Utah Teacher Licensing and Degree Requirements

Learn How to Become a Teacher in Utah

teaching-usa-utah-teacherTeachers have enviable jobs. They get a great feeling when they see their students’ smiling faces, sitting there and eager to learn. Or there’s a huge sense of accomplishment when that a kid finally reaches a goal he’s been working so hard to achieve. These are just a couple of reasons why making becoming a Utah teacher is such a great career choice.

But before you start teaching others, it’s important to get educated yourself on what the requirements are to become a teacher in Utah. If you are interested in teaching, here is some important information to get you started.

Utah Teacher Licensing Endorsements

Just in case you are not already familiar with what grade-level endorsements you can choose from, here are some of the most popular ones. Which one is right for you?

  • Career and Technical Education
  • Early Childhood
  • Elementary Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Special Education
  • Special Education (Birth-5)

Level 1 License

A Level 1 license is the entry-level teaching certification in Utah. To qualify, you’ll need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • Clear a background check and obtain a Fingerprint Clearance card
  • Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program or hold a degree in a subject area for secondary education
  • Get a passing score on The Praxis II in your content area
  • Get a recommendation from your college or university
  • Pay the license Fee
  • Valid for 3 years

Level 2 License

To upgrade to a Level 2 License, you must finish the Early Years Enhancement, or EYE. Some applicants will have a passing score on the PLT or Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching included in their EYE. Early Years Enhancement is an educational program offered by the state of Utah to help new educators complete the necessary requirements in their first three years of teaching so that they are eligible to upgrade to a Level 2 license. This can include college courses, in-house professional development, and experience to help improve teaching strategies and classroom teaching skills.

A recommendation from your school or district of employment is also required.  All teachers with a Level 1 license must complete this program within three years. If the requirements are not fulfilled within this time period, a one-time-only, one-year extension may be requested. Once you have upgraded to a level 2, your license is valid for five years.

One new requirement in the state of Utah states that all educators must take two hours of suicide prevention training.

Level 3 License

Note: A level 3 license is optional, and is not a required upgrade.

  • Earn a PhD
  • Receive your National Board Certification
  • A certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Hold a current Level 2 license
  • Valid for 7 years

What if I need to just renew my license?

The Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (or “CACTUS “) is important for all educators in Utah. The CACTUS contains your individual credential information and is an important part of the renewal process.

The steps needed to renew your license are as follows:

  • Your teaching position must be posted on the CACTUS to meet requirements when upgrading or renewing your license.
  • You must maintain a Professional Learning Plan (PLP), which lists activities completed or a plan of activities to complete. A new PLP is started after each license renewal.
  • If you’re currently teaching, the PLP is part of the evaluation required in your Professional Growth Plan.
  • Your current administrator will sign off, edit and review your PLP with you each year.
  • Level 1 license requires 100 renewal points, but most will need to directly upgrade to a Level 2 license.
  • Level 2 and 3 require 200 renewal points.
  • You must complete a background check within one year of the renewal date.

What if I have a teaching certificate from another state?

Teachers with credentials from other states can teach in Utah, but they’ll need to meet certain requirements. You’ll need your transcripts, credentials, test scores and any other important information from your previous state. Each state’s requirements and evaluation process is different, so it’s always best to contact the Utah Department of Education to learn what is required to transfer your teaching certificate to Utah.  You will first need to apply for an Initial Level License, which involves paying a fee. If you have one or two years of experience teaching in another state, that time may be applied to your completion of the EYE requirement to upgrade to a level 1 or 2 license. Three or more years of teaching experience in another state makes you eligible for a Level 2 license after one full year teaching in Utah.  The background check and fingerprint clearance card is always required, even if it has been completed recently in another states.

Substitute Teacher License

Utah is a state that has individual district requirements for its substitute teachers. The base requirements each individual needs are a high school diploma, copies of their official transcripts, letters of recommendation and a fingerprint clearance card. You will need to complete an application, but each district provides its own form, so you will need to contact the district to complete this step.

Utah is a great state to become a teacher, with many opportunities to grow and develop your skills. Why would you want to be a teacher anywhere else?

Sources: Utah State Office of Education, ETS Praxis


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