Become a Teacher in Delaware

Delaware Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary:$60,250
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary:$58,870
Vacation Weeks per Year:15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio:15.2
Expenditure per Pupil:$13,938

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

John G. Townsend Building
401 Federal St.
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 735-4000

Delaware Teacher Shortage Areas

The United States Department of Education defines a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) as a subject matter or grade level within a state in which there is an inadequate supply of elementary or secondary teachers.  The shortage may be caused by teaching positions that are unfilled or are filled by teachers who have temporary certification or teach in in academic subject other than their area of preparation.  According to a report by the USDE Office of Postsecondary Education, Delaware has the following Teacher Shortage Areas:

  • Art
  • Administrators
  • Business
  • ESOL/Bilingual
  • Library Media
  • Music
  • Psychologists
  • Science
  • Speech Pathologists
  • English
  • Foreign Language
  • Guidance and Counseling
  • Gifted and Talented
  • Mathematics
  • Nurses
  • Reading
  • Special Education
  • Technology Education

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Delaware

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 11/3/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Delaware, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a Delaware teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Delaware Teaching Credential

To attain a Delaware teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. Delaware issues an Initial License (valid for 3 years), a Continuing License after 3 years of successful teaching experience (renewable every 5 years), and an Advanced License (renewable every 10 years) for teachers who have received National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification. Delaware also issues Standard Certificates to teach a particular category, level or subject area.

Visit the Delaware Department of Education to learn more about earning your teaching credential in Delaware or read more about getting your teaching credential on

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Delaware

All states require that prospective teachers have at least a Bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification.  Some states also have specific course and credit-hour requirements.

Teacher education programs generally consist of two elements—curricula and fieldwork. Curricula generally include instruction on teaching fundamental skills, pedagogy (the science of teaching) and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. Fieldwork often includes field observations, internships, student teaching or a combination of all three.

Check with your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information about specific requirements. Delaware does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own.

Contact your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information. Delaware does require a minimum of 91 days of student teaching at one assignment.

Step Two: Delaware Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher certification programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area.

Step Three: Required Tests for Delaware

Delaware requires a passing score on the Praxis I Math, Reading and Writing exams and the Praxis II: Subject Test in your subject area to earn a Standard Certificate. Read more about teacher certification tests.

You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep.

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Featured Online Programs

Explore your career options in education:

Boost your credentials: in this 8-week online course, you'll engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective and engaging teaching methods in the higher education context. Refine your own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy and set yourself apart as effective educator.

BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons is the highly respected Master of Science in Behavior Analysis program delivered online from Simmons College. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.

Counseling@NYU offers an online master of arts in Counseling and Guidance program, with concentrations in school and bilingual school counseling to prepare students to become collaborative leaders elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Part-time and full-time options are available to fit student schedules.

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.

The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.

Sponsored Programs

Alternative Teacher Certification in Delaware

The Delaware Department of Education sponsors the Alternative Routes to Certification (ARTC) program, which allows teachers to complete their teaching certification while teaching in schools with a shortage of certified teachers. Delaware also has the Delaware Transition to Teaching Partnership (DT3P) for career changers or college graduates with non-education majors who are willing to teach in a high-needs area while working on their certification.

See the full range of alternative certification opportunities at the Delaware Department of Education website. Veterans may also be eligible for the Mid-Atlantic Region Troops to Teachers program.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Delaware

It is no longer enough to just have years of experience for teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, the careers of teachers increasingly depend on their results in the classroom. A master's degree in the field of education can give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor.

After a Master’s program, you may be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay. Even with no extra experience, a Master’s degree is valued to be worth at least an additional $3,500 per year over a Bachelor’s, according the job website Join Delaware Schools.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

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Certification Reciprocity in Delaware

Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in Delaware, visit the reciprocity page.

For more specific questions about your situation, contact the Delaware Department of Education.

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Financial Aid in Delaware

Delaware residents are eligible for the  Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship, as well as the TEACH Grant, which gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need school.

Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree on

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Delaware Teacher Salary and Incentives

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average teacher in Delaware makes $59,679 per year. Delaware is one of the highest paying states to teach in, although it does not provide any additional pay for teaching high-demand districts or school subject.

Read more about teacher salary on

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Delaware Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Teachers become vested in the state retirement system after at least 5 years of service. Although Delaware does not have a teacher retirement system, there is a retirement system for all public employees. Delaware's Pension Plan for Public Employees is explained in detail on the organization's website. School districts elect the remainder of the benefits such as health care plans and vacation days.

Read more about benefits for teachers on

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Professional Development for Teachers in Delaware

The mission of Delaware’s Professional Development Program is to promote excellence in both the educators and the students. Every 5 years, a teacher in Delaware must complete 90 hours of Professional Development credits, as well as whatever requirements the school district requires. Teachers holding an Initial license must undergo at least one year of mentoring. Learn more about Delaware’s professional development opportunities on the Delaware Department Education website.

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Delaware Teaching Jobs

Candidates for Delaware teaching jobs can visit Join Delaware Schools. Beside job listings, this site provides information about schools and districts. Read more about finding a teaching job on

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