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Washington Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification


Limited Teaching Certificates

Meet the minimum requirements to teach in this state.

For those who do not qualify for a regular teaching certificate, there are several limited certificates available to meet the needs of employers.

Contracted Teaching:

  • Conditional Teacher
  • Emergency Teacher
  • Transitional Teacher
  • *NOTE: Individuals can only request these certificates if a school district or private school employer requests it. In many cases, this is only when insufficient certificated persons are available. The Substitute Teacher certificate can be requested without the involvement of a school district or private school employer.

    Conditional Teacher Certificate:

    The conditional certificate gives a school district the flexibility to hire someone who has expertise in an area, usually when they cannot find a certificated teacher in a specific endorsement area. The certificate is subject to specific limitations and the teacher must take professional development coursework to enhance their teaching competencies. It is valid for up to 2 years.

    Download: Application

    Emergency Teacher Certificate:

    The Emergency Certificate qualifies a teacher candidate for employment if the candidate has the appropriate degree and has substantially completed a teacher preparation program, but has not yet qualified for the Residency Certificate, if the school cannot find a regularly certificated teacher. The Emergency Certificate enables the teacher to be assigned for up to one school year.

    Download: Application

    Transitional Teaching Certificate:

    The Transitional Teaching Certificate enables a teacher whose continuing teacher certificate has lapsed to teach for 2 years while working on reinstatement of the continuing certificate. It is valid for 2 calendar years only (24 months from issue) and can only be issued once in a teacher’s career. Candidates must have an district’s approval to request this certificate.

    Download: Application

    The Washington Department of Education

    Learn more about teaching careers in this state.

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