How to Become a Teacher in Virginia

how to become a teacher in Virginia

Are you thinking about becoming a teacher in Virginia? Teaching is a unique profession because it allows you to change the lives of others. Even if you did not earn a bachelor’s degree in Education, it does not mean your opportunity to become a teacher in Virginia is over. In five easy steps, you can transition into a new career. Follow this guide to realize your dream of becoming a Virginia teacher.

This is not a journey to take alone. Organize your steps and find partners along the way. We have started the work for you and outlined the steps below for how to become a Virginia teacher. Use the links in this guide and reach out to the suggested resources and organizations. There are many opportunities in teaching, and we want to help you. So, let’s get started!

Becoming a Teacher in Virginia

1. Obtain a Teaching Degree

To become a teacher in Virginia, you must hold a bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. If you major in education, your university will guide you through the steps to becoming a certified teacher in Virginia. If you have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and did not complete a teacher preparation program, you can earn a teaching license through a Career Switcher Program.

2. Complete Teacher Preparation Program Requirements

You will need to complete a Virginia Approved Educator Preparation Program. If you major in education, your university program will help you complete these requirements. If you major in another area, you must use an approved alternative teaching program.

3. Take the Required Testing

The Virginia Department of Education conducts certification testing in Virginia. Candidates seeking a Virginia Teaching License must pass an academic skill, a content assessment, and a reading assessment if appropriate and complete required training. In-depth information regarding testing can be found in the Professional Educator’s Assessment Resource.

  • Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA)
  • Praxis Subject Assessments
  • (5205) Praxis® Teaching Reading: Elementary OR (5306) Praxis Series Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE): Elementary and Special Education (if taken before Aug 2022)
  • (Required for the following endorsements: Early/Primary Education preK-3, Elementary Education preK-6, Special Education-General Curriculum K-12, Special Education Hearing Impairments, Special Education Visual Impairments, and other Special Education endorsements)
  • You will also need to complete the required training that is stated in the Statutory Licensure Requirements

4. Apply for Certification

Once you’ve passed your initial required certification tests and completed your teacher preparation program requirements, your university or alternative certification program will help you apply for teacher certification in Virginia. Only apply for certification once you have met all the requirements outlined by your program. To apply for certification, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete an application form.
  2. Non-refundable application fee
  3. College Verification Form
  4. Report on Experience
  5. Professional Teacher’s Assessment Scores
  6. Official Student Transcripts
  7. Out-of-state License (if applicable)
  8. Certification of Child Abuse and Neglect Recognition and Intervention Training
  9. Emergency First Aid, CPR, and AED Training or Certification
  10. Dyslexia Awareness Training
  11. Behavior Intervention and Support Training

5. Apply to a Teaching Position

Once you have received your teaching license, you can apply for a teaching position. You can research specific districts by using their website to view job listings, or you can search for jobs in the entire state of Virginia by using the Virginia Department of Education website. To have a successful job search, you must write a resume and cover letter tailored to your desired position. Also, think of at least two professors, colleagues, or supervisors who can serve as references for you during your job search.

How to Become a Teacher at Various Grade Levels

After you pass your initial licensure tests, you must pass the Praxis Subject Area Assessment(s) for the licensure you seek.

  • Elementary Education 
    • (5001 Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects (combined exam)
    • (5002) Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects: Reading and Language Arts
    • (5003) Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects: Mathematics
    • (5004) Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects: Social Studies
    • (5005) Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects: Science
  • Middle School Education
    • (5047) Middle School English/Language Arts
    • (5169) Middle School Mathematics (taken before Sept. 2022)
    • (5164) Middle School Mathematics
    • (5442) Middle School Science
    • (5089) Middle School Social Studies
  • Secondary Education:
    • (5235) Biology: Content Knowledge
    • (5101) Business Education: Content Knowledge
    • (5245) Chemistry: Content Knowledge
    • (5652) Computer Science
    • (5571) Earth and Space Sciences: Content Knowledge
    • (5308) English Language Arts: Content Knowledge
    • (5122) Family and Consumer Sciences
    • (5081) Social Studies: Content Knowledge
    • (5561) Marketing Education
    • (5165) Mathematics
    • (5162) Algebra I (add-on endorsement)
    • (5265) Physics: Content Knowledge
    • (5051) Technology Education
  • All Grades: 
    • (5362) English to Speakers of Other Languages Test
    • (5174) French: World Language
    • (5183) German: World Language
    • (5857) Health and Physical Education: Content Knowledge
    • (5113) Music Content Knowledge
    • (5195) Spanish: World Language
    • (5134) Art: Content Knowledge
    • 240 Chemistry 7-12 TExES
    • 232 Social Studies 7-12 TExES 
    • 233 History 7-12 TExES
  • Reading Specialist
    • (5302) Praxis Reading Specialist
  • Special Education
    • (0633) Braille Proficiency 
  • Administration and Supervision
    • (6990) School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA) 

Renewing Your Teaching Certification

Once you obtain your Virginia Licensure, you must renew it every five years. To renew, educators must pay a $50 renewal fee, have completed 180 points for renewal, and provide documentation for meeting all statutory requirements.  You can view these steps on the Virginia Department of Education website. You can also access the renewal application on page 25 of the Appendices section of the Virginia Licensure Renewal Manual.

Teaching Job Outlook and Salary in Virginia

According to the Virginia Department of Education, the average annual salary of a teacher in 2021 was $61,684. Virginia is ranked 28th in the nation when it comes to average teacher salaries. Be sure to research district pay scales before filling out your job applications. These pay scales vary.

Virginia Counties With the Highest Salaries

According to the Virginia Department of Education, the following five school districts offered the top pay for Virginia teachers in 2021. The average pay for teachers in these school districts ranged from $74,000 to $81,000 annually.

Arlington County Public Schools($81,032)

Alexandria City Public Schools ($78,079)

Fairfax County Public Schools ($76,559)

Loudoun County Public Schools ($76,218)

Manassas City Public Schools ($74,852)

Can You Be a Teacher Without a Degree in Virginia?

A bachelor’s degree and completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program are required to be a fully-certified classroom teacher in Virginia. If you did not earn a bachelor’s degree in education, there are alternative paths to earn your Virginia Licensure through a career switcher program.

Frequently Asked Questions about Teaching in Virginia

Which teaching positions are in-demand?

The US Department of Education publishes a yearly list of Virginia teacher shortage areas. High-demand teacher needs can be accessed on the US Department of Education website. Special Education preK-12, Elementary Education pre-K-6, General Education 6-8, Science 6-12, World Languages pre-K-12, English Language Arts 6-12, Health and Physical Fitness pre-K-12, Social Studies 6-12, Mathematics 6-12, and Career and Technical Education 6-12 teachers were on the state-wide list for the greatest need for the 2022-2023 school-year.

What is the average salary for teachers in Virginia?

According to the Virginia Department of Education, the average annual salary of a teacher in 2021 was $61,684. Each district sets its salary, so check each school’s district website to view the most current salary scale.

How long does it take to become a teacher in Virginia?

Once you complete your bachelor’s degree, which takes approximately four years, you will then need to complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. When you finish your teacher preparation program, you will take your initial Virginia examinations and apply for a Virginia teacher certification. You should be ready to teach in Virginia in less than five years!

How much does it cost to become a teacher in Virginia?

Becoming a teacher in Virginia requires a financial commitment. The main initial cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree will vary widely from person to person. There are several resources available to help teachers pay for their degrees and Virginia education licensure requirements. If you are majoring in education or are going directly into the field upon graduation, look into grant and loan programs. The Virginia Department of Education has provided information for financial support here.

In addition to the bachelor’s degree, other costs associated with becoming a Colorado teacher include the required teacher preparation program, state certification tests ($90-$200 per exam), and state application fees ($100). Plan ahead for the financial costs, and your teaching career will be off to a great start.

What other certifications can teachers in Virginia obtain?

Many! Once you are officially certified in Virginia, you can add other endorsements to your certificate by taking a Praxis Subject Assessment. The testing option does not apply to those ​​seeking approval in Early/Primary preK-3, Elementary Education preK-6, Special Education, Administration and Supervision pre-K-12, or Reading Specialist.


Are you ready to be a Virginia-certified teacher? 240 can help! 240Tutoring.com offers FREE Virginia exam resources to help you master your certification tests. When you subscribe to 240 Tutoring, you will gain access to every 240 Praxis Study Guide for Virginia for one monthly price. With the 240 Tutoring Pass Guarantee, it is no wonder so many are choosing 240 to pass their Virginia exams. We wish you the best on your journey to becoming a North Carolina certified teacher!

Interested in becoming a teacher in a different state? Check out these additional articles:

How to Become a Teacher in Texas
How To Become a Teacher in North Carolina
How To Become a Teacher in Florida
How to Become a Teacher in Ohio
How to Become a Teacher in Illinois
How to Become a Teacher in Tennessee
How to Become a Teacher in Wisconsin
How to Become a Teacher in Colorado
How to Become a Teacher in Arkansas