If you would like to know the steps of how to get a teaching certificate in Hawaii, the first requirement is to have a bachelor's degree. Teachers must also complete a state-approved teacher preparation program that has been approved by the National Board Certification of teachers in Hawaii as well as relevant Praxis examinations before receiving their license, of which there are 9 different types, which can be viewed in the table below:
Standard Limited License In Computer Science
Standard Limited License In CTE
Emergency Hire Permit
Student Teacher Permit
3 years non-renewable
5 years, renewable
5 years, renewable
5 years, renewable
10 years, renewable
1 year, expires June 30 annually for up to 2 years
5 years, renewable once
1 year, renewable for 5 years
<3 years f.t. teaching experience, NASDTEC Stage 2
>3 f.t. teaching experience, NASDTEC, Stage 3
3 years industry experience in Computer Science required
3 years industry experience in CTE required
5 years f.t. teaching experience, NASDTEC Stage 4
Issued to an unlicensed candidate who wishes to fill in for an understaffed subject
Issued to Unlicensed Employee of Hawaiian Department of Education when no licensed teacher is available
Issued to an unlicensed employee of the Hawaiian Department of Education or Hawaiian Charter School
Issued to an unlicensed candidate who has been recommended by a state-approved teacher preparation program
Hawaii Teacher Certification Programs
If you are interested in receiving National Board Certification as a teacher in Hawaii, there are 12 state-approved programs to choose from. The certification programs are divided into fields of study which focus on K-12 learning levels, with different qualification ranks based on how advanced of a degree the applicant has. The teacher preparation programs from state-approved universities offer a variety of licensure levels, which range from a bachelor's with licensure, a masters with licensure, or a licensure only degree. The type of licensure program provided by each individual university will vary, and not all licensure programs are available at each university. A list of notable schools which offer teacher certification programs is available in the table below:
Hawaii Universities that offer Teacher Preparation Programs
Hawai'i Pacific University
Pioneer Plaza Building, 900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 200, Honolulu, HI 96813
3140 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816-1578
University of Hawai'i-Hilo
200 W. Kawili Street, Hilo, HI 96720
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
1776 University Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96822
Brigham Young University
55-220 Kulanui Street, #1954, Laie, HI 96762
Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Ka Haka 'Ula o Ke'elikolani College of Hawaiian Language
500 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 3-400, Honolulu, HI 96813
University of Hawai'i - West Oahu
91-1000 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI 96707
Hawaii Teacher Education Requirements
In the state of Hawaii, teacher certification requirements need to be fulfilled in order to successfully complete a preparation program. In addition to the university degree completion and testing/exam requirements, candidates must also complete field work and in-class hours in order to obtain Hawaii teacher certification. Typically, 450 applied hours of student teaching, residency or internship hours are needed to graduate from a teaching preparation program. Those with at least three years of documented teaching experience in a classroom setting can also successfully complete education requirements after careful observation by the SATEP. A Hawaii Teacher Standards Board performance assessment can also prove adequate enough, based on the decision carried out by the board. Physical classroom experience in one form or another is ultimately what the candidate should aim to fulfill when applying to become a teacher in Hawaii.
Hawaii Teacher Certification Tests
The tests that are most commonly required for licensure in Hawaii are Praxis tests for teachers in the subject of education that the candidate wishes to teach. These standardized tests will assess the basic skills and abilities of the candidate in whichever subject the test covers. The passing Praxis Core test scores and type of test will vary based on the type of license than an applicant holds. More individualized testing information can be found on the ETS website.
Although some test requirements will vary, all licensure areas will need prospective teachers to pass at least 2 tests, which are the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam, as well as Principals of Learning and Teaching (PLT).
The rest of the categories are differentiated based on grade level, and are categorized into early childhood education, elementary, middle, and secondary schools, and so forth.
The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators covers the domains of reading, writing and mathematics skills. The qualifying score for reading is 156, for writing it is 162 and for math it is 150. All future educators are required to take this test in order to become a teacher in Hawaii.
The Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test is organized into categories which reflect grade levels. Therefore, future teachers only need to take the tests which correspond to the grade level that they will be teaching in the future. Grade levels are organized from early childhood education, to Grades K-6, and from there Grades 5-9, and Grades 7-12. Required Praxis scores by state vary from 157-160, depending on the grade level.
Other, more specialized tests also exist which are distinguished by school levels. From there, middle school teachers, for example, can look to see which additional tests they may need to take in order to teach their subject.
Additional Hawaii Teacher Certification Requirements
After completing all of the educational and testing requirements to become a teacher in Hawaii, you will also need to provide a background check to participate in field and clinical placements. A specific background check location will be assigned to you when you apply for licensure.
Hawaii Teacher Certification Application Process
Once all of the educational requirements have been successfully fulfilled, the candidate can begin the application process to be certified as a teacher in Hawaii. When submitting an application, candidates must hand in their university transcripts which verify their bachelor's degree, as well as their fingerprinting documents for the background check. Proof of completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program is also required, and a verified passing score on all required Praxis tests for teachers. A valid government-issued photo I.D is also required for submission, as well as a Social Security number.
Applicants can scan all documents and upload them online at HTSB for consideration. The average processing time is up to 6 weeks, according to their website. Once your application has been cleared and approved, a notification will pop up in the online account where the documents were submitted.
Hawaii Teaching License Renewal
License renewals can only be made from January to June, and a reminder email will be sent once a month until the license is renewed. When renewing a Standard License, simply upload a copy of government issued photo I.D. and wait for confirmation. Some other licenses may require you to upload specific required forms which must be filled out along with your photo I.D.
Hawaii Alternative Teacher Certification
If you have a bachelor's degree that is not in education, you may be wondering how to get a teaching certificate in Hawaii. There are Hawaii alternative teacher certification programs for those looking to make a career change into the field of education. Hawaii teacher certification requirements can be fulfilled by becoming a teacher in whatever field your bachelor's degree is in. Alternative Education Preparation Programs (EPP) are the most common way of doing this. You will also have to do the required Praxis Subject Assessments, as well as complete a state-approved teacher prep program before submitting your application.
Those in trades can also apply to be teachers if they have at least 3 years experience in their field. Career and Technical Education Limited Standard Licenses (CTE) can be granted for 5 years if you meet the criteria, which will include additional coursework and SATEP requirements. 30 hours of coursework in the licensed field, completion of a relevant Praxis test, and passing of up to 15 hours of coursework will also be required to obtain a license. All applicants will have to be cleared through a background check before receiving their teaching license.
Hawaii Teacher Certification for Out-of-State Teachers
Those who possess an out-of-state teaching certification may still be able to qualify for a license through Hawaii teacher certification reciprocity, which determines which out-of-state courses and teacher prep programs have the necessary criteria to fulfill Hawaii teacher certification requirements.
For out-of-state candidates who are interested in how to get a teaching certificate in Hawaii, applicants will have to send in their official transcripts of a bachelor's degree, along with a. course-by-course evaluation of the content covered. The out-of-state teacher prep program transcripts will have to be handed in for consideration by the HTSB before being deemed eligible. Then, passing scores in Praxis Core Reading, Writing and Mathematics, as well as Principles of Learning (PLT), a background check, and government issued photo I.D. If the candidate has previous teaching experience of at least 3 years and fulfill all necessary educational requirements, they may be granted a Standard or Provisional License.
Hawaii Teacher Employment Outlook and Salary
Entry level public schools teachers in Hawaii who have completed a SATEP and have up to 5 years experience in a classroom setting make a starting salary of $49,100 in the first Quarter and $50,819 in the second. Those in the same category with 6 years of experience or more make up to $52,344 as of the 2020-2021 school year. The student/teacher ratio in Hawaii is about 14.82, according to the National Centre for Education Statistics. There are 181,088 total students and 12,220.77 students.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to get a Hawaii teaching license?
A Standard Teaching License can be procured after having 3 years of classroom setting experience as well as having fulfilled all of the educational requirements of a bachelor's degree and teaching prep programs.
Is it hard to get a teaching job in Hawaii?
No, Hawaii has a teacher shortage crisis, and you can even apply for an Emergency Hire license in case there are not enough staff to fulfill classroom requirements.
Can I teach in Hawaii with a California credential?
Yes, some out-of-state teaching preparation programs are allowed in Hawaii, and some California University programs apply through the teaching reciprocity program. Your previous program will be asked to send transcripts for verification.
Can I teach in Hawaii without a degree?
Most teachers in Hawaii will be required to have a bachelor's degree, but if you don't have one, you might be able to become a substitute teacher by completing the Substitute Teacher certification program, which requires at least a high school diploma.
Is edTPA required in Hawaii?
At this time, edTPA is not a requirement in Hawaii. The Praxis test is what officials in Hawaii use as a standardized assessment of their educators.