West Virginia Teacher Certification Requirements

Jun 26, 2018

West Virginia teachers must meet many of the common background checks and education that teachers in other states must meet. If you'd like to learn more about becoming a teacher in West Virginia, we can help!

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In 2017, West Virginia had over 23,000 people teaching students in preschool through secondary school. Let's see which education programs and learning assessments you'll need to complete to earn licensure and join their ranks.

Requirements for West Virginia Teachers

Average Salary for Teachers in West Virginia (2017)* $31,460 (Preschool)
$48,310 (Kindergarten)
$45,530 (Elementary School)
$45,000 (Middle School)
$46,560 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Any
Testing Requirements Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K-6, 5-9, or 7-12 and Praxis content-area exam

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education

Like many states, West Virginia asks that their prospective teachers complete a bachelor's degree program, at minimum. These programs should include a state-approved educator preparation program (EPP). The education component of your degree program will typically include courses on child development, working with disabled students, family relationships, diversity in the classroom, and critical reading and writing. You'll also look at many education-specific courses, such as assessment, instructional management, differentiated instruction, and classroom management. With any EPP, you'll complete a student teaching capstone that gets you in a real classroom working with a certified instructor in your subject areas.

Step 2: Complete Exam Requirements

West Virginia uses the ETS Praxis assessments to certify their teachers. There are always at least two exams, if not more, that prospective teachers need to take. The first exam is the Principals of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam. There are three PLT options, which are divided by grade level: K-6, 5-9, and 7-12. The grade level you want to teach decides the exam you'll take. Both the PLT: Grades K-6 and PLT: Grades 5-9 require a passing score of 160, while the PLT: Grades 7-12 asks that you get at least 157 on your exam.

After this, you'll need to pass one or two exams in your specific content area. Elementary teachers must pass both the Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects and the Teaching Reading: Elementary Education exam. At the middle school level, teachers can choose from seven options, including art, social studies, mathematics, English and science. There are over 25 exam options for secondary teachers covering subjects ranging from agriculture, business, chemistry and Latin to health, journalism, physics and theatre.

Step 3: Get Fingerprinted

West Virginia also requires their teachers to be fingerprinted and pass a background check. You will need to make an appointment with a West Virginia MorphoTrust location to be fingerprinted via LiveScan. Once that has been done, you will turn in a notarized form with your application. This form gives permission for the FBI and West Virginia state police to each run a criminal background check on you.

West Virginia Teacher Certification Resources

Below is a link that will provide you with study guides and test preparations for all of the Praxis exams. You'll want to know which exams you'll be taking to better study.

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