Become a Teacher in Oregon

Oregon Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary $58,030
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary $60,730
Vacation Weeks per Year 17  
Pupil/Teacher Ratio 22.18 
Expenditure per Pupil $9,945 

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

255 Capitol Street
NE Salem, OR 97310-0203
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Oregon Teacher Shortage Areas

A teacher shortage area is defined by the U.S. Department of Education as “an area of specific grade, subject matter or discipline classification, or a geographic area in which … there is an inadequate supply of elementary or secondary school teachers.” The Department allows states to identify their own teacher shortage areas, but encourages them to follow a prescribed methodology based on unfilled teaching positions, teaching positions filled by instructors with irregular certifications, and positions filled by teachers certified in other subject areas.

  • Bilingual/English Language Learner
  • Mathematics
  • School Nurse
  • Science
  • Spanish
  • Special Education
  • Speech Pathologist

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Oregon

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: 10/21/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Oregon, 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 an Oregon teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Oregon Teaching Credential

Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission offers a number of different teaching licenses which are issued according to applicants’ backgrounds. The Preliminary Teaching License is reserved for new teachers who have completed a Commission-approved teacher preparation program. It is valid for three years, and may not be renewed. Following the expiration of the Preliminary Teaching License, teachers in Oregon may apply for the Professional Teaching License, which has a term of five years and may be renewed.

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Oregon

Generally speaking, states require that teachers hold at least a Bachelor’s degree. Some states require additional undergraduate coursework, but Oregon does not. In terms of undergraduate requirements, applicants for Oregon’s Preliminary Teaching License must only hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or foreign equivalent.

Step Two: Oregon Teacher Certification Programs

Educator Preparation Programs in Oregon are reviewed by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. In reviewing programs, the commission considers course syllabi, professors’ curriculum vitae, and other aspects. For a full list of teacher education programs approved by the state, see the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission of Oregon.

Step Three: Required Tests for Oregon

Educators in Oregon must pass two tests. The first is the Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Education Environment Examination, also known as the Civil Rights/Ethics Exam. The second is the Subject Matter Exam specific to the license and endorsement being sought. Depending on the subject area, the particular test may be administered by Oregon Educator Licensure Assessments or ETS Praxis.

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.

Read more about teacher certification tests on

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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 Oregon

Oregon offers a number of alternative teaching licensure options for teachers including a transitional license for teachers to work while getting their full license, and specialized teaching area licenses for subjects such as Chinese and Jazz Dance. Mountain Pacific Region Troops to Teachers program

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Oregon

It is no longer enough to only have years of experience teaching. After No Child Left Behind, the Every Student Succeeds Act 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 can give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as increased 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 as well as higher pay. According to the Portland Public Schools Teacher Salary Schedule, starting out as a teacher with a master’s degree in Portland, you will earn around $7,325 more than a teacher starting out with only a bachelor’s degree, and this differential will grow with your years of experience.

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

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Certification Reciprocity in Oregon

One route to alternative teaching licensure in Oregon is through the Troops to Teachers Program. Focused on assisting eligible military personnel transition into new careers as public school teachers in high-need schools, the program provides former service members with financial assistance, certification support and job hunting advice.

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Financial Aid in Oregon

Oregon residents are eligible for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program and the TEACH Grant, which offer financial aid to students in return for agreements to teach in high-need schools.

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

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Oregon Teacher Salary and Incentives

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average teacher in Oregon makes $59,380 per year. Oregon teachers may also receive other compensation, such as loan forgiveness for educators working in high-needs schools.

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Oregon Teacher Benefits and Retirement

The Oregon Department of Education offers a constantly updated series of professional development events which you can find on their the Oregon Department of Education online calendar. The department has also partnered with outside organizations to provide Oregon teachers with additional professional development opportunities, including the Oregon School Personnel Association. Oregon requires a minimum number of Professional Development Units for license renewal. The amount necessary changes over time; check the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission website for current requirements.

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Professional Development for Teachers in Oregon

The Oregon Department of Education offers a constantly updated series of events which you can find with their professional development calendar. The Oregon Department of Education has also partnered with outside organizations in order to provide Oregon teachers with additional professional development opportunities, including the Oregon School Personnel Association (OSPA). Oregon requires a minimum number of Professional Development Units for license renewal. The number changes over time; check the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission website for current requirements.

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Oregon Teaching Jobs

The Oregon Department of Education posts career opportunities on its website and also recommends that job-seekers peruse the Oregon Job Opportunities page on

Learn more about finding a teaching job on 

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