How to Become a Teacher in Vermont
If you want to earn a Vermont teaching license, there are a few steps you'll need to take. Vermont's teacher certification requirements include:
- Get a bachelor's degree from an accredited school.
- Complete a Vermont-approved teacher certification program.
- Pass the required tests including the Praxis Core Academic Skills Test (Praxis Core) and the appropriate Praxis II Content Tests (Praxis Subject Assessment).
- Apply for licensure through ALiS Vermont, the Green Mountain State's Online Licensing System.
The steps above represent the traditional route to teaching in Vermont. There are also alternative methods of obtaining teacher licensure in the state. Applicants can apply for licensure through the Peer Review process and can earn a provisional, emergency, or apprenticeship license. We will cover these alternative Vermont teacher certifications in greater detail below. First, we'll dive into the traditional pathway.
Vermont Teacher Certification Programs
Vermont requires you to undergo an educator preparation program before applying for licensure. Bachelor's programs in the field of education typically integrate these teacher prep programs into the curriculum, letting you knock out two requirements at the same time. However, if you have a degree in a field other than education, you'll need to complete a stand-alone prep program. Some of the institutions in Vermont that have bachelor's degrees in education or educator prep programs include (but are not limited to):
- The University of Vermont (located in Burlington, Vermont) offers undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate preparation in early childhood education, elementary education, PK-12 art, English, mathematics, science, social studies, middle-grade education, to name a few.
- St. Michael's College (located in Colchester, Vermont) provides undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate preparation in PK-12 art, PK-3 early childhood education, elementary education, mathematics, and middle-grade education. Again, these are only some of the offerings St. Michael's college presents to prospective teachers.
- Champlain College (located in Burlington, Vermont) offers undergraduate preparation in early childhood education, elementary education, English, mathematics, and social studies.
- Northern Vermont University (located in Johnson, Vermont, and Lyndon, Vermont) offers undergraduate and post-baccalaureate preparation in art, dance, early childhood education (Pk-3), elementary education, English, mathematics, music, science, social studies, special education (K-8), and theater arts, as well as undergraduate Preparation in early childhood education (birth-PK), post-baccalaureate preparation in the middle grades and special education (K-21), graduate preparation in school counseling, and teach-out preparation in physical education (PK-12).
Vermont Teacher Education Requirements
To apply for a Vermont teaching license, the state stipulates that all teachers hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. While many states use Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)-accreditation as the yardstick for measuring educator preparation programs, the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators (VSBPE) uses a system called Results Oriented Program Approval (ROPA) to vet these programs. Programs are judged on five standards:
- Standard 1: Content Knowledge, Pedagogy, and Professional Dispositions
- Standard 2: Systems of Assessment
- Standard 3: Field Experiences
- Standard 4: Resources and Practices
- Standard 5: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Even though programs in Vermont have undergone this vetting process, CAEP accreditation is still an important designation. It shows the program has met rigorous national standards for teaching education. This is also true for the two other major accreditors of teaching programs: the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
In most of the approved programs, you'll take a curriculum that consists of courses like:
- Childhood Development
- School and Society
- Technology in the Classroom
- Education in the 21st Century
- Diversity in Education
Of course, the subject you choose may dictate your coursework. For instance, aspiring high school teachers might take coursework in adolescent development and prospective teachers in an elementary education program might take courses in teaching elementary reading.
Bachelor's programs in education will also include a practicum where soon-to-be teachers get a chance to get hands-on experience in the classroom. In these student teaching internships, you'll work with a teacher in a Vermont school, assisting with lesson prep, observing the classroom experience and even leading some sessions yourself.
Required Tests for Vermont Teachers
Vermont teacher certification requirements also include passing a number of required exams. These include the Praxis Core Academic Skills Test or Praxis Core and at least one of the Praxis II Content Tests, or the Praxis 2.
Praxis Core Academic Skills Test
The Praxis Core Academic Skills Test is actually a suite of three separate tests: Reading, Writing and Mathematics. They can be taken together for a fee of $150 as the total Praxis test cost, or separately for a $50 fee for the Praxis registration and a per-test fee of $40.
|Test||Test Code||Passing Score|
SAT, ACT, or GRE scores can be used in lieu of the Praxis Core, as long as they are high enough. For SATs taken after March 1, 2016, candidates must have gotten a combined score of 1100. ACT scores must be at least 18 for both the Math and English portions. Finally, GRE test takers must have earned a combined score of 300, which includes a minimum Verbal score of 153 and a minimum Quantitative score of 144.
Praxis II Content Tests
Candidates for a Vermont teaching license must also pass a Praxis II Content Test (or a Praxis Subject Assessment) in the area they want to teach. For instance, an aspiring middle school math teacher would need to pass the Middle Grades Math Praxis (5169) and a prospective high school German language educator would have to pass the Modern and Classical Language: German Praxis (5183). There is a wide variety of tests touching on all sorts of topics from Modern and Classical Language: American Sign Language and Reading ELA Specialist to General Science and Physical Education. Praxis passing scores and test fees vary from exam to exam. Information on all of the Praxis Content Tests can be found on both the ETS Praxis site for Vermont and the Vermont Agency of Education site.
Additional Requirements for a Vermont Teaching License
Applicants for licensure must also participate in a background check to proceed with the process of Vermont teacher certification. They are required to submit their fingerprints as part of their application, and it must be administered for the sole purpose of Vermont certification. The state of Vermont does not accept fingerprints given for other states.
Vermont Teacher Licensing Process
To apply for licensure in Vermont, you'll submit a Vermont teacher certification application using ALiS, Vermont's online licensing system. Along with it, you'll need to provide documentation of your degree (official transcripts), an endorsement from your educator preparation program and your fingerprints. In addition, you'll need to have your Praxis scores sent from the ETS (the test provider) to the Vermont Agency of Education. You will receive your decision after a review by licensing specialists, whose review process can take up to 30 days.
The Level I License, which is the initial license for teachers in Vermont, costs $200 and is valid for three years. After enough experience and time spent as an educator, a Level I License can be upgraded to a Level II license, which costs $300 and is valid for five years.
Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification in Vermont
We've outlined the traditional path to teaching in Vermont schools, which requires a bachelor's degree, an educator preparation program, and passing of the Praxis tests. There are aspiring teachers for whom this path doesn't make sense, so Vermont allows for some alternative routes to licensure.
The Peer Review program is chief among them. In it, applicants need a bachelor's degree and Praxis exam passing scores, but do not need to complete an educator preparation program. To apply this way, you'll need to upload your resume with a Peer Review application. The Peer Review portfolio process will be enacted through either an 'initial' application -- for those who have no educational experience -- or an 'add endorsement' application, which is designed for those who have relevant experience. The portfolio will be expected to provide an applicant's credentials and plans of instruction.
In addition, Vermont offers applicants the ability to apply for three alternative licenses: apprenticeship, provisional and emergency.
An emergency license is granted to an individual upon approval of an application that has been submitted on behalf of the applicant by a high-ranking administrator at a school. Emergency licenses are valid for one year.
A provisional license is also initiated by the endorsement of a high-ranking administrator and requires the applicant to provide their plan for licensure application and completion of a bachelor's degree at minimum. A provisional license is valid for 2 years.
Finally, an apprenticeship license is designed for technical, trades and industry teachers who have expertise in a field but no license to teach. Apprenticeship licenses are valid for 3 years.
Certification in Vermont for Out-of-State Educators
Vermont adheres to the standards set by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement in determining which out-of-state educators can be granted licensure. In short, out-of-state educators are eligible for licensure reciprocity in Vermont if they are applying from any state except for New York, New Mexico and South Dakota.
If you come to Vermont with a teaching license in a state other than the three above, you'll apply through a process called Transcript Review. In this process, a licensing specialist will review your application and current license (along with potential documents like a program recommendation for an educator license) to make sure you have the credentials and experience required by NASDTEC. This process typically takes 30 to 40 days.
Employment Outlook & Salary for Teaching in Vermont
Data from the state of Vermont in 2019 shows that the average student-teacher ratio in their state is 13.8 students for every teacher; this is the lowest student-teacher ratio in the United States.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are 290 public general education schools in Vermont, serving 80,000 students (as of 2016). This represents a dropoff from 2000 when the state had 100,000 students roaming the halls of its elementary, middle and high schools.
Long-term projections for educators in Vermont predict that elementary school teachers (except those working in special education) will see a -0.2% growth rate, high school teachers (not in special education/career education) will see a -0.1% growth rate, and all other teachers (with the exception of substitute teachers) to see a 0.4% growth rate.
The following table provides an overview of the average reported teacher salaries and population of each type of teacher in Vermont as of 2020. All data reported is sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|Educator Type||Statewide Teacher Population||Average Teacher Salary|
|Preschool teachers (excluding special education)||790||$38,870|
|Kindergarten teachers (excluding special education)||280||$55,580|
|Elementary teachers (excluding special education||3,870||$62,750|
|Middle school teachers (excluding special education and career or technical education)||1,120||$62,600|
|High school teachers (excluding special education and career or technical education)||3,030||$66,370|
|High school career/technical education teachers||280||$64,550|
|Preschool teachers specializing in special education||70||$56,320|
|Kindergarten and elementary teacher specializing in special education||380||$61,250|
|Middle school teachers specializing in special education||150||$64,770|
|High school teachers specializing in special education||440||$64,270|
Source: May 2020 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics