Becoming a Teacher or Administrator

There are many different kinds of schools in which talented people may work in Washington State. Some private schools require teachers and administrators to have a Washington State certification, others do not. According to the law, schools need one certificated employee on staff. This person may be a certificated teacher, principal, or superintendent. Some private schools require a specific certification, like Waldorf or certain religious schools, while others hire capable, proficient individuals with a specific knowledge base that improves the school curriculum.

WA State Teacher Certification


Washington State will issue the Residency Teacher Certificate to applicants who provide documentation of meeting the following requirements:

  1. Transcript of having earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from any accredited college/university OR document transcript evaluation review performed by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.
  2. Completion of any state’s approved teacher preparation program. In Washington, there are 21 colleges/universities with state-approved teacher preparation programs and 12 state-approved alternative route programs.
  3. Passing the basic skills test and content knowledge test within 12 months of receiving your temporary permit.
  4. Fingerprint record & background check through WA State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Washington State Administrator Certification


WA State Administrator Certificate qualification prerequisites:

  • Certificate – Principal only:  Hold a regular teaching certificate or an Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certificate from Washington State or another state, and have 3 years of successful school-based instructional experience in an educational setting. 
  • Degree: Master’s degree
  • Preparation: A state-approved preparation program for the particular administrative role
    -OR-
  • Administrator Certificate from another state + 3 years experience in that role

Detailed information on different Admin Certificates can be found using the links below:


Principal and Program Administrator  

Superintendent (only)

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