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Tennessee Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification

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Apprentice Occupational Education License

Meet the minimum requirements to teach in this state.

An Apprentice Occupational Education License may be issued to individuals who meet requirements in the area of Health Science or Trade and Industry.

Click for a listing of Occupational Education License endorsement areas currently available in Tennessee.

The Health Science educator must document three years of full-time successful employment within the past five years in a state approved health care facility: (ex: hospital, nursing home, rehab center, dental or medical office, home health, day surgery center etc.). He/she must also have an associate or higher degree and hold current licensure or certification in an allied health occupation, or current licensure as a registered nurse in Tennessee.

The Trade and Industry educator must document a minimum of five years of appropriate and current work experience during the past eight years in the field for which application is made. He/she must also be a high school graduate or the equivalent as determined by the General Education Development (GED) test.

The Cosmetology educator must also hold current licensure to instruct in Tennessee as issued by the respective state licensing board in addition to the other requirements for Trade and Industry educators.

Click to download the application for the Apprentice Occupational Education Licenseor call (615) 532-4885 to request the forms be mailed to you. Qualifications including experience and educational preparation shall be reviewed by the staff of the Office of Teacher Licensing. Once an application has been reviewed and approved, the Apprentice Occupational Education License will be issued. Click to download the guidelines for applying for the Apprentice Occupational Education License

Note: The Apprentice Occupational Education License is only valid for three years of teaching in a Tennessee public or state accredited private school.

Advancing to the Professional Occupational Education License, valid for a ten year period, requires an evaluation of the candidate’s knowledge and skills by an approved university to determine what specific coursework will be required for advancement. Click to download the Link textrequirements for advancing and teacher evaluations form.This evaluation must be scheduled by the applicant as soon as the Apprentice Occupational Education License is received in order to complete the required coursework within the three year period that the license is valid. Click to download the advancement application. Upon completion of all requirements the educator must submit the completed advancement application, and the teacher evaluations form to the Office of Teacher Licensing.

The Tennessee Department of Education


Learn more about teaching careers in this state.


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