Learn About Teaching & Licensing in Oregon

teaching-usa-oregon-teacherBecoming a teacher is a rewarding career that can lead to wonderful opportunities and experiences.

Like any career, there are some prerequisites before you can begin. The state of Oregon has specific requirements for people who want to teach in its public schools.

Read on to learn about the degree, certification and advancement opportunities you can find when you decide to become a teacher in Oregon state.

Initial 1 Teaching License

All new teachers first need to apply for an Initial 1 Teaching license. This is the license you will need for your first 3 years of teaching, and you can renew it two times.

What you need to apply for a teaching license in Oregon:

  • Submit official college transcripts and complete an approved certification program, which must include a student teaching experience.
  • Pass a background check and get a fingerprint clearance card.
  • Pass the Basic Skills and Subject knowledge portions of any of the following exams.
    • NES-National Evaluation Series
    • CBEST
    • Praxis I test for the Basic Skills, and NES Multiple Subject or the Praxis II in your subject area.

Renewing your Initial 1 License

To renew your Initial 1 License, you’ll need to earn at least 4.5 quarter credits or 3 semester credits of graduate coursework. These credits/courses must be applicable to your current license and the subject area in which you are teaching.

Remember, you are only allowed to renew the initial 1 license two times. So if you plan to continue your teaching career in Oregon, it’s important to look into master’s programs and/or graduate level courses to start working towards the Initial 2 License. Also note that all license renewals require a $100 fee.

Initial 2 Teaching License

The next level of licensing in Oregon is the Initial 2 license, also valid for up to three years. What you need to know about the Initial 2:

  • It’s a renewable License.
  • You must complete a master’s degree or higher in the areas of arts or sciences, or an advanced professional degree.
  • In place of a degree, you may apply 15 quarter hours or 10 semester hours of graduate courses in all three of the following areas:
  1. Subject Matter
  2. Education-related
  3. Elective

Out-of-State and Substitute Licenses

If you hold a teaching license in a different state or would like to substitute teach in Oregon, then you’ll need an Initial Teaching license. This initial license is valid for 18 months. After that, you’ll need to take tests and fulfill other requirements to get an up-to-date license and continue teaching in Oregon. It’s a good idea to submit your educator test scores from any other state for evaluation, if you have them, to see if they meet Oregon requirements.

There are just a few requirements in order to get this license.

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university or college (You must submit official transcripts)
  • A current or expired full-time, K-12 teaching certificate from any state
  • Clear a background check and get a fingerprint card
  • $120 Application fee

Emergency License

Emergency teaching licenses are for people who might not have all the credentials they need to get an initial license but who can work in a subject area that has a vacancy to be filled. The school administrator or district can request this license along with completing a Professional Educator Experience form to validate previous teaching experience. The application is available online and must be completed with a $100 fee.

Oregon is a great state to become a teacher, with its great school districts and the wide variety of specialized and alternative teaching licenses it offers. It is important to first review your situation and see what additional requirements you’ll need to meet.

Sources: Oregon.gov; Oregon Department of Education.


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