Limited Teaching Certificates
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Teacher Certification

What types of Certificates are available? (basic requirements)

  • Residency Certificate - this is the first level regular certificate that the majority of applicants receive
  • Nonimmigrant Exchange Teacher Certificate - this is the regular certificate for visiting teachers coming to teach on J-1 visas through OSPI's International Education Exchange and Visiting Teacher programs
  • Professional Certificate - this is the advanced level regular certificate. Most applicants receive this certificate after holding a residency certificate and working as an educator in Washington
  • Substitute Certificate - valid for life
  • Limited Teaching Certificates - these certificates are for employers who cannot find enough teachers with regular certificates and wish to hire an applicant that does not meet requirements for a regular certificate
  • Foreign Trained - What if I was Educated in Another Country?  If you are from another country, you may have your college transcript evaluated to determine US-equivalency.  With the equivalent of a bachelor's degree and completion of a teacher preparation program, you should qualify for a Residency Certificate.
  • Student Teaching in Washington – What if I am in a teacher preparation program and I am going to student teach in Washington?


Limited Teaching Certificates

For those who do not qualify for a regular teaching certificate, there are several limited certificates available to meet the needs of employers.

The Substitute Teacher certificate is limited only in the length of assignment.

Contracted Teaching:

  • Conditional Teacher*
  • Emergency Teacher*
  • Transitional Teacher*
  • Substitute Teaching:

  • Substitute Teacher
  • Emergency Substitute Teacher*
  • Intern Substitute Teacher*
  • *NOTE: Individuals can only request these certificates if a school district or private school employer requests it.  In many cases, this is only when insufficient certificated persons are available.  The Substitute Teacher certificate can be requested without the involvement of a school district or private school employer.


    Contracted Teaching

    Conditional Teacher Certificate:

    The conditional certificate gives a school district the flexibility to hire someone who has expertise in an area, usually when they cannot find a certificated teacher in a specific endorsement area. The certificate  is subject to specific limitations and the teacher must take professional development coursework to enhance their teaching competencies. It is valid for up to 2 years.

    Download: Application

    Emergency Teacher Certificate:

    The Emergency Certificate qualifies a teacher candidate for employment if the candidate has the appropriate degree and has substantially completed a teacher preparation program, but has not yet qualified for the Residency Certificate, if the school cannot find a regularly certificated teacher. The Emergency Certificate enables the teacher to be assigned for up to one school year. 

    Download: Application

    Transitional Teaching Certificate:

    The Transitional Teaching Certificate enables a teacher whose continuing teacher certificate has lapsed to teach for 2 years while working on reinstatement of the continuing certificate.  It is valid for 2 calendar years only (24 months from issue) and can only be issued once in a teacher's career. Candidates must have a district's approval to request this certificate. 

    Download: Application


    Substitute Teaching

    Substitute Teacher Certificate:

    The Substitute Teacher Certificate enables someone who is fully qualified for a regular teaching certificate to serve as a substitute teacher. It enables the substitute to teach any subject, any grade level for up to 30 consecutive school days, and is valid for life. (IF YOU GRADUATED FROM A WASHINGTON COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY PREPARATION PROGRAM, YOU SHOULD NOT BE USING THIS APPLICATION. CONTACT YOUR INSTITUTION FOR ASSISTANCE.)

    Download: Application (For those who hold or have held a regular Washington certificate)

    Download: Application (For those who have not held a regular Washington certificate)

    Emergency Substitute Teacher Certificate:

    The Emergency Substitute Certificate enables someone who is not fully qualified for a regular teaching certificate to serve as a substitute teacher, provided the school has exhausted or will exhaust its list of qualified substitutes. It is valid for up to 3 years. 

    Download: Application

    Intern Substitute Teacher Certificate:

    The Intern Substitute certificate enables a student teacher to substitute, in the classroom to which assigned for student teaching, in the absence of his/her supervising teacher. This certificate must be approved by both the school and the college, and is valid for up to one year.

    Download: Application




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