exams will test your basic knowledge on all core subjects. Middle school education includes the four major subjects: math, English, science and social studies. The secondary education category has exams for several subjects, such as biology, English language arts, algebra and marketing. 'All grades' covers the endorsement areas that can teach any grade level, like art and physical education. All exams have different structures and required passing scores.

Step 3: Fulfill Other Required Training

All teachers in Virginia are required to complete training outside of the college program as well. You'll need to complete the Department of Education's dyslexia awareness training, which is offered for free online. You will also need to take the child abuse and neglect course offered for free online by the Department of Social Services. Finally, all teachers are required to know how to react in an emergency situation. For this, you'll need proof of certification in CPR and AED training. You'll also need to prove you have the appropriate technology knowledge as well, this can be completed through a college course or through past experience. Those applying as career and technical education (CTE) teachers must be able to show proof of an industry certification credential.

Certification Resources for Virginia Teachers

There are several exams that you must pass to become a teacher in Virginia. Below, we've provided links to some great study guides to help you prepare.


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