Reference and Education

Teaching License Renewal: All you need to know!

A certificate in teaching is a teacher’s license to practice in an American classroom. You need a certificate whether you want to teach in elementary, middle, or high school. But then, the steps to acquiring a teaching license can be confusing, especially to new graduates in this field.

Some might not know that teaching licenses expire at some point. They end up confused and not sure of the steps to follow to renew their expired licenses. If you are a beginner in the teaching profession, this post is for you. It will explore all you should know about license renewal.

Here’s everything you should know.

How Teaching Licenses Work

It will help first to explain how teaching licenses work. This will help a complete novice looking for one to understand the rest of this article. When you first get hired as a teacher, the government issues you with a temporary, sometimes called a conditional license.

Every state has its rules regarding the issuance of conditional licenses. For instance, these licenses expire within 1-3 years of issuance, depending on one’s state. However, you can’t renew this teaching license after it expires because it’s just a temporary accreditation.

Also, you can get issued a temporary teaching certificate if there’s an emergency. This means you will hold onto the certificate until your district and principal deem you competent. That’s when you’ll be eligible and able to apply for an upgrade of your teacher’s license.

So, how does one upgrade to a permanent or state-issued standard teaching license?

A standard or permanent teaching license means someone is fully qualified for the job. It doesn’t expire as fast as the temporary license. You might hold it for between 3 to 5 years, depending on the period allowed by your state’s licensing laws.

After expiry, you’ll be able to renew it without any conditions. You only need to remain proficient in what you do and be disciplined throughout your career. You can also take an advanced course for teachers to upgrade your state-issued standard teaching license.

Every state has its teaching license upgrading system. You need to know the graduate courses for teachers that you can take to get an upgrade in your state. Taking a relevant advancement course for teachers will make it easier to move from teaching one level to a higher one.

You can improve your general teaching skills by taking an advanced course. You become an effective educator and develop practical teaching skills that you lacked as a beginner. In addition, you will take a bigger salary home once you get a higher accreditation.

Teaching Accreditation Categories

Source: Pixabay

It is essential to know the various teaching accreditation categories. As we stated earlier, the American education system has different levels of learning. Different factors will determine your teaching accreditation level.

They include:

  • The level and the age of the students you teach. Children of different ages belong to different levels of study. You can only move to a higher level if you advance your skills.
  • Your state’s standards and requirements. It would be best to start by researching your state’s requirements before you apply for accreditation.

You might need a degree in elementary school teaching to get accredited in some states. Also, there may be additional requirements that you must amass some teaching hours before being accredited. You require 30 hours or more for elementary teaching accreditation in Florida.

Also, you’ll need a degree in the secondary subject you want to teach to get accredited as a secondary school teacher. Every state has a Department of Education where you can apply for accreditation. You only need to pass all of the prerequisites before you get accredited.

What to Do if Teacher Certification Has Expired?

It will help to know what to do once your teacher certification expires. This typically happens after five years of getting your standard teaching license. The rules of retaining your teacher certification will depend on the laws of the state you stay or teach in within the US.

As stated earlier, there’s a department of education in every state. That’s where you will apply for the renewal of your expired teacher certification. You can visit the state department physically or apply for renewal on the state’s website to know the specific requirements for this renewal.

Sometimes you might forget to apply for the renewal of your teacher certification in time. The best option to consider will be to apply for reinstatement of the certificate. You can also do this online or at the department offices. You’ll have a reinstatement form to fill out, and you might also pay a fee.

How Often Do You Have to Renew Your Teaching License

We have already mentioned that there’s no pacific timeline for renewing your teaching license. It all depends on where you stay or work. Every state has unique timelines for the renewal of teaching licenses. You can only know by researching or speaking with educational officials in your area.

In addition, it will depend on the license you hold. Some states have different renewal times depending on one’s level of teaching. You might need to renew your elementary certificate earlier than someone else who’s held their middle or high school certificate for a similar period.

You won’t need to renew your license more often if you take advancement courses. Some laws allow you to renew a teaching accreditation by taking graduate courses for teachers. You can identify the best advancement courses to take to ensure you extend your accreditation.


Obtaining and renewing teaching licenses can confuse new teachers. But you now have a hint of what to expect if you’re about to go through this process. We have explained how teaching licenses work. We have also looked into the different accreditation categories in this field.

One of the best ways to keep your license renewed is by furthering your training. You can take a teaching course such as Google classroom training. Also, there are many advanced courses that you can consider. Completing an advanced course will help keep your license renewed.

Now you can ensure your teaching license remains valid. You can use this article as a guide if you are starting your teaching career and would like to apply for accreditation. It will help you meet all requirements and get the desired results from your efforts.

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