How To Become a Teacher In Wisconsin

How To Become a Teacher In Wisconsin


If you are ready to make a difference with a good career, follow these guidelines to learn how to become a teacher in Wisconsin.

Candidates for teacher jobs in Wisconsin must do the following:

  • Earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from accredited institutions or online degree programs
  • Complete a state-approved teacher-preparation program
  • Pass a background check including fingerprint clearance
  • Earn passing scores on the Praxis tests (basic skills & content area)
  • Major in the subjects they plan to teach if they are secondary school teachers
  • Complete phonics coursework for early childhood and elementary certification
  • Do coursework in the study of Wisconsin Indian tribes and environmental education

Educator Licenses in Wisconsin

Certificates for licensed teachers in Wisconsin come in four categories: educator, administrator, pupil services and supplementary teaching. Educator licenses are based on developmental stages from birth to age 21.

Developmental Stages for Wisconsin Teacher Endorsement

  • Early childhood (pre-K to grade 3)
  • Early childhood through middle childhood (pre-K to grade 6)
  • Middle childhood through early adolescence (grades 1 to 8)
  • Early adolescence through adolescence (grades 5 to 12)
  • Early childhood through adolescence (pre-K to grade 12)

Stages of Educator Licenses

There are three levels of educator licenses for teaching in Wisconsin.

An Initial Educator License is granted to applicants who complete an approved educator program in a licensing category for the first time. It is valid for five years.

A Professional Educator License is for teachers who have been employed for three years and have secured an approved professional development plan. Applicants who do not meet requirements to advance to this stage may be eligible for a one-year non-renewable Initial Educator license.

A Master Educator License is granted to educators who successfully complete a National Board Certification by a National Board of Professional Teaching Standards or a Wisconsin Master Educator Assessment Process. It is valid for 10 years.

Other Educator Licenses

Wisconsin also issues teaching licenses under these scenarios:

Emergency License

This license permits a licensed teacher to teach in an area where they are not licensed, provided they are working toward meeting that area’s requirements. It must be requested by the employing district; it’s valid for one year and is renewable when the requirements are completed.

Emergency Permit

An emergency permit allows a permit holder to teach in one specific assignment while completing requirements for that assignment. It carries the same stipulations as that of the emergency license.

Five-Year Substitute License

This license allows a substitute teacher to teach in a long-term assignment in an area in which they are licensed to teach and in short-term assignments out-of-area.

Three-Year Substitute Permit

This permit allows an individual with a bachelor’s degree from any accredited institutions or online degree programs to teach in a short-term assignment. It must be requested by the employer.

Intern License

This license allows students to perform instructional duties while supervised by a licensed educator. The student must be recommenced by the teacher-preparation program he or she is working to complete. It is available only through the Wisconsin Improvement Program for teaching internship. It is valid for one semester.

Facts on Teaching in Wisconsin

Teachers in Wisconsin earn an average of $48,000 per year, according to the job site, though pay will vary significantly according to the teacher’s experience and education, and the resources of their local school district.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Wisconsin had 2,275 schools with 57,625 teachers and 872,286 students in 2011, which works out to a student-to-teacher ratio of 15.14-to-1, which is just below the national average of 15.97-to-1.