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Become a Teacher in the District of Columbia

District of Columbia Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $76,950
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $64,420
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 9
Figures regarding teacher salaries are sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.


Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. CertificationMap.com 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: 08/11/2018

This page is sponsored by our partner Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in DC.

To become a certified teacher in DC, you will need to fulfill these 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 DC teaching credential application.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating CertificationMap.com with new information on a regular basis.

Step One: DC Prerequisite Coursework

Generally, states require that certified teachers hold, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas; Washington D.C., however, has no such requirements.

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Master’s Requirements

Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.

The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.

Learn more about getting your MAT online with USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: DC Teacher Preparation

The traditional route of teacher preparation in the District of Columbia includes the completion of an accredited teacher education program. Typically, teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. Coursework often includes instruction on foundational knowledge, skills, and pedagogy (the art and science of teaching), as well as preparation in researching, designing and implementing learning experiences in various fields of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and internships.

While involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources exist specifically for teachers. For more information, visit the Certification Map page on scholarships for teachers. For scholarships exclusive to teachers in the District of Columbia, visit the Certification Map page District of Columbia Scholarships.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degrees are not in education, and who have not yet earned traditional teaching certificates, can still receive alternative teaching certificates by satisfying certain requirements. As described on the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s website, the post-baccalaureate certification alternative involves intensive on-the-job training and mentoring.

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Step Three: DC Required Tests

In order to become a certified teacher in Washington DC, you must satisfactorily complete the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators and Praxis Subject Assessment examinations relevant to your desired area of instruction.

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Step Four: DC Application Requirements

Candidates seeking teacher certification in the state of DC must meet the following requirements:

See this checklist for further details or visit the Educator Credentialing and Certification page on the DC Office of Superintendent of Education website.

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DC Teacher Certification Reciprocity

The District of Columbia will accept some teaching credentials from other jurisdictions through interstate certification reciprocity. Contact the State Board of Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see the Certification Map page on interstate certification reciprocity for more information.

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DC Teacher Salary

Teacher shortage areas are defined by the U.S. Department of Education as areas “of specific grade, subject matter or discipline classification, or [geography] 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 also provides a prescribed methodology based on empty teaching positions, teaching positions filled by instructors holding irregular certifications, and positions held by teachers certified in other subject areas.

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: The District of Columbia provides greater bonuses to teachers working in high-needs schools.
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: The District of Columbia has no induction policies in place for classroom teachers, only for school leaders, teacher leaders, and department chairs, as described in the Teacher Leadership Innovation report.
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $76,950
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $64,420
  • Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 9

Figures regarding teacher salaries are sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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