Certification for Classroom Teachers


All teachers employed in the public schools in New York State must hold a valid teaching certificate. State certification is also required for teachers employed in state-operated and state-supported schools, Special Act school districts, approved private schools for the education of students with disabilities, and approved preschool special education programs.

The majority of teachers begin their careers with an initial teaching certificate and then during the 5-year life of the initial, they fulfill additional education and experience requirements to progress to the professional teaching certificate. There are also transitional certificates for individuals with non-teaching degrees and experiences that provide an alternate entry point to teaching.

Download Fact Sheet 24-3: Teacher Certification in New York State for a summary of the certification process in New York State.

Certification Resources for Classroom Teachers

Certification Types
It is important to know which certificate(s) you possess, if it has an expiration date, and how to maintain them in order to protect your career and livelihood. Learn more.

Initial to Professional Teaching Certification
Initial certificates are valid for five (5) years during which the requirements for the professional certificated are completed. Learn more.

Reissuance of Initial Certificates
There is the potential for up to two (2) reissuances of the initial certificate if one is unable to complete the requirements for the professional certificate. Learn more.

Registering with SED
All permanently and professionally certified teachers working in a NYS public school or BOCES are required to register with the State Education Department (SED) using the TEACH online system. Learn more.

Ongoing Certification Requirements
Professionally certified teachers are required to complete 100 Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) hours during each five (5)-year registration cycle. Learn more.