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State Certification

How to Become Certified Teacher in Illinois

There are several types of State of Illinois Teaching Certificates available:

  • Type 04 - Early Childhood
  • Type 03 - Elementary
  • Type 09 - Secondary
  • Type 10 - Special Certificate
  • Type 29 - Transitional Bilingual Certificate

Each particular type of certificate requires general education coursework, along with focused professional teaching coursework and/or concentrations in particular curriculum areas. Visit the ISBE Web site for further information regarding the types of Illinois Teaching Certificates.

Download a more detailed document from the Illinois State Board of Education outlining the requirements for certification, endorsement and assignment of teachers, school service personnel and administrators (PDF).

Testing Requirements for Teachers in Illinois

Detailed information regarding required testing levels and content area can be found on the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Web site.

Detailed information regarding registration for the Illinois Basic Skills Test can be found on the Illinois Certification Testing System (ICTS) Web site.

More Difficult to Teach Without State Certification

It has become gradually more difficult to teach without state certification as expectations/requirements for teachers have increased.

  • To teach in a public school in Illinois you must have the correct certification for the grade level and specialty area you wish to teach. View the requirements for certification.
  • To teach in another state, you must fulfill the requirements for that state's teacher certification. Some states have very similar requirements as Illinois and some vary a great deal. You must carefully check the state in which you want to teach to determine what additional courses you may need to take. Often a provisional certificate is granted so that you can teach in a different state while you take the required courses.
  • To teach in a charter school in Illinois you must have a Bachelor's degree, 5 years of experience in your degree field, and a passing score on all state teacher exams. It is possible to teach in a charter school in Illinois with teacher certification from another state. There are currently stipulations in Illinois specifying what percentage of current teachers in charter schools must be certified. It's important to remember that each state has its own charter school requirements for teachers and these differ greatly from state to state.
  • It is possible to teach in international schools without teacher certification but most international schools are requiring certification at this time. The certification can usually be from any state in the United States.
  • Both secular and religious schools have their own requirements for teaching and you need to check to see if state certification is required.
  • It is possible to be an assistant teacher in an Early Childhood Education program that is not in a public school without certification. Please see an Early Childhood instructor at College of Lake County for details.

Certification from Another State

If you have current teacher certification from another state in the United States, you may be issued a provisional certificate to teach in Illinois. Visit the ISBE Division of Educator Certification.