How to Earn a Teaching License in Wyoming
Becoming a teacher in Wyoming requires your completing certain steps. Your first step is to earn teacher certification. There are several pathways to doing this, but your options will depend upon your current level of education and experience.
Our guide can help you determine the right pathway for you at any point in your career. Perhaps you’re just beginning your journey and need to know about Wyoming’s certification process. Or maybe you want to learn how to progress to advanced certification and endorsements so you can specialize in an area such as special education or education administration. If you’re already teaching but are looking to move to Wyoming from out of state, you’ll need to find out about the reciprocity process. You’ll find all that information and more right here.
The short video below gives an overview of what to expect as a certified teacher in Wyoming.
Basic Teacher Requirements
There are two routes to getting your teacher license in the state of Wyoming: the traditional route to teacher licensure and the alternative route.
Traditional Route to Licensure
The standard method involves completing a state-approved program that has earned regional or national accreditation, and results in a bachelor’s degree or higher. Wyoming has approved many programs statewide for training new teachers. While in a college or university’s education department, you will receive the appropriate coursework and a mentored student teaching program that will give you the experience you will need to succeed. These steps are required for successful completion of a program certification.
Minimum Education Requirements for Wyoming State Teachers
Complete all required coursework in a state-approved educator preparation program. If you are unsure whether your local college or university’s program is state-approved, ask the program chair or the academic dean. Most teacher-preparation programs in Wyoming are designed to put you on a streamlined track to the classroom. The minimum requirement needed to become a teacher in the state is the four-year bachelor’s degree.
The University of Wyoming offers a full education program that covers every possible avenue in the teaching profession. There, you can train for any subject area covered in the K-12 years. They also offer specialized studies in Special Education for those who wish to work with some truly unique and fantastic students.
In Wyoming, the bachelor’s degree program you choose must be accredited and one component of the program must account for approved student teaching and preparation experience. You will need to verify you have completed this section of your education when you fill out the application for licensing and provide Institutional Recommendation from the accredited school or program where you completed your preparation.
Pass the Wyoming State Certification Exams
Exams include the Praxis I, and Praxis II subject exams, and may also include the official ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview test, and any out-of-state tests you passed in your home state if you are moving to Wyoming.
You may include recognition for Board Certification (NBCT) on your Wyoming state license by including a copy of your certificate verifying your status when you apply for state certification.
In-state and out-of-state program applicants: Have the Dean at your college of education or the school’s certification officer issue an Institutional Recommendation (IR). The IR form verifies you have met all requirements for the completion of your program, that you have been recommended for the endorsement that corresponds with your teacher prep program, and that you are eligible for licensure in the state your school is located in.
Submit official transcripts from your teacher prep program.
Submit to a background check and your Wyoming Fingerprint Cards.
Wyoming has a special requirement of its teachers-a Constitution test. This test will cover your knowledge of both the United States and Wyoming Constitutions. If you took Political Science courses that cover this material, that may satisfy the requirement. Otherwise, you may have to pass this requirement.
Successfully pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills Test. This test is much like the SAT or ACT.
If you want to teach a specific subject, such as science or PE, you must pass a subject-specific Praxis test – Praxis II. This test is focused on your area of expertise, so be sure you’re caught up with new events and changes in your subject matter.
Send in your completed Wyoming State application packet.
How Much Do Teachers in Wyoming Make?
Teachers can earn a healthy salary in the state of Wyoming, and while it may not seem as high as other states, remember that there are factors that influence salaries, including the cost of living, location, years of experience and what grade you teach. Here are some median annual salaries for different teachers in Wyoming.
|Early Childhood Educator||$32,060|
|Elementary School Teacher||$59,300|
|Secondary School Teacher||$62,170|
|Special Education Teacher||$62,980|
Job Growth for Teachers through 2030
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics; *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
The state of Wyoming has a “highly qualified” teacher certification for specific education levels and areas. Highly qualified teachers hold at least a bachelor’s degree, are fully licensed in the state, and have demonstrated content knowledge in the subject they choose to teach. Here are some guidelines for the most common levels and subjects.
Early Childhood Education
Besides earning a bachelor’s and passing the required Wyoming background check and fingerprint cards, and passing the Praxis Education of Young Children exam, if you seek employment at a preschool licensed by the Department of Family Services, you’ll need to complete several courses. These include first aid and CPR training, a staff orientation at the preschool where you seek employment, and upgrade training every two years in blood borne pathogens, fire safety training, sanitation training and how to recognize and report child abuse. You may also need to complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years from an approved facility or institution.
Elementary School Teacher
Elementary school teachers must take the appropriate Praxis exam in Multiple Subjects to become fully certified and highly qualified in elementary education. Elementary certification applies to grades K-6.
Secondary School Teacher
Secondary teachers who are currently licensed may add an endorsement to teach Math, English, Science, or Social Studies by adding a Middle School endorsement in that same content area by taking the Praxis II exam and applying for the endorsement. This level of teacher must first meet all the traditional route requirements for the state of Wyoming.
Substitute Teacher Certification
You must complete the Initial or Reinstatement Educator Permit Application and follow all licensure steps above, including the fingerprint cards, providing verification of coursework and demonstrating U.S. and Wyoming Constitution knowledge. For substitute teachers wishing to have their license reinstated must have completed all the requirements and pay applicable fees, usually $50 – $100 per endorsement.
Physical Education (PE) Certification
In addition to the teacher requirements for the state, you must complete a PE teacher preparation program that is recognized by the NCATE or receive an Institutional Recommendation in physical education on your behalf. One alternate route to certification includes three years of full time teaching in another state and a copy of your original state teacher certification.
The state requires certification or licensure of physical education teachers at the elementary, middle school/junior high and high school levels, which must be renewed every five years. Elementary classroom teachers (generalists) may teach required elementary school physical education classes. A Praxis exam is required for initial certification for generalists.
Professional development continuing education hours or credits are required to maintain/renew one’s physical education teacher certification or licensure. The back of a license or permit may state that renewal credits must meet certain professional development requirements in content specific areas such as physical education. No state funding is provided for this professional development.
Temporary/emergency teacher certification to teach physical education may be granted for up to one year to anyone holding a bachelor’s degree in teaching or education.
English as a Second Language Certification
Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) educators may become qualified for licensure through after completing a bachelor’s degree program in education and applying for the ESL endorsement. Teachers who are already licensed may also complete post-graduate coursework that can result in an ESL endorsement. An ESL/EFL teaching certificate is also available from colleges and universities within the state.
Certifications for School Administrators
School administrators, including superintendents, principals, school counselors, social workers, speech pathologists, school nurses and certain special education fields must add the appropriate level of endorsement to all of their met educational requirements and state requirements necessary for the field. These endorsements cannot be added with a Demonstration of Competency but must be added through Institutional Recommendation and passing the Praxis exam in the applicable area.
Teaching Reciprocity Agreements in Wyoming
Wyoming participates in reciprocity with all states for teachers who want to move there and teach. When two states have an agreement for teachers moving from one state to another, it’s called teaching reciprocity. Here are some of the agreements that Wyoming has for teachers coming into the state.
|NASDTEC Interstate Agreement||Wyoming is a participating state in the NASDTEC Agreement.|
|State Grants Full Reciprocity||No. But as you complete an accredited teacher preparation program and earn a bachelor’s degree in another state you are eligible to apply for teacher licensure in Wyoming. You must meet Wyoming state coursework and security check provisions.|
|Coursework Requirements||All candidates must earn a bachelor’s degree, pass an exam on U.S. and Wyoming state Constitutions, and meet endorsement and coursework requirements for the state.|
|Test-out or Exemption||Yes. Candidates must pass an exam to demonstrate knowledge of U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions.|
|Assessment Requirements||Out-of-country and out-of-state teachers may be required to have their current coursework evaluated by NACES-approved committees to ensure the quality and relevance of completed curriculum. If coursework meets approval, candidates may then apply via the usual teacher licensing route.|
|Different Requirements Based on Experience||Yes, but not for all candidates. To qualify for Wyoming licensure, out-of-state applicants must demonstrate having completed either a state-approved traditional route program at a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or a state-approved alternative route program at a regionally accredited institution of higher education that contains all the requisite components of a state-approved traditional route program at a regionally accredited institution of higher education.|
|Performance Requirements||An Institutional recommendation will be required from your current out-of-state university.|
|Special Reciprocity for Advanced Credentials||This is not available in Wyoming as the state does not have a tiered licensing system. Out of state candidates may pursue the traditional route for licensure. If a candidate does not meet requirements, they may receive an Exception Authorization while they complete state requirements for licensure.|
Alternate Teaching Certification
Not everyone is called to teach while they are in their undergraduate years. For these individuals, the state of Wyoming has provided numerous alternative routes to certification. Here are steps to the classroom via alternate routes.
If you completed an alternative licensing program in another state, the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB) may consider your work experience if you taught full-time for at least three out of the last six years while fully licensed in each endorsement area taught.
You must submit verification of full-time teaching, administration or other education-related experience up to and including the past 10 years which has been signed by your school’s administration.
Student teaching does not qualify as acceptable experience.
Send a copy of your current teaching certificate or license issued by your state.
Submit your Praxis II exam scores or the equivalent exam from your state.
Submit to a background check and your Wyoming Fingerprint Cards.
Pass the U.S. and Wyoming Constitution test.
Complete the application packet.
If your work history does not meet the standards above you may still be eligible pending review of your circumstances and acceptance under an Exception Authorization. These are issued in emergency situations to applicants who, due to extenuating circumstances, have not met all the requirements for full licensure. The Exception Authorization is issued for one year, for a specific job role, and only while the requirements to obtain state licensure are being fully met.
Wyoming also recognizes that not everyone decides on a teaching career when they enter college. Frequently, people decide to change career focus after a few years in the private sector. With that in mind, there is an alternative route to obtaining a teacher’s certificate. Wyoming recognizes one program, the Northern Plains Transition to Teaching (NPTT) program, which is administered through the University of Montana-Bozeman.
If you have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.5 GPA, and have been in your initially-chosen career for a while and now desire a change, the state does not require that you return to school for a full 4-year education. Rather, it offers a route for prospective teachers who have already completed a non-education undergraduate degree.
To qualify, you must be hired by a school district to teach, satisfy their requirements for the Praxis I&II, and complete all the background check paperwork. The school district will first seek a fully-certified instructor, but if they come up short, you may be on your way to a teaching career. Your NPTT advisor can help you satisfy all the necessary requirements.
Teach for America
Teach for America works in communities across the country, usually in large urban areas or rural areas that need teacher assistance. After working within the Teach for America corps for a commitment of two years you can partner with grad schools and employers across the country. Wyoming currently has no active Teach for America program within the state itself.
Transition into Teaching for Career Changers
If you have a bachelor’s degree in a related area, such as mathematics or English, you may be eligible to transition into teaching in Wyoming. If the school district you’re interested in within the state has searched for a candidate but cannot find an acceptable person, the Wyoming school district may offer the position to candidates who have a degree in a related area that they need to fill. Candidates generally teach full-time while completing the additional training needed to meet Wyoming state teaching requirements for full licensure.
Certificates and Licensing Outside of the U.S.
If you want to teach in Wyoming but are from another country, you must first determine the U.S. equivalency of your education program by having your university transcripts evaluated on a course-by-course basis by an approved transcript evaluation service. These authorized services are listed on the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services website. If your program meets Wyoming state standards you may qualify for a Wyoming Educator License using the traditional route steps above.