Ohio Teacher Certification Guide


How To Become a Teacher in Ohio

For a teaching certificate, Ohio requires candidates to have at least an undergraduate degree and completion of an educator preparation program. Additionally, to learn how to obtain a teaching certificate in Ohio, applicants should be aware of the testing requirements, which are dependent on the subject area they wish to teach.

The state has a tiered certification structure for earning an Ohio certification for teachers, which allows them to transition from their primary license to professional accreditation. With the tiered system, Ohio teachers are required to go through various levels of certification before they can earn their full certification.

The various levels of certification include a 2-year Provisional license which can then advance to a 4-year Resident Educator license. After that, educators are eligible to apply for the 5-year Professional license. Ohio also offers a variety of other certification options depending on the individual's situation, experience, and education level.

Ohio Department of Education Teacher Certification Programs

The Ohio Department of Education teacher certification requirements include going through and completing an educator preparation program from an accredited college or university. These programs should be approved by the Ohio Board of Education. The CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation), is a national accreditation that is not required for institutions, but it is highly regarded.

While there are many colleges and universities across the state of Ohio with teacher preparation programs, there are some that are more highly recognized than others.

High-quality programs in the state of Ohio include:

  • Kent State University is accredited by the state board of education as well as the CAEP and has a 94% passing rate of educators taking teacher exams.
  • Antioch University Midwest is also accredited by the state and the CAEP and has a 100% passing rate for educators taking the required exams.
  • Ohio State University is also accredited by the state board of education and the CAEP and has a 97% passing rate for educator exams.
  • Xavier University is accredited by the state board of education and the CAEP and has a 100% passing rate for educator exams.
  • Youngstown State University is accredited by the state board of education and the CAEP and has a 98% passing rate for educator exams.

Ohio Teacher Education Requirements

The educational teaching certificate Ohio requirement states that candidates have at least a bachelor's degree and complete a teacher preparation program. When they follow the typical path, coursework depends on the area of teaching they desire to get certified in. Some of the required courses may include reading, mathematics, or other areas that will help them understand the subject area.

All candidates seeking a teaching position in Ohio must serve at least 12 weeks in a public school setting. During this time, candidates will observe a certified teacher and gradually take on more responsibilities. At the end of their student teaching experience, they will be spending more of their time planning and teaching the classes.

Required Tests for Ohio Teachers

Candidates attempting to earn a teacher certification in Ohio have to take a number of exams to demonstrate their competency to teach in a classroom setting. While many of the exams are dependent on the subject area a candidate chooses to teach in, others are required by all.

Test-takers must achieve Praxis passing scores or any test score requirements on relevant exams to be eligible for teacher certification in the state of Ohio. Passing scores are available on the Ohio Department of Education website and the ETS website for the Praxis exam.

The exams required by the Ohio Department of Education are:

Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE)

The Pearson Evaluation Systems provides the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) exams for candidates for teacher certification in the state. These assessments are given to determine whether candidates have the knowledge and skills in the areas they wish to teach. The exams also assess candidates on their proficiency and pedagogical expertise.

The OAE exams are dependent on the area candidates choose to gain their certification in Ohio. For a candidate's first certification, they must only take one of the pedagogy exams. If they decide to add certificates, they may be required to take tests associated with those endorsements.

The passing score for the Ohio Assessments for Educators exam is 220. To be considered for certification, candidates must make this minimum score on whichever exam they take.

Praxis Subject Assessments

The Praxis test in Ohio uses is for those seeking special licensure other than teaching such as for school psychologists, speech therapists, and school audiologists. Although the Praxis series of subject-area exams are used in many states to assess various abilities and competencies of educators, Ohio uses their own set of proficiency exams for the same purpose.

For educators coming to Ohio from other states in the United States, the Praxis II Subject Assessment will most likely be accepted in place of the Ohio Assessments for Educators, or OAE. In-state candidates are only required to take the OAE series of exams for both pedagogical and subject-area knowledge instead of the Praxis series of exams.

Candidates are always encouraged to check with the Ohio Department of Education for the latest information concerning testing requirements.

ACTFL/LTI World Languages Examinations

Prospective educators who desire to teach a foreign language in the state of Ohio are required to complete and pass the ACTFL/LTI, or American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages/Language Testing International-World Language Examination. This exam must be taken for the language test-takers will be focusing on in the classroom.

The exam includes both a written test and an oral interview to determine proficiency in the language they will be teaching. The scores for these exams are unique in that they do not have a numeric score attached to them. Rather they are scored on a scale that ranges from Novice to Advanced in range. Each of these levels has low, mid, and high scores that test-takers can achieve. The passing score for this test in Ohio is in the Intermediate High range.

Other Requirements for a Teaching Certificate in Ohio

A common requirement for teacher certification throughout the United States is to require candidates to go through a federal and state background check. These background checks are done by the FBI and the BCI, or the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Additionally, Ohio candidates for teacher licensure are required to submit fingerprints through an organization called WebCheck to be kept on file with the Department of Education.

Ohio Teacher Licensing Application Procedure

Applicants for Ohio educator licensure can officially apply once they have completed the requirements set forth by the state of Ohio. At this time, candidates will submit certain documents including official transcripts, background check information, passing exam scores, educator preparation program proof, along with their application through the Ohio Department of Education's online CORE (Connected Ohio Records for Educators) system.

The application process can take up to three months to process and costs vary depending on the license type. For example, the Provisional CTWD 2-year license cost is only $80, however, the Resident Educator 4-year license is $160.

Alternative Routes to Licensure for Ohio Teachers

The Ohio Alternative Teacher Certification route is for those candidates who wish to accelerate their path to become certified teachers. This program allows applicants to earn their resident educator license by meeting specific guidelines and criteria. Some requirements include the candidate having at least an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university.

Candidates seeking alternative certification in Ohio are seen as an asset to the students and school community as a whole due to their vast life experiences in a career outside of education. The non-traditional pathway for these prospective candidates allows them to enter the classroom faster than going back to earn educational credits.

Candidates take specific steps to be eligible for an alternative resident educator certification in Ohio. These steps include requesting an evaluation of their education and experience, enrollment in an alternative program, receiving an eligibility statement, applying for a license, and pursuing coursework to secure their professional permit down the road.

Before an educator under this program can advance to the professional certification, they must teach for four years under their Resident license.

Ohio Credentials for Out-of-State Teachers

Criteria for candidates coming from out-of-state who want to learn how to become a teacher in Ohio can easily be found on the Ohio Department of Education website. These candidates should have at least an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university and should have completed a teacher preparation program.

There are three types of licenses an out-of-state candidate can apply for depending on their level of education, and experience. These certifications include the Resident Educator, which is for those with less than three years of experience, the Professional Educator, for those with more than three years of experience, and the One-Year Out-of-State certification for those who have not met all of the other qualifications.

Assessments and additional coursework may be required for those who have not met the minimal requirements in each of these categories. Proof of assessments and completion of their educational credentials are required at the time of the application.

Ohio Educator Professional Development

In Ohio, teachers who work for a school district must create an IPDP, or Individual Professional Development Plan, which should be focused on what the educator needs professionally. Depending on the school district and subject area in which they teach, professional development should be based on the educator standards set forth by the Ohio Department of Education.

Professional development is a requirement of renewing a license in Ohio. Some mandatory professional development should come from both coursework focused on their content area and should be taken at an accredited institution. Eighteen hours of professional development can come from CEUs (Continuing Education Units) offered through the district or the education service centers in the state.

In addition to the professional development requirements, if educators choose to advance their career into a different area, they may be required to take coursework or get a more advanced degree. Advanced positions often require candidates to complete additional testing to receive an endorsement in the area of expertise.

Ohio Teacher Employment Outlook and Salary

Currently, Ohio has about 9,100 public and private schools with more than one million students. The teacher population is estimated to be more than 100,000 in recent years. All of this together makes the student-teacher ratio at 19:1 in Ohio public schools.

Job growth in Ohio is projected to grow more than 7% over the next ten years in several content areas. This means that Ohio colleges and universities will need to attract more students to focus on education in their degree choices. In addition, the Ohio Department of Education has created a pathway for educators to become certified in ways that may allow them to move faster through the certification program.

The following table gives the estimated salaries of teachers in Ohio according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics in the various grade levels.


Teacher Employment 

Average Salary

Preschool Teachers



Elementary Teachers



Middle School Teachers



Secondary Teachers



Special Education Teachers- Elementary



Special Education Teachers- Middle School



Special Education Teachers- Secondary