The Rhode Island Teaching and Certification Resource

Are you interested in teaching in Rhode Island? This resource can help you become certified and qualified to teach in the state.

It outlines education and testing requirements, approved teacher education programs, salary expectations, and job outlook.

It also explains background checks and additional certification requirements you must fulfill.

Get the information you need to confidently pursue a career in teaching in Rhode Island.

Becoming a Teacher in Rhode Island

Becoming a teacher in Rhode Island requires several steps. First, individuals must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. This degree is a basic requirement to enter the teaching profession.

In addition to the bachelor’s degree, candidates must also complete a teacher preparation program that is approved by the state. This program provides the necessary coursework and training to develop the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective teacher.

Once the bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program are completed, applicants must pass the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) and Praxis Subject Assessments for the endorsement areas they are seeking. These exams assess an individual’s understanding of teaching principles and their subject-specific knowledge.

For individuals who have a bachelor’s degree but did not complete a teacher preparation program, there is an alternative teacher certification option in Rhode Island. This allows individuals to become certified as teachers without completing a traditional teacher preparation program.

To find approved teacher education programs in Rhode Island, individuals can refer to the Rhode Island Department of Education’s list of approved programs. It is also recommended to look for schools with accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), as this accreditation ensures that the program meets high standards of quality and effectiveness.

Overall, becoming a teacher in Rhode Island requires a bachelor’s degree, completion of an approved teacher preparation program, and passing the required Praxis exams. Alternative teacher certification is also available for those who meet the requirements.

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs

Finding an approved teacher education program in Rhode Island requires researching regionally accredited schools that offer approved programs. Schools accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) are particularly noteworthy. Potential teaching candidates should refer to the Rhode Island Department of Education’s list of approved programs and consider the following:

  • Ensure the school offering online teacher certification programs is regionally accredited
  • Look for schools with accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Use the sortable table on the Rhode Island schools page to compare key metrics for state-approved teacher preparation programs.

Rhode Island Teacher Education and Testing Requirements

To become certified in Rhode Island, a prospective teacher must meet a series of requirements. First, they must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. Second, they must complete an approved teacher preparation program. This program typically includes coursework and training focused on teaching methods and strategies. Third, they must fulfill field experience and student teaching requirements. This provides them with hands-on experience in a real classroom setting. Fourth, they must meet the state’s education requirements, which may include specific coursework or credits in education-related subjects. Fifth, they must pass the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) and Subject Assessments. These tests measure a teacher’s knowledge and skills in their chosen subject area. Additionally, prospective teachers must disclose any criminal history, provide transcripts from their education and training programs, and complete the application for certification. This application also requires payment of a processing fee. The Praxis series of tests are an important component of the certification process, as they demonstrate a teacher’s competency and readiness for the classroom.

Additional Certification Requirements

Completing background checks and providing official transcripts are additional certification requirements for becoming a teacher in Rhode Island, and these must be fulfilled in order to obtain a teaching credential. These include:

  • Disclosing any criminal history, including misdemeanor offenses

  • Submitting official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree

  • Completing the application for teaching certification in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Teacher Outlook, Salary, and Jobs

Rhode Island is projected to have an average of 720 job openings for teachers through 2026, and salaries for elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers vary significantly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for an elementary school teacher is $71,990, for middle school teachers is $72,180, and for secondary school teachers (excluding special education teachers) is $71,440. The US Department of Education reported teacher shortages in several areas for the 2021-22 school year, such as English as a second language (ESL), math, science, social studies, special education, physical education, and more.

Grade Level Taught Average Annual Salary
Elementary $71,990
Middle $72,180
Secondary $71,440

Benefits of Teaching in Rhode Island

Although there are many challenges associated with teaching in Rhode Island, there are also numerous benefits to be gained from such a rewarding career. These include:

  • An opportunity to use creative approaches to engage students and provide an engaging learning environment

  • A chance to positively impact the lives of students and be a role model for them

  • The potential to build meaningful relationships with colleagues and members of the community

Financing Teacher Education Programs

Finding a way to finance a teacher education program can be a challenging endeavor for aspiring teachers. Fortunately, there are a variety of options available for those looking to become certified in Rhode Island.

Scholarships, grants, and loans are all viable options for those seeking to finance their education and become a teacher. Rhode Island offers a variety of grants and scholarships, including the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant and the Rhode Island Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.

Additionally, various federal loan options are available for those looking to finance their education. It is important to research all available options and understand the terms and conditions associated with each before making a decision. Taking the time to compare the different options can help aspiring teachers make an informed decision about how to finance their teacher preparation program.

What to Consider Before Pursuing Certification

Before pursuing certification, it is important to consider the cost, time commitment, and other factors associated with teacher training.

A few things to consider include:

  • Financing: Determine if the cost of tuition and other course-related expenses will be covered by scholarships, grants, or loans.

  • Timeline: Estimate the amount of time it will take to complete the teacher preparation program.

  • Specific Requirements: Research the specific requirements for certification in Rhode Island, including education, testing, and background checks.

Job Prospects for Rhode Island Teachers

Rhode Island teachers can expect a competitive job market, with average annual salaries and projected job openings for the next five years. According to the US Department of Education, Rhode Island reported teacher shortages for the 2021-22 school year in several areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be 240 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 130 for middle school teachers, and 250 for secondary school teachers through 2026.

Grade Level Average Annual Job Openings Average Annual Salary
Elementary School 240 $71,990
Middle School 130 $72,180
Secondary School 250 $71,440

Resources for Rhode Island Teachers

In addition to job prospects, Rhode Island teachers should be aware of the resources and support available to them. Here are a few key items:

  • Access to approved teacher preparation programs and alternative teacher certification options
  • Testing requirements for teacher licensure, including the Praxis series of exams
  • Salary and job openings information, as well as teacher shortages, from the US Department of Education.

Rhode Island offers helpful resources for teachers to stay informed and pursue their desired career.


By understanding the regulations, requirements, and expectations of becoming a teacher in Rhode Island, aspiring educators can make an informed decision about pursuing certification.

Teachers in Rhode Island can look forward to competitive salaries, job security, and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students.

With the right education, training, and dedication, teachers in Rhode Island can find success and satisfaction in this rewarding profession.

About Jessica Phillips

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