Become a Teacher in Idaho

Idaho Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary:$47,260
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary:$44,550
Vacation Weeks per Year:15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio:17.9
Expenditure per Pupil:$6,621

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

650 West State Street
PO Box 83720
BOISE, ID 83720
(208) 332-6800

Idaho Teacher Shortage Areas

The United States Department of Education defines a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) as a subject matter or grade level within a state in which there is an inadequate supply of elementary or secondary teachers.  The shortage may be caused by teaching positions that are unfilled or are filled by teachers who have temporary certification or teach in in academic subject other than their area of preparation.  According to a report by the USDE Office of Postsecondary Education, Idaho has the following Teacher Shortage Areas:

  • American Sign Language
  • Agricultural Science and Technology
  • American Government/Political Science
  • Business Technology Education
  • Chinese
  • Communications
  • Consulting Teachers
  • Drama
  • ECE/ECSE-Blended
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Foreign Languages
  • Family Consumer Science
  • Gifted/Talented
  • History
  • Library Media
  • Mathematics
  • Natural Science/General Science
  • Psychology
  • Standard Elementary
  • Art
  • Economics
  • English as a New Language (ENL)
  • Geography
  • Health
  • Hearing Impaired
  • Humanities
  • Law Enforcement
  • Literacy
  • Marketing Technology Education
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education
  • Technology Education
  • Welding
  • Work-Based Learning
  • Economics

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Idaho

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: 11/3/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Idaho, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a Idaho teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Idaho Teaching Credential

To earn your Idaho teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. Visit the Idaho Department of Education Certification page to learn more about getting your Teaching Credential in Idaho. Learn more about getting your teaching credential

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Idaho

All states require at least a Bachelor’s degree to teach. Additionally, teachers in Idaho must meet the following undergraduate coursework requirements depending on desired level of teaching:

  • Elementary Education: At least 24 semester credit hours relating to the skills and subject matter of elementary education are required, with at least 6 in developmental reading and 6 in elementary student teaching.
  • Secondary Education: At least 20 semester hours in instructional technology and the professional subject matter of secondary education are required, including 3 credit hours of reading in the desired content area and 6 credit hours of secondary student teaching. Additionally, two fields of secondary teaching must be prepared, a primary field with 30 credit hours and a secondary with 20 credit hours.
  • Special Education: At least 30 semester hours in special education.

Step Two: Idaho Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher Certification Programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area. All Idaho educator programs must be approved by the State Board of Education and must meet with the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards.  More information can be found on the Idaho Board of Education Educator Preparation page.

Step Three: Required Tests for Idaho

Teachers in Idaho are required to take the Praxis II: Subject Tests in their specialty area. Idaho does not require a Basic Skills 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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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.

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Alternative Teacher Certification in Idaho

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities who did not major in Education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Individuals following this route must take at least 9 semester credit hours annually to maintain Alternative Authorization status.

The state of Idaho officially recognizes the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence  (ABCTE) certification as a route to your Idaho teaching credential. Either of these routes requires a year of state-approved mentoring.

There is also an alternative route available for content specialists – experts in a specific subject – to teach in districts that have a shortage of teachers in that area. The candidate must complete 8-16 weeks of study in education pedagogy before beginning to teach; the person must attend an “individualized alternative route preparation program” at a college or university and must undergo mentoring and at least one classroom observation per month during training.

Furthermore, a computer-based alternative certification plan is available through ABCTE. All candidates following alternate routes for certification are issued a three-year Interim Certificate and must complete a state-approved reading instruction course. Veterans may also be eligible for the Lewis & Clark Region Troops to Teachers program.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Idaho

It is no longer enough to just have years of experience for teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, the careers of teachers increasingly depend on their results in the classroom. A master's degree in the field of education will give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor. After a Master’s program, you may be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay. According to a report by the Idaho Board of Education, teachers in Idaho generally earn $2,000 more with a Master’s degree.

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

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Certification Reciprocity in Idaho

Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in Idaho, visit the reciprocity page. Or, for more specific questions about your situation, contact the Idaho Department of Education.

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Financial Aid in Idaho

Idaho residents are eligible for the  Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship, as well as the TEACH Grant, which gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need school.

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

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Idaho Teacher Salary and Incentives

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average teacher in Idaho makes $49,734 per year. Idaho uses a salary schedule that rewards teachers for years of service to the state as well as higher levels of education. However, there is no differential pay offered for teaching in high-need districts or subjects.

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Idaho Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Idaho public school teachers age 65 or older with more than 60 months of creditable teaching service are eligible for full retirement benefits courtesy of the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI). Benefits are calculated using highest average monthly salary and months of creditable service.

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Professional Development for Teachers in Idaho

Idaho public schools follow the Danielson Framework for Teaching as a statewide research-based foundation for teacher evaluation. The framework has four key areas: planning and preparation, learning environment, instruction and use of assessment, and professional responsibilities, each of which involve different professional development programs and initiatives. Teachers must complete 6 professional development credits during each licensing period.

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Idaho Teaching Jobs

The Idaho Department of Education maintains a teaching job database that allows you to search by region, subject area, grade and whether a job is full- or part-time. The site also maintains a list of high-need areas and provides information about teaching job fairs.

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