How to Become a Teacher in South Dakota

The basics of how to become a teacher in South Dakota start with earning a bachelor degree, which can be pursued through a traditional college or via online degree programs. South Dakota recognizes other states’ approved teacher-education programs, so you do not have to graduate from a South Dakota college or university teacher education program.

South Dakota’s Department of Education and Office of Indian Education have similar teaching certification requirements. An additional course in Indian language and culture is required for teacher certification under the Office of Indian Education.

Requirements for a One-Year South Dakota Teaching Certificate

South Dakota lets new graduates obtain a teaching certificate that is good for one year. The requirements are:

  • Completion of a state-approved teaching-education program in an accredited college or university in any state.
  • A recommendation for certification from the college or university.

Requirements for a Five-Year South Dakota Teaching Certificate

To receive an initial certification that is good for five years or to renew the one-year teaching certificate, the following requirements must be met:

  • If more than five years have passed since completion of the teacher-preparation program, the applicant must have taken at least six semester hours in the applicant’s subject matter specialty in the five years prior to applying for a teaching certificate in South Dakota.
  • Passing grade on all required Praxis exams.
  • Completion of a course on South Dakota Indian Studies.

Alternate Route to Teacher Certification in South Dakota

There is no alternate route for elementary certification. Secondary teachers may be accepted in an alternate program for teaching in certain academic areas. The first step in applying for the Alternative Route to Certification Program is to be offered a job by an accredited South Dakota school.

The applicant must submit a copy of the job offer, all transcripts of undergraduate and graduate degrees along with a cover letter and a fee. If approved, the applicant can accept the teaching position and begin the process of completing the other required course work.

All course work for certification as a secondary teacher under the alternate route plan may be completed online. Field experience may be required and will be performed in the school where the teacher is employed.

Additional Requirements of South Dakota Office of Indian Teaching

The South Dakota Indian Education Act was enacted in to help preserve the language and culture of the South Dakota American Indian. Certain teachers will be required to take courses in South Dakota Indian Studies. The courses teach, among other things, specific learning styles unique to South Dakota American Indians.

Benefits of Becoming a Teacher in South Dakota

Job growth for secondary teaching in general is expected to grow by about 7 percent between now and the year 2020. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this is a slower growth than that in other industries. Specific job growth projections vary with geographical locations.

According to the BLS, the average salary for teachers is around $40,000 per year. In addition, teachers have a good health insurance plan including dental. South Dakota also offers yearly stipends in addition to the salary for all teachers who earn National Board Certification.